The Fastest Way to Disaster Recovery
by Greg Perry
Stealing from those of us outside the hurricane areas is completely legal. Why isn't the theft put upon us just as real as that by hurricane looters?
It's not looting because the United States Government is the thief. Stolen from us to help those who are looted from in the hurricane's aftermath. If all this confuses you, then you understand the way things work as well as anybody.
The Crying Will Begin — But It Won't Be the Victims
The President will be on the air a lot crying for more money. He will probably say something along the lines of, "Americans are already struggling due to high gas prices but we need to buckle down and help those hurricane victims to survive and rebuild over the weeks and months ahead."
Notice that he won't immediately remove all taxes on gasoline. Wouldn't that give us a lot of extra funds to help those hurricane victims more than we're able to do now? He won't immediately issue the order to open up Alaskan drilling because that would lower energy prices, weaken our dependency on Saudi Arabia, and make Americans far less reliant on the government.
Congress will be crying for more money. Members have already bandied about the idea of gasoline rationing to help ease the pain. This is further proof that the government creates the very opposite result from its stated goal almost 100% of the time. Rationing always decreases supply and increases extra long-term pain.
Louisiana's Governor will be crying for more money. Her budget just won't come close to covering the expenses the hurricane will force onto his office.
New Orleans' Mayor and the other devastated towns' Mayors will be crying for more money. They will ask that FEMA and other government agencies extend their funds and services indefinitely.
FEMA will be crying for more money. They simply won't have the budget to handle this one. Oh and something has to be done to better fund FEMA for such disasters in the future.
All of these cries for money share a common theme — the government and all its agencies assume the relief money will come from you, the taxpayers, who are not hurricane victims. They not only want the taxes they've confiscated, they want you to pony up additional money. And we will. But there's a better way.
The solution is one of those easy ones. That's why no government official will implement it.
There exists a way that any Mayor will get at least twice the amount of funds his city needs for the recovery effort than he's ever going to get the usual way (through government theft, with the bureaucracy keeping a hefty middle portion for overhead).
He needs to go on the air and say this:
"As of this morning, my office has been instructed to return any and all government money that will be sent to help the recovery effort. From this point forward, we will refuse all financial help from any and all government-related programs. President Bush, keep your money. Congress, keep your money. Governor, keep your money. Even better, don't keep what you would send to us. Instead, take what you would send to us and return 100% of that relief money, pro-rated, to every single taxpayer who put it in your accounts."
Yes, I realize a Mayor cannot physically say these words. He will always choose to sacrifice his own people and their recovery on the altar of taking every governmental dime.
But he could get at least twice what he will get through the normal channels of governmental theft of the non-victims with this approach.
He would then go on the air, after saying what I recommend above, and say:
"The compassion of Americans, when victims are truly helpless and hopeless, is limitless. Now that I've instructed the government coffers to stay completely away from my town, I want to talk directly to you, my fellow Americans.
"We do sincerely need your money. The situation here is worse than we can tell you. It's worse than we can understand ourselves at this point. I know I speak for everybody in my city. We're asking you, every American, to help us please. We need food and fresh water. If you have food, if you have water purification equipment, and medicine, please send us some. Please send as much as you can.
"We need money to buy those items from large and small companies who might not be able to give them to us but who can sell them to us at their cost.
"We need clothing. We need transportation. If you have spare clothing of any kind, our people need you to give us what you can spare. If you have any vehicles that run, our people can use those. Vans and small busses would really be useful to move people from one section to another as needed. There's no guarantee you'll get the vehicle back — and you probably won't. If you have no clothing or vehicles to give us, we need money to buy them from those of you who might not be able to give clothing or medicine or cars to us but who might be able to sell them to us at a steep discount.
"If you work in a company that makes items we need or that processes food we can use, consider working an extra half hour for us without pay for one or more days each week for a while. Perhaps through that free labor your company would be able to send us those items that your loving hands made for us.
"We need volunteers to help us clear massive amounts of debris once the water clears. Once the water clears and we give you the go-ahead, please come help us. Even if it's for one day. Even if it's for one hour. Start wherever you can help. We don't care how much you do. We just need you to do something. Our people will be devastated for years and they will be in shock for weeks and months. They won't be mentally or physically able to help you much because their lives are devastated. So just pitch in and understand that we might not be able to help you a lot. We might not always think to say 'thanks' but it's only because we won't be out of our shock for a long time. We will love you for it. Many of us have just been ruined in less than 48 hours. But your help will ease our recovery. Your compassion, help, and love will improve not only our physical lives but in our mental ability to cope and begin anew.
"We need contractors who understand electrical systems. We need water engineers.
"We need so much in addition to food, clothing, and volunteers that we cannot even yet imagine what we need. So for those of you who might live too far away to send us items or your presence, you can still help us. You can send us money. Send us what you want to send us. We have no source but you the American people. The United Nations would never send aid workers to any American cities ruined by disaster. No foreign country has yet to offer funds and history shows they probably won't. We voluntarily just cut off the American government spigot. Not only would they not give us enough anyway, but strings would be attached and for every dollar they have to give us, they'll keep a hefty portion for themselves.
"If you send us money directly, 100% of what you send will go to our recovery. We will use some to purchase massive amounts of supplies. We will use some to hire huge construction equipment. We will use some to rebuild our infrastructure. We will give much of it directly to our citizens once they return and begin to realize what they lost.
"Please help us. Please don't wait. We are begging you and we are proud that we can beg you. Our consciousnesses are clear because we have no other option. We will love you and be grateful forever."
I have a simple question for you:
Do you see that New Orleans and any other town's Mayor would get far more help, compassion, and recovery money after that speech than they will ever get otherwise?
I suggest that they will get at least twice as much. I suggest that the recovery effort will go twice as fast as it otherwise will. I suggest our country will be far better after this disaster, far closer, far more compassionate, far more respectful of each other, and — yes — even far better off financially.
Sure there are private firms, relief agencies, and many people personally helping out now in spite of the government trough doing the same and profiting every step of the way. But we are already strapped due to the incremental government theft of our wallets for the past 40-65 years. When we do send money to help such disasters, we unconsciously note that somebody else is already spending money they systematically took from us over the years. So we give far less.
Such a program would be so successful that the nature of every recovery effort on earth would change and pattern itself after this free-market solution where the victims — through a close representative no higher than a Mayor — receive direct aid and help from the world around them.
Our Current Caregivers Destroy Us
We've seen time and time again that welfare teaches families not to care for their own. We've seen time and time again that regulation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act create discrimination against those they say they help. We've seen time and time again that government relief agencies create new problems, cost far more than predicted, and teach entire societies they can look the other way.
Today, our national motto is "Somebody else will take care of it."
Instead of training us to ignore our fellow man, why not try a different approach that will succeed, move hearts, and create a bond of national fellowship?
September 1, 2005
Greg Perry [send him mail] might be the earth's most prolific computer book author with more than 75 titles but his passion is eBay. That's because he's so successful there. If you've ever considered eBaying something, you'll make far more money when you read his newest book, eBay eXtasy — The "Secret" to Why Buyers Will Happily Pay an EXTRA 99¢ (or More) for Each Item You Sell.]
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