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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Monday, November 05, 2012

Sandy Versus Katrina - NYTimes.com

Krugman, to me, is the face and intellectual core of the Democratic party. Nasty, hyper-opinionated and not particularly concerned with factual analysis, Democrats continuously read and repeat his various anti-Republican screeds.

However, I find this quote particularly interesting....
And that’s no accident: the federal government’s ability to respond effectively to disaster always collapses when antigovernment Republicans hold the White House, and always recovers when Democrats take it back.

Consider, in particular, the history of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Under President George H. W. Bush, FEMA became a dumping ground for unqualified political hacks. Faced with a major test in the form of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the agency failed completely.
Analysis: Democrat good, Republican bad. However, it also has to be said, that there were no sizable disasters during the Clinton years comparable to Andrew, Katrina or Sandy but one has to say that it is difficult to say right now if the FEMA response to Sandy has been any better than in previous times when the agency has been criticized for its inability to respond quickly. Maybe, just maybe, the Federal government is just not capable of responding to natural disasters in an everything for everybody mode. Maybe, just maybe we have to recognize the limitations of a lumbering central government to be there, quick to the response and capable to solve every problem.

And then there is the issue of management of such a lumbering giant. As highlighted by FEMA head prior to the Katrina disaster....
President Bush appointed Michael D. Brown as FEMA's director in January 2003. Brown warned in September 2003 that FEMA's absorption into DHS would make a mockery of FEMA's new motto, "A Nation Prepared", and would "fundamentally sever FEMA from its core functions", "shatter agency morale" and "break longstanding, effective and tested relationships with states and first responder stakeholders". The inevitable result of the reorganization of 2003, warned Brown, would be "an ineffective and uncoordinated response" to a terrorist attack or a natural disaster.
The problems surrounding Katrina were well documented and it is my opinion, that much of it was politicized from the very beginning with racially charged rhetoric that was picked up and promoted by the national press media. But in any case, it seems as experts evaluation is that FEMA did not do a good job.

However, what I find so amusing is Krugman's statement quoted above.....
Under President George H. W. Bush, FEMA became a dumping ground for unqualified political hacks.
I can say the same thing about the opinion pages of the New York Times these days, that it too is a dumping ground of unqualified political hacks, Krugman being one of them.

Sandy Versus Katrina - NYTimes.com

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