Taxpayer Relief for Hurricanes?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 12, 2008 6:20 AM GMT
    I'm tired of having to hear the news of people having to leave their homes along the coast line because of hurricanes. Grant it, I'm not too enthusiastic of the governent having to continue to spend millions of dollars on emergency funding and relief efforts to sustain a community that continues to be in arms way of a hurricanes, mudslides, or wild fires. These storm events receive much media attention before, during, and after the event, but a drought that has occured over the past 7 years here in the midwest receives very little attention and not much drought relief funding. Both hurricanes and droughts are uncontrollable events that are destructive by nature but one event continues to receive much media attention and more substantial public funding to mitigate the impact of the devestation than a drought which does not capture the attention of the mainstream media and also has much longterm effect on the American economy which is not immediately transparent to the average American.

    My Question: Should the American taxpayer be strapped with the costs of bailing out those folks who continue to live along the coast lines but yet return and rebuild after a hurricane event? Do you feel its government's responsibility to continue to support this type of relief effort by encouraging those to continue to rebuild along the coastlines. Looking forward to the dialogue.
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    Sep 12, 2008 8:27 AM GMT
    Hiker98 saidI'm tired of having to hear the news of people having to leave their homes along the coast line because of hurricanes. Grant it, I'm not too enthusiastic of the governent having to continue to spend millions of dollars on emergency funding and relief efforts to sustain a community that continues to be in arms way of a hurricanes, mudslides, or wild fires. These storm events receive much media attention before, during, and after the event, but a drought that has occured over the past 7 years here in the midwest receives very little attention and not much drought relief funding. Both hurricanes and droughts are uncontrollable events that are destructive by nature but one event continues to receive much media attention and more substantial public funding to mitigate the impact of the devestation than a drought which does not capture the attention of the mainstream media and also has much longterm effect on the American economy which is not immediately transparent to the average American.

    My Question: Should the American taxpayer be strapped with the costs of bailing out those folks who continue to live along the coast lines but yet return and rebuild after a hurricane event? Do you feel its government's responsibility to continue to support this type of relief effort by encouraging those to continue to rebuild along the coastlines. Looking forward to the dialogue.


    Slight tangent: Considering America spent money on relieving India after the Tsunami than they did after Katrina, and continues to spend money on "relieving terrorism" in Iraq, I think it's probably a BETTER idea to spend money on DOMESTIC problems, such as homes being flooded. To me it's like a mom paying more attention to her own children instead of favoring the neighborhood children.

    Now back to original topic: Hurricanes and droughts are both serious and even deadly natural events. However, there's a huge difference between them:

    A hurricane is the application of a negative event
    A drought is the removal of a positive (or essential) event

    A hurricane is visible, tangible, frightening, dangerous, all of which attract viewers (and thus probably gets more tax-paying attention)
    A drought is more covert, subtle, longer-lived, all of which doesn't attract immediate attention but calls for changing certain structures (i.e. limiting water use)

    A hurricane comes through and destroys everything usually within a day or two - it's unavoidable
    A drought is typically unpredictable and takes months to hinder water needs - it can be better avoided with better economical water use

    Both are obviously negative events, but the way the negativity is presented and experienced draws attention in different ways. Many people would view a drought as a problem that people could avoid by better adapting to changing or fluctuating environments. But almost no one sees a hurricane as a normal weather day.

    Lastly, people go back to their homes after a hurricane for the same reason people go back to their homes after a fire, flood, tornado or earthquake. So unless you don't see any reason for the government to rebuild other states after other kinds of natural disasters, then there's no reason to single out the hurricane zones.
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    Sep 12, 2008 8:33 AM GMT
    I can see the point of not bailing people out with taxpayer's money if they are doing things that are self-evidently a near-certainty for calamity....like building on a flood plane next to a river ...or building your house right on the water's edge where hurricanes are frequent.
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    Sep 12, 2008 8:38 AM GMT
    Caslon6000 saidI can see the point of not bailing people out with taxpayer's money if they are doing things that are self-evidently a near-certainty for calamity....like building on a flood plane next to a river ...or building your house right on the water's edge where hurricanes are frequent.


    I agree if this is some event that happens like every three years or so. Hurricanes usually strike different areas though. I'm betting for someone living in Oregon they see on the news "oh another hurricane fuckin up Florida & Louisiana and Texas" whereas people in the South think "thank god the eye of the hurricane passed 150 miles away from us we haven't had one come to our town in 15 years."
  • gumbosolo

    Posts: 382

    Sep 12, 2008 2:21 PM GMT
    Hurricane damage gets overlooked a lot, too-- even in Louisiana, most people aren't aware how hard Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas got hit by Gustav. That said, the state and federal reaction was way better than what followed Katrina and Rita. At least in Louisiana, what gets press is New Orleans-- and with some good reason, since New Orleans is one of the most important port cities in the country. Which is a good reason to spend tax dollars on it and the communities that support it.

    Major hurricanes have also been a lot more frequent these last few years than before . . . and if that keeps up, yeah, we'll start to be more trouble than we're worth.