30 October 2012

The Laissez-Mourir Approach to Disaster Relief

A previous version of Romney (was it Romney 1.3 or 1.4, I can't recall) claimed that FEMA should be sacked and its responsibilities shifted to the states, or better yet, to private enterprise. I have a better suggestion. We should allow all the states that vote Republican to rely solely on private enterprise to help them out during the next mega-disaster. The citizens in these states shouldn't complain if prices for services and basic nicities like bottled water sky-rocket during a disaster, or if companies find that saving certain stranded individuals or communities isn't economically feasible--that's the beauty of laissez-faire, after all. (Or in this case, should it be laissez-mourir?) States that don't vote Republican, on the other hand, can all cooperate and rely on the benefits of having the government coordinate relief activities. Instead of duplicating the entire relief infrastructure and training of experts, they can benefit from this exotic activity called "sharing" and this exotic principle called "economies of scale."


Jazzbumpa said...

The scariest thought I've had this Halloween evening - and I can't get rid of it - is imagining some poor guy in a major natural disaster in the Romney universe of privatized FEMA responsibility, who has just lost his house and all his possessions having to pay Halliburton $100 for a pint of water so his child doesn't die of thirst.

Karlo said...

Yeah. The idea that private enterprise is going to step in and somehow build libraries, invest in basic science research, and basically watch out for the long-term interests of society is ludicrous.