Another Wednesday Event for This Wednesday

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Not quite as good as this one, of course, but worth checking out. Go there first and come here later. Or not.

Roundtable: Social Justice for the Right
November 16, 2005 | America's Future Foundation

After Katrina, what are the different conservative and libertarian visions for how to improve social welfare? Is a compassionate conservative welfare state any better than a liberal welfare state? Can a libertarian vision withstand the politics of humanitarian disasters? Stay tuned for more info and a list of panelists.

The event will take at the Fund for American Studies, 1706 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, near Dupont Circle. Drinks at 6:30; Roundtable begins at 7:00. Roundtables are free for members, $5 for non-members. So join today!

More details here.

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  1. Nawlins was fucked as it was. If the (local) government had been on point and gotten their shit together as soon as they realized that they were going to get creamed (i.e. Two fucking days before it hit), and they had already had a plan in place (not too much to ask for a city that sits below sea level and is right in the middle of hurricane alley) a lot of trouble wouldn’t have been. And, not to advocate federal spending on local projects, but money would have been much better spent repairing the levees than building a $250 million bridge in Alaska for an island of 50 people so the absolutely fucking shameless Congressman there could say “See, I’m building you shit you don’t need with OTHER people’s money. Vote for me!”

  2. Andy, that’s the sad thing. We did have a plan. We followed the plan. that was the plan. If the hurricane had hit like this five years ago, before we’d had several chances to practice and get kinks worked out, New Orleans would really have been screwed.

  3. Well, I know it seems cliched to say it, but people really do get the government they deserve. My sympathies are very limited for most “victims” of this all-too-predictable natural “disaster.”

  4. i’m with andy – we told new orleans not to build that hurricane-creating machine, but did they listen?

  5. Nice scare quotes, dickhead. I hope that, the day you lose everything you’ve ever owned, other people will at least have the smarts to acknowledge that it actually happened.

  6. If a whole bunch of houses being submerged underwater is merely a “disaster”, what would an actual disaster be?

    If people who lose all of their worldly possessions are merely “victims”, what would happen to a real victim?

  7. Thoreau, you ought to be silenced!

    Your employment of common sense and perspective is an affront. Who are you to force people to actually think before they judge?

    Your type of Weltanshauung is a danger to those who prefer hysteria. Shame on you!

  8. andy is arguing (rather ineptly) that people who build and/or live in hurricane zones shouldn’t be surpised when a hurricane comes and wipes out everything that they have. There is, up to a point, something to be said for such an argument, though it should be noted that no area in the U.S. (or the world) is free of natural disasters.

    All of this leads to the most important question of course (and the elephant in the room that everyone here seems willing to ignore) – should we have government policies which encourage people to live in higher than average natural disaster risk areas? So far the Congress, the President and the state governments in question appear to be saying “Yes.”

  9. Yes, but beware of the variant of zeno’s paradox:

    Let us say that through draconian measures we forcibly relocate everyone who lives in an area whose risk of natural disaster is higher than average to one that is lower.

    Well, now the distribution shifts to a safer direction, yet still roughly half the inhabited areas are still at above average risk of disaster, since the average shifts with the distribution. 🙂

    To me the answer is not to have government supplied disaster insurance. If people cannot afford the insurance to live some place, and don’t want to take on the risk, they will move some-place safer.

    Then you can have charities take on the unexpected costs.

    Of course there are flies in my utopian vision: the dangerous areas will tend to have poorer people living in them (after all the land will be worth less than comparable properties with lower risk). This will mean that natural disasters would disproportionately wallop those least able to economically to prepare.

    Recognizing this, I don’t care: I am a doctrinaire libertarian rather than a utilitarian one. So, I believe in respecting property rights etc even when we are seemingly worse off as a result.

    On the other hand, let us say that somehow I convince everyone to abandon the state with its coercive taxes and interference with trade and production, then everybody on the whole would be wealthier, meaning that the poor would still be better off and there would be more money available for charitable works. Thus I wave my magic wand. 🙂

  10. In the world nothing can be said to be certain except death, taxes and carpet-humping guy.

  11. May I just say that I hate the term “social justice.” Justice is justice, and when you start qualifying it you are putting a thumb on her scales. “Social Justicea” has long been code for the forced redistribution of wealth. Those who push it often sneer at charity, because they don’t want the redistribution to be a gift from individuals who have much to those who have less, but prefer to speak in terms of a right to receive a minimum level of subsistence.

    Kevin

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