....We all feel a little helpless after the hurricane; we all want to help, we all feel insignificant in the face of the disaster's magnitude. We all can and should contribute to relief. Some will and some won't, it is a big old country.
...But here's the big point I got off the Meyerson article: It is our Government's job to deal with these problems. It is their main job, and they failed it in a huge way.
...It is not the individual citizen's job to anticipate and repair the effects of hurricanes; how could it be? That kind of thing is not for the private sector. Individual relief efforts are courageous and necessary, but yes they are subject to human flaws, limited resources of non-profit groups, lack of organization, and individual opportunistic profiteering scams. It's a murky business just figuring out the best, least flawed way to help.
...The only thing that can handle disasters of this scale is the government. That's why we pay taxes, so that an organized power will protect us from the gigantic problems. Things that we can't work out on our own, or on a small community level. Like where highways should go, and what to do if a hurricane happens, even if they hardly ever do. I may have an opinion on how to solve all these problems, but so does everyone else, hence it is the job of democratically-elected government to override the individual inconsistencies and know the best possible path for the common good.
...It is NOT the government's job to, say:
- start wars on other countries for no adequately-explained reason
- redistribute wealth so that the rich become richer
- play political games to make itself look better
...those are just, like, hobbies. The citizenry would do just fine if government forgot about them.
...but we need them for hurricanes. They are bigger than one person's ability to act, so we had to create something that is big enough to act on behalf of all of us. And we created the most powerful force ever, which is the collected resouces of the U.S. Government. And it spends most of its time doing bullshit. It encourages us to accumulate individual wealth. It expects somehow that the most successful wealth-accumulators will take care of building levees and helping the sick and powerless in their spare time.
...They won't. But someone has to. So, to help the victims, and to help ourselves from becoming victims, we need a better governing body. ASAP.