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John Wayne's Holster: Katrina and the Welfare State
John Wayne's Holster
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Monday, February 27, 2006

Katrina and the Welfare State

Hurricane Katrina was a disaster. No question about it.

The Left is quick to point the finger at President Bush and FEMA. The Right points to the failures of Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco. Both sides make a good case. It seems that there is plenty of blame to go around. As such, let’s not forget to point a finger at LBJ and his so-called “Great Society”. Why? Because the biggest part of the disaster was not natural. Rather, it was man-made.

What we witnessed over the last six months in New Orleans is a product of the welfare state. Or more correctly – evidence of its failure. This country has a rich history of people rising to the occasion in times of hardship – a history of people working together in the aftermath of natural disasters to rebuild their lives and move on. Unfortunately, this was not seen all that often in “The Big Easy”.

Instead, we witnessed assaults, robberies, lootings, rapes and murders. Once the rampant crime subsided, the people that remained just sat around complaining that the government has not taken care of them.

As part of the recovery effort, the federal government has provided temporary housing for evacuees. Here we are six months after the hurricane, and there are over ten-thousand people still living in FEMA-sponsored housing. Some of these evacuees were housed on cruise ships rented from commercial enterprises such as the Carnival Cruise Line. The ships were leased for a period of six months – a period that is about to expire.

Today, NewsMax reported that a group of evacuees living on a cruise ship south of New Orleans are taking the federal government to court in an attempt to keep the ship docked and the government paying for it. These “wards of the welfare state” are still sitting around and complaining and expecting the government to feed them, house them and wipe their chins. It is time for them to take some responsibility and move on with their lives.

I am not trying to be heartless here. I realize that Katrina caused a great deal of havoc and turned many people’s lives upside down. The government did have some responsibility to help the Katrina victims get back on their feet. But at some point, it has to stop. The government can not and should not continue to pay to house the evacuees for the rest of their lives. The people themselves have to take some responsibility for putting their lives back together. In fact, many decent, self-respecting people of New Orleans have done just that!

Unfortunately, many have not. They expect the the “Great Society” to do it all for them.

It is not as if they were not any work to be found. New Orleans needs to be rebuilt. Many of the businesses in town are looking for workers. Some of the hotels and casinos are offering “signing bonuses” of over $5,000 just to come back and sign a contract to work. They are also providing workers with free housing and good wages. Jobs are there for the taking! Just ask the workers pouring over the border from Mexico.

Why don’t the evacuees take these jobs?

Enough is enough! These “wards of the state” need to stop leaching off the government and get back to taking responsibility for themselves.


At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Roy said...

Wow, I had never given the welfare state theory any thought. It seems that the evidence is on your side. It is funny that every person I see on tv is blaiming the government. Granted the gov. did screw things up, but then they are the government. Mayor Nagin seems to be leading the charge.

Personally, I think that we should be able to discuss not rebuiulding N.O. It is below sea level, so how much can we spend to rebuild it? This is just like Fla. every year hurricanse and then every year sob stories from people who refused to leave. I am getting tired of it.

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Dave Bertocchi said...

Great article, I could not agree with you more. This morning on the news I heard the NFL was going to give N.O. 20 million to rebuild the Superdome, that would cover about 20 % of the cost. They than said that FEMA was going to cover the other 80%. If true, what a waste of money.

I wonder if N.O. gets hit again how much money people will give.I think that Mayor Nagin and the governor of the state are most to blame for what happened.


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