Katrina: The National Impact

Since last night I have been wondering about where that $200 Billion is going to end up (in the pockets of crooked Southern politicians and big MNC’s is the best bet so far). Then this morning I read an article on MSN

Many New Orleans evacuees won’t return

Fewer than half of all New Orleans evacuees living in emergency shelters here said they will move back home, while two-thirds of those who want to relocate planned to settle permanently in the Houston area

Unforutnately many people down there have nothing left (not that they had much before) so this is a chance to start over. Perhaps some new government prorgrams will help them get above the poverty line (I pray it does) and find new job opportunities. But what this tells me more than anything else is that there really needs to be some more planning on a lot of this before we should proceed with spending Billions of dollars in the wrong direction.

What we have is a real dilemma because people need help now and we should move fast, but if we move too fast we can really screw it up worse than it is. If we take too much time planning, this will just screw up people’s lives so we need to be careful about that as well.

I wish we had some sort of open eGovernment collaboration system where the people and the government could share ideas and vote and see clearly where all the money for these efforts are being spent. This is the one thing that might make it all tenable for those of us who will be paying the bill…

George Will wrote in NewsWeek

In 1651, in “Leviathan,” Hobbes said that in “the state of nature,” meaning in the absence of a civil society sustained by government, mankind’s natural sociability, if any, is so tenuous that life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Thoughtful conservatives—meaning those whose conservatism arises from reflections deeper than an aversion to high marginal tax rates—are conservative because they understand how thin and perishable is the crust of civilization, and hence how always near society’s surface are the molten passions that must be checked by force when they cannot be tamed by socialization.

At the moment, it feels like the physical devastation of Katrina may pale in comparison to the detrimental impact it has on our country for years to come in terms of internal conflicts and our interactions with the rest of the world. But I am optimistic – this is still an opportunity for us to do more than just rebuild New Orleans and other parts of the south – perhaps it really is time for the dawning of the age of aquarius and love will win out over hate, but only time and the direct actions you and I take each day will tell.

Still, I am hopeful that those in charge may hear not just the loudest voices, but also may hear some of the smallest and respond appropriately all across this great land of ours.

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