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Reader feels government played too much part in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina disaster

To the editor:

To the editor:


Most have it wrong about the New Orleans disaster.

Many mistakenly believe itís because of too little or ineffective government, but in fact, itís because of too much government.

The Army Corps of Engineers negligently maintained the levees that hadnít been modified since 1965. It wasnít Katrinaís wind that destroyed New Orleans; it was the government-run levees breaking. This is a man-made failure of socialized infrastructure, not a natural disaster.

FEMA and the city of New Orleans bureaucrats have no incentive to be safe or quick reacting because they make no profit or loss.

The welfare state is also a cause of this tragedy. Many of the residents left in New Orleans were welfare recipients who lived in government housing. Many have been on welfare for generations. Welfare distorts incentives, erodes the family and leads to dependency.

The chaos in New Orleans was caused by public management of infrastructure and the welfare state, not Katrina.

Many blame President Bush and FEMA.

But the deeper problem is creeping socialism that has displaced private action and individual responsibility in America.

Like children, everybody looks to someone else for responsibility. Individuals in New Orleans looked to the city.

But Mayor Nagin looked to Governor Blanco. Governor Blanco looked to President George W. Bush. No one was responsible.

Big government conditions people to be this way.

In the future, we shouldnít trust disaster relief to the red tape-filled bureaucracy called FEMA.Not only was the bungling FEMA late in New Orleans, but also FEMA actively blocked on-time relief from the private sector.

Also, forced evictions without a court order is illegal. 

A manís home is his castle.  Private property rights should supercede exaggerated disease claims.   

If people donít want to leave, they shouldnít have to.

Remember, people have a right to die. 

So if they want to stay and ďgo down with their house,Ē that is their right. Without a court order, itís illegal to forcibly evacuate.

If people stay, Iíd bet Dominoes would start delivering pizzas by boat and private water taxis would abound. 

Houseboats and floating docks could be built accessing second story reconstruction above the water line. Let private American ingenuity loose in New Orleans.

We donít need the Big Easy to turn into a police state like Zimbabwe where the government just takes property it wants.   

Let people keep their guns, homes and rights. And let the private sector handle redevelopment without subsidy.


Keith Kemp

Baton Rouge

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