The catastrophic flooding triggered by Tropical Storm Harvey inundating Houston in early estimates is expected to tally between 25 and 50 billion dollars, it could go much higher. Sadly, many people will find their insurance doesn’t cover much of the damage to their property. In all reality, the Federal government will prove to be relatively ineffective and not much help in this crisis that covers a large area and affects tens of millions of Americans. Anyone who has even experienced the frustrations caused by a bad storm with power outages and such will tell you most help comes from nearby and government is not the answer. People who adopt the attitude that they are a victim following a real disaster and then simply wait for the government to arrive to set things straight risk should be prepared for disappointment.
High profile incidents covered by the media often reassures the public that the government stands ready to rush to our aid in case of a national disaster. Following a tornado or hurricane in the news, we often see FEMA workers spread out and moving from door to door offering help to Americans in need. This reassuring media coverage is misleading. Be prepared that in the case of a major crisis or disaster if you find yourself in a large area of devastation the government will not rapidly arrive as your savior. This means if and when a really large Armageddon event does occur people will quickly become acutely aware that God helps those who help themselves.
The trend of pandering to victims that we have seen develop over the years may be a result of the battering former President Bush took in opinion polls following Hurricane Katrina. The pictures that the media posted following a slow response in handling Katrina haunt his administration and paint Bush as being insensitive and out of touch with the plight of poor Americans. At what point did government become responsible for dispensing sorrow and grief? With the bar to show concern set at its current level little gets done in Washington.
Somehow the President has in a media driven world mistakenly adopted the role of consoler in chief and is expected to pour forth sympathy and cast out concern for every American following incidents of destruction or violence. It does not matter if it is an accident, shooting, or some natural disaster, in recent years all this has reached new heights where even in the case of a few deaths it is not uncommon to see the President leaping upon Air Force One and rushing to the scene to sympathize with families and friends. In this politically correct world, it has even gone so far as to the President being expected to weigh in as to minor tragedies that occur throughout the world.
It should be noted that much time is wasted performing these acts that could be better used and focused on solving many of the real and pressing problems that face America. In reality, this pandering is a major disservice to Americans in that it fosters the impression that government will be there for you if you ever get into a pickle or jam. While reassuring to many the false illusion of a competent and effective government ready to come to your aid comes at the cost of raising unrealistic expectations. I suspect that with the formation of the massive Homeland Security Agency this may be a case of reassuring the masses that their tax money has not been wasted.
A perfect example would be the government’s reaction to the Boston Marathon bombing. It was overwhelming but in the end, it was a homeowner checking the tarp on his boat noticing a spot of blood and not the thousands of law enforcement officers that brought the manhunt to an end. No matter how much planning is spent it is silly to think someone can quickly rush to an area they are totally unfamiliar with and institute actions to efficiently solve massive problems. Do not be fooled, in the case of a real disaster the government is generally not very effective, the real help will come from your neighbors, this has been the case throughout history. The bottom-line is that if you are waiting for government help you may be dead before it arrives.
H/T: Bruce Wilds