By Nathan Barton
My recent commentary on disasters and government response triggered a response from a friend: the REAL disaster in this country is GOVERNMENT.
How true. It seems that every year, there are more and more disasters, but when you look at the actual incidents, it is NOT that we are having more floods, more blizzards, more tornadoes, more wildfires, and whatever else we want to add to the list. Notice I left hurricanes off: do you realize we are in the MIDDLE of Hurricane season and while it is supposed to be the most active season since 2012, it is so far a dud (according to Nature World News). Though this story is about 35 days old, nothing has really changed in September: remarkably calm, overall.
Why is this? Is the end of the world upon us? Hardly. It is, rather, a combination of several things:
– Better and more rapid reporting. We didn’t used to hear about typhoons in the Indian Ocean or earthquakes in remote areas of Chile, unless they were REALLY bad. Now with the ‘net and virtually instant communications we learn about the earthquake in Italy at the same time (if not sooner) as we learn about the semi-trailer full of apples and pears that burned up on the highway 10 miles south of town.
– More and more people. The empty places on the planet are filling up, and as we “preserve” more and more good land, and build cities and slums more and more places, we are pushing huge populations into floodplains and areas with marginal weather regimes and worse. Nobody in their right mind will live in most of Bangladesh, or in the Mississippi Delta (case in point: have you ever met a Cajun in their right mind by most peoples’ definition?).
– Political pressure to make disasters more and more common. Government is everyone’s sugar daddy, and the worse things seem the more likely you are for some politicians to declare your area, your town, even your house, a disaster area.
So, two of three can be laid at the feet of government. Consider (again) flood insurance. Consider (again) building of massive flood control dams and construction of vast systems of levies and storm water drainage systems: virtually ALL built under government control and usually by government design (or Beltway Bandits cum Commercial Welfare Clients). And think about zoning and more and more open space and dedicated lands from national parks in urban areas to vast “national monuments” in rural areas. (The tyrant in DC just declared another massive swath of land, this time in Maine, a national monument.) So less space for people to live. And at the same time, government has made inner city, urban living total misery.
– Facing government enforcers multiple times a day: traffic cops, meter readers, parking wardens, code inspectors, and more.
– Facing the people favored by government multiple times a day – welfare recipients (including the unemployed), contractors, and the friends and families of government employees.
– Depending on government for essentials like water, sewage disposal, trash collection and disposal, streets, power, and more – either directly or indirectly.
– Facing the threat or actual committing of violence and aggression against you, your family, and your property: from burglars to muggers to con-artists, knowing that 9 out of 10 times (at least) the perps will not be caught or convicted by government “justice.”
– Knowing that if you are sued or defrauded, the court’s members will most likely be incompetent and unwilling to provide justice to you.
– Knowing that your property (and well-being, if not lives) are at danger at almost any time if a cop (whether justified or not) shoots (or heaven forbid, kills) some member of a favored minority, when others of that favored minority go on rampages protesting, rioting, and looting and burning.
– Knowing that even if you avoid getting robbed by the free-lance criminals, that nevertheless the municipal, special district, state and federal government professional criminals will steal as much as 50-60% of your income and often the equivalent of 10-20% of your property, each year.
– and on and on.
The real disaster is government. And government is not any sort of an answer to disaster of any kind – unless you count not letting have some people have more wealth and power by aggressing against and abusing others is a disaster. Not ONE of the ten thousand people we are asked to elect to every office from Massa right down to dog-catcher and junior deputy assistant clerk in charge of filing away fleas is going to MAKE government the answer to disaster. And until we, or at least a reasonably large number of us here in the Fifty States, accept this and act accordingly, disaster will pile upon disaster, and life will be more and more miserable. Because there is one answer to dealing with disaster: letting people have the freedom to take the actions that THEY as individuals (and maybe as families and voluntary peaceful and nonaggressive groups) can decide and take. Or more simply: Liberty.