What’s Wrong With a Diaspora, Anyway?

Sound writing questions why federal tax dollars should be spent to rebuild New Orleans, given the economics of the matter and the fact that all the spending still won’t eliminate the city’s unusually high vulnerability to destruction by storm.

In recent years — perhaps especially since Hurricane Andrew in Florida during Bush 41 — there seems to have developed a notion that federal taxpayers naturally should, without meaningful debate, be required to neutralize the economic effects of weather, but only in caes in which the weather differential is covered in national newscasts. Thus, we have the rather peculiar situation in which Minnesota taxpayers send money to Florida to help repair hurricane damage, but Floridians do not send money to Minnesotans to help pay for winter heat. Hurricanes and cold winters are predictable for each state, and non non-incarcerated competent adult lives in either state against his will, so why the subsidy?

Besides being unfair on their face, such subsidies also are stupid, as, by lowering the natural cost of living in (for example) the beautiful-but-hurricane-prone state of Florida, they provide a financial incentive for people to live in more dangerous areas than they otherwise might.

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