I also find it intensely disturbing that on Sunday it will be 9/11/05, and the experience of New Orleans only proves that the government has made no material progress towards improving its response to disaster, whether natural or man made, in the four years since a tragedy of such a magnitude last struck this country. I knew all along that the government wastes money, misallocates resources, etcetera, but I thought with so much extra spending we might make some improvement. Take the space program, for instance. Sure, it was a gigantic waste of money, but we did actually put men on the moon and invent Tang for fuck's sake. That is something, and it seems that for all the money allocated to Homeland Security we have nothing.
But I don't really blame who have overseen these boondoggles….as such. Yeah, maybe someone else could have marginally improved this aspect or that detail, but failure is just the nature of the State beast, and this is true for literally hundreds of reasons. To name but a few:
1) It's a monopoly. With no competitors, the government lacks any reason to improve its services or cut its costs.
2) People in the government frequently have the perverse incentive to fail, so that they are rewarded with larger budgets, so that they may "improve."
3) It lacks any means of determining if a project is worthwhile or not. Because most taxes paid to the government are not for rendering any specific service, people in the government are incapable of knowing if people would actually pay the price they do (through compulsory taxes) for a given service, i.e. if that service is profitable to the public.
That pretty much said everything I needed to say. It's not so much that I "blame Bush", because my expectations could hardly have been lower. But... somewhere deep down inside I thought the sheer amount of money we had thrown at DHS might have resulted in something positive. I mean, I know the Feds are swarming all over NOLA now, but I'm talking about the speed and scale of the response when people were in jeopardy.
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