Natural Disasters

First off, I'd like to apologize for the slow pace around here the past couple of days. I thought it would be possible to continue blogging over the vacation. This has turned out to be overly optimistic.

Anyhow, I'm sure that unless you live under a rock and don't have a newsfeed you've heard that a large earthquake near Sumatra caused tsunamis to destroy most of the coastal regions of several Asian countries. If you're inclined to help, go here.

I'd like to make a larger point. First off, ignore jackasses like this one who think that government action is the only thing that can help the world. How the Scandos ever got the idea that you can tax yourself into prosperity is beyond me, but the conditioning works.

What is stunning in all of these countries is the complete failure of civil society and the infrastructure. There is literally no way for these countries to cope with a disaster of this magnitude. How do you develop a civil society and infrastructure that works? Well, it helps to have money. How do you get money on a national scale? Last time I checked, it had a lot to do with the rule of law and a free market economy. Not that these ideas are new or exciting, but there's a huge chunk of the world that cannot or will not embrace them. It's an inescapable fact of life that crappy governments kill people in many strange ways. One less obvious way is by preventing people from gaining the resources to cope with the unexpected themselves.

I am going to make a prediction. By the time all is said and done, private individuals and organizations from America will provide more disaster relief than any government. This is one of the benefits of the rule of law, a free market (mostly) economy, and a robust civil society. When somebody else wants to contribute more and do more, then they get to complain about stinginess.


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