Failed Society

So we’re now into full on posturing and ashattery by our elected representatives about who screwed up after Katrina. There’s a storm of fingerpointing and blameshifting going on up at Capitol Hill as we all try to figure out why the feds didn’t spread sunshine and prosperity upon New Orleans immediately after the hurricane hit.

I actually heard some asshat representative say that the federal government "caused" deaths by not responding in time. No, you dumb twat, the hurricane and associated flooding caused the deaths. The failure of anybody to come help you does not cause your death. I think it is unfortunate when no one can get to you in time to save you, but the failure of help to arrive does not cause your death. Saying the deaths could be prevented is one thing, but implying causation is another thing entirely. By this logic, if I accidentally slice open my femoral artery and call 911, the failure of the paramedics to arrive in time causes my death. The fact that I bled out all over the floor has nothing to do with it in this world view. My death is the fault of those dastardly paramedics for not showing up in time. Obviously, if my heirs and assigns tried this argument in court, they would be booted out the room and told to get bent. So why is this argument any more plausible if some ignunt official makes it in Congress? The logic is the same and it still stinks.

Who’s responsible for the deaths? Well, my first choice is all the people living below sea level in a goddamned swamp. The city of New Orleans has been a bowl surrounded by soup for longer than the United States has been a country. You take on a certain level of risk when you choose to live in that environment. The government is not your nanny, okay? You took on some risk and made a bet based on the fact that nothing bad ever happens to a clown… wait, that’s not right. All y’all living below sea level made a bet that it hasn’t happened yet, so it won’t happen anytime soon. Unfortunately for you, the cards didn’t play out that way this time.

So then what do we get? A bunch of people whining about how the feds didn’t do enough. WTF? I’m sorry, is the federal government your mommy? Are they supposed to pick you up when you fall down and put a band-aid on your scrapes and kiss your boo-boos and make you feel better? Last time I checked, the feds weren’t supposed to be the clean-up crew for your poor life decisions. I am fucking sick of the people who think the feds are some magical insurance agency of last resort who exist to help morons who don’t anticipate and plan for the future.

Of course, I could ask why there seem to be so many of these people in New Orleans. Possibly because the whole welfare society in the inner cities of America has bred an underclass of people who think it is the government’s job to take care of them, because it’s worked that way their whole lives. Since everybody wants to assign blame, how about LBJ? That whole Great Society thing failed pretty goddamned spectacularly for the people in New Orleans that bought into it. Dig his rotting corpse up and make him stand trial.

Of course, I could just point at the US Congress. The Congress passed a bunch of laws that created a bunch of perverse incentives. I'm gonna guess our esteemed legislators are going to find that the fault rests somewhere other than in the collective body to which they belong. It’s so much easier to say that the executive branch is the problem when it just might be 50 years of shitty ideas enacted into law. Somehow, I just don’t see the Congress is going to find themselves to blame in any way. They’ll continue on thinking they can solve the problem instead of contribute to it. When the next big natural disaster strikes, we’ll get to play all over again.


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