Lew Rockwell and Walter Block on Hurricane Katrina, it's aftermath, and getting people to realize that central planning (whether it's for the economy or for disaster relief) sucks balls:
Watching the Capitol Hill hearings on what went wrong after Hurricane Katrina provided a glimpse of what it must have been like in the Politburo in the 1950s. The Soviet bureaucrats would gather with the party officials and factory and farm managers to figure out why grain production was down or why shop shelves were empty or why the bread lines were ever longer and the quality ever worse.Let's be clear, we are much closer to a socialist society than we are to a free state. Every aspect of our lives can be monitored, scrutinized, criminalized, or taxed by our government. But when the opportunity came for our government to make good on the marshmellowy promise of safety and protection during the hurricane, let's face it, the government swung and missed.
They gathered under the conviction that they had a workable system that was being rendered unworkable because of the incompetence, shirking, or wrecking of certain key players in the chain of command. No one was permitted to say that the command system itself was the problem. Instead, they had to place blame on someone, as if all problems could be reduced to issues of obedience. It was always a scramble. Whoever was finally said to be at fault faced certain ruin.
I don't fault Bush for the governments weak, inefficient, and incompetent response because Katrina could have happened on Clinton's watch and I'm pretty confident we would have gotten the same bureaucratic abortion that W presided over.
What we should be questioning is the fundamental assumption that our strong central government should be handling disaster relief (among many other things) at all. That's one question that no one in the MSM is asking.
I like the way Rockwell and Block end their paper:
It took decades for the rot to give way underneath the Soviet apparatus of central planning. But eventually the implausibility of the entire project was no longer possible to deny. It gave way under an intellectual reaction against the whole of socialism. We are seeing something like that take place today, as government fails in Iraq and New Orleans, and in every place around the country and the world where it causes problems and creates no solutions. The age of confident central planning is behind us. Right now, the state is just trying to keep its head above water. If freedom is to have a future, the time will come when it will sink to an ignoble end, and we will wonder how we ever believed in this myth called government crisis management.Read the whole position paper here.