Saturday, December 1, 2012

You didn't rebuild that…..

There's always bold talk about rebuilding during cleanup of major storm damage. Many thousands of homes and businesses, and miles of highways/bridges/utility lines, were severely damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Governments, business owners and homeowners in several states have already begun the daunting and terribly expensive cleanup chore.

And of course there are calls from every quarter for government assistance, disaster relief, temporary free housing, low interest loans….

In other words, the folks and the regions that were devastated want everyone else to help pay for restoration and rebuilding.

I'm certainly not opposed to that in principle. I think an important advantage of being part of a society is that everyone pitches in to help after natural calamities. That means, of course, that government assistance comes into play. And of course, government assistance means your tax dollars and mine are being spent to help those who got hurt.

Just for the record, I think any homeowner or business owner should be required to have sufficient private insurance to cover the costs of rebuilding after a devastating storm hits. Hurricane insurance will cost about 13 cents a year in Kansas, and flood insurance will cost about the same in the Berkshires….

And I also think that the folks who are handing out the government aid to those homeowners and business owners should remember to say, from time to time, "you didn't rebuild that."

President Obama was right when he talked during the campaign about our social, economic and physical infrastructure that is essential to our manufacturing, our commerce and our lives, and when he said to private business owners "you didn't build that."

For those who will drive on new roads and new bridges, and for those who will receive government aid to get back on their feet after Sandy, it's fair and it's important to say "you didn't rebuild that all by yourself."

Storm costs and global climate change....

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