We had a tornado rip through our home town. I mean right down the middle. Killed a few people and I don’t know how much property damage was done. The people of our town and the surrounding area rolled up our sleeves, broke out the chainsaws, and went to work helping each other.
We had the situation well in hand before any government aid came into the picture. We don’t need big government, we need big people.[/quote]
I agree with a lot of what you’re saying here, but there are disasters and then there are disasters. “Big people” can do wonders, and they are especially effective in circumstances like the one you described, but “we broke out the chainsaws after a few people were killed in a tornado” is not an argument against FEMA. It is impossible for a densely-populated urban community to respond to a catastrophic disaster in an adequate fashion without state and federal funds/assistance.
The folksy stories are fine, but they don’t scale up well when you’re talking about New Orleans 2005 or Haiti 2010. They just seem silly.[/quote]
New Orleans 2005, Haiti 2010, and now New England 2012 are not arguments for FEMA. As usual, the idea looked good on paper and made for some uplifting rhetoric, but here in the real world it just falls flat when crunch time hits.
I’m not at all saying that there shouldn’t be some sort of state and local assistance, but Federal relief takes entirely too long to mobilize and coordinate. Beef up the agencies that can really make a difference and cut the dead weight.[/quote]
I could get behind that. Though I will say that I’ve been spending about half my time in NYC since the hurricane and the emergency response personnel have been doing one hell of a job–and they’re using federal money.