Red States Brace for Disasters Of Climate, but Won't Name It

Posted by $ nickursis 1 month ago to Government
59 comments | Share | Flag

Red states obviously are smarter than Blue states, do not engage in propaganda, lies and theft of citizens money for "story time" clinmat BS, and still recognize changes happen all the time, and you need to be prepared. Sounds like Red states are smart, Blue states simpletons...
SOURCE URL: https://www.yahoo.com/news/red-states-brace-disasters-climate-130947612.html


Add Comment

FORMATTING HELP

All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by $ allosaur 1 month ago
    Why call bad weather anything different than bad weather?
    Me dino lives in a central Alabama tornado zone (a F5 missed my home by a quarter of a mile during a "bad storm" during 2011) and I have next of kin with Florida property recently damaged by a hurricane called Michael.
    Nobody ever says, "Hey, a climate change storm is coming" or "Hey, a disaster of climate may be on the way."
    Anyhoo, there will always be storms and there will always me climate change. I always tell folks to go ask the dinosaurs and the woolly mammoths.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by STEVEDUNN46 1 month ago
    the distast relief funds already exist. it is called private insurance. why should i pay for somebody that builds a hous on a flood plain ir along the ocean if i choose to live where my house and family are safer from those things.te government has no business being in the insurance business where they can steal premiums from the taxpayers.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ Flootus5 1 month ago
    Lina Hidalgo: "If we're serious about breaking the cycle of flooding and recovery we have to shift the paradigm on how we do things, and that means putting science above politics."

    After her hand wringing about how Houston is Exhibit A for the climate crisis and climate change is a top issue for her constituents, she then can't see that the whole climate change scam has been just that: putting politics above science.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ 1 month ago
      A stupidity. Houston is built in a swamp. Why do you build in a swamp? Same for New Orleans. It isn't climate change, it is stupidity.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by TheRealBill 3 weeks, 5 days ago
        The thing is, there is a measurable change in "climate" here. The problem is it is in the "wrong" direction - it is generally cooler now (in the U.S.) than it was roughly a hundred years ago.

        This is because you have to look at accurate metrics. For the moment, ignore the fact that NASA et. al. have been retroactively "lowering" the temperature records of the past. Let us look at more fundamental issues.

        First up: to hell with the averages. First there is no "average global temperature". Sure, you could concoct one mathematically, but it won't tell you anything of value. Second, the average temperature is irrelevant. Anyone with a brain knows that it is going to be damned cold at the poles, and damned hot at the equator and that averaging all of that tells you nothing.

        Next, let us look at the so-called "hottest records". Similarly to the average, what does some station somewhere hitting 102 degrees tell you about the climate or heat content of the planet? Nothing. Some of the disasterbators have cottoned on to this and will use an "average hottest temperature" - where they take all of the hottest readings and average them. This is really no different from the first averages problem with one major exception: where is their coldest average? They don't calculate it.

        So, if the average temperatures and the peaks don't tell us anything of merit, what can we look at?

        In an ideal situation you'd have per-minute (or better!) continuous temperature readings from which you can use calculus to compute the area under the line and determine (approximately) the total heat load of the area being measured. The total load over time will either go up, down, or remain constant. There would be no question as to what was actually happening.

        Clearly, we don't have that. However, we can work backward from that. Working back a ways we can get to a few reasonable methods. I'll phrase them as questions:

        1. How many days per year had temperatures above X degrees, Y degrees, and Z degrees; same question for the lows?

        2. What is the distribution of temperatures by range? This is a bit more statistical than the first one but basically: divide the temperature range into buckets, or "bins" of eg. 5 degrees. Now place the various temperatures in those bins and plot a graph. This is basically the method used in the famous "bell curve" graph.

        Here you can divvy it up in many ways. Take all readings for a station in the year and generate the distribution. Do that year over year and you can then chart changes among the buckets. If the notion that the heat load and retention is increasing is true, the graph will shift to the right. If cooling it will shift left.

        Now the second one is more difficult but probably more accurate than the first. But we can easily do the first one. The thing is, when we look at "number of days with temperatures above 105,100,95,90,85 and so on overt time for the U.S. stations that are still in their original site classifications the data clearly shows that the number of hot days is decreasing. This means the peak temperatures have been going down in frequency - not increasing. Doing it for the lows shows the same result - which is interesting on its own.

        The result is that when you look at heat load/retention using that data, we're cooler now than we used to be. Not cold, just not as hot. The relatively recent past was freaking hot. The "dustbowl" didn't just happen to farm lands - it was hot as hell across the board. Many places during that era consistently recorded temperatures hotter than we've seen in, well, since then. I'm talking 130 degrees hot - and not just in southern deserts in the U.S. but still over a hundred in the great lakes area and even in Alaska. And not just here and there, but for weeks and months on end.

        Can you imagine LA, NYC, Seattle and even Dallas or San Antonio sitting in 120+ degrees everyday for several months today? That was the 1930s. With no air conditioning and poorly insulated housing.

        Today the disasterbators want to freak out about one or two days of 102 or 105.

        Now just because we are cooling doesn't mean we are headed for another ice age (even though we are, eventually, but that is just the cycle) but it does mean that we are not increasing the heat load/content of the planet - or even the country.

        And that is just some of the fundamentals. But when the fundamentals not only fail to support but factually counter your claims your claims are not to be trusted. Not that it stops the disasterbators, of course.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ 3 weeks, 3 days ago in reply to this comment.
    Uh, we really should not be rating each others "objectivness" here, that is what some do to destroy others. I see you both having a lot of similar ideas, and not necessarily thinking government should be paying people to continually get trashed by something (floods, just one thing). Why not let the market deal with it? If you want a mortgage in a flood zone, you buy flood insurance, if you want a house in Kansas, you by Tornado insurance. Some insurance reform might be needed so they actually use real data to set fees, but then the people who choose to live there pay the price. Many, many option exist that are not used because they have govt funded insurance, like houses that can take a tornado hit with no damage, and houses that can be set so as to be impervious to floods. Those would gain traction if you did that and got the appropriate discount for doing it. Right now, there is no market effort because the govt interferes artificially. Same with earthquakes, fire etc. All can be mitigated to a great extent, if you want to spend the money up front.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 weeks, 2 days ago
      You are more or less arguing my same points - at the higher level. As this is "Galt's Gulch" - Objectivism should be to gold standard here - not for the irrational to attempt to muddy the waters with illogical and irrational philosophies and that are antithetical to Objectivism. It matters.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 1 month ago
    There is no doubt that climate is changing.

    There is no understanding "why", and no physics-basis that we need to act. ALL (you get, the word "all" right?) models correlating to results have water vapor as the dominant greenhouse gas, with empirical (not physics) connection to various other things. CO2 is among the various other things, somehow making water vapor appear.

    All climate scientists know this, and few will offer it up, without prodding.

    Of yeah, "Go Science!"
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ AMeador1 1 month ago
      Yeah really - it's a sure way with the way these leftists are dealing with people that climate scientists that don't tote the line will be looking for an un-findable job. Talk about being blacklisted. They try to bury anyone who opposes their pseudo "science"
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ Thoritsu 1 month ago
        RightThink and RightSpeak are the keys to happiness.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by $ AMeador1 1 month ago
          The left is in a race car - pedal to the metal - pushing hard to go to full on socialism->communism->totalitarian/tyrannical dictatorship. The right - for too long has moved left along with them to the point that they are in the family sedan, driving the speed limit and tapping the brakes every here and their when one of the kids complains a bit - but following the leftists to the same destination - with similar premises - altruism, individual rights that are only situational, collectivism in terms of wealth re-distribution - but with slightly different rules, etc... So although I tend to side with the right - much more - to almost exclusively - it is only as the choice between the two evils at hand. I am a Objectivist first - rational self interest based on individual rights and laissez-faire capitalism as the economic system of trade - with very minimal and restricted government to uphold basic individual rights. Sadly - too many on the right think this is insane and want to keep their power, money (stolen via taxation), and regulatory power in play. I am not dissing you. I have associated myself with the Republican party for quite a few years - but only as the best option available.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by $ Thoritsu 1 month ago
            With you re-affiliation.

            My question to people now is: "Why do we need the Government to force us?" (electric cars, culture, etc). It elicits an interesting quizical response.

            "Why do you need to vote with people who choose to use force, just because you agree with them? Do you need to force others to have your opinions, because logic will not suffice?"

            I'll be ecstatic if Trump wins again. However, the guy behind him, need to ask these questions, not swing haymakers.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by $ AMeador1 1 month ago
              I'm sorry - I don't understand what you are trying to say.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
              • Posted by $ Thoritsu 1 month ago
                Sorry, typed, without looking.

                With you regarding republican affiliation. The lesser of two evils.

                The guy who runs after Trump needs to ask the questions above, not just swing Twitter haymakers.
                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                • Posted by $ AMeador1 1 month ago
                  Ahh. I think too many get wrapped up in the elitism and think that the people are too stupid to do what is 'right' on their own - so force them. I think this is more of a leftist approach - but it's not exclusive to the left - it depends on their pet interest. Again, I think Republicans lean more toward not forcing - but in certain cases they will. Like, I saw (but have not verified) that Trump has just signed something (not sure if a bill from Congress or Executive Order) - pushing prayer back into schools. If true - I disagree with this - but for the Republicans - I can see the majority of them being happy about that. But it is forcing their religious views on others - and in a government setting which I find even more disturbing. If it's true - maybe this story was BS - but it is believable. I have to look into it.

                  I'm sorry - but I must admit that the point of not just swinging Twitter haymakers isn't coming across to me. I mean, I still don't understand the reference/comment. Do you mean that the next person who runs for President needs to ask the questions you mentioned vs just making punchy Twitter comments? If so - do you mean you don't like Trump Tweeting - or you don't want the next person running to think they are modeling Trump in Twitter by just being assess - and missing the point? I remember watching the Democrat debate in the mid-terms and I though it was funny how much they were trying to emulate Trump - and failing at it miserably and making themselves look stupid - more so than normal :)
                  Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 1 month ago
                    Don't like Trump's Tweeting. It is not executive. However, I think it has woken up the sleeping crowd. Works for him, but I'm not a fan.

                    Don't want the next guy to do that. Want the next guy to calm people down, and explain, the lack of need for government force.

                    I had not heard Donald signed a "
                    Prayer in School" thing. Not good.
                    Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                    • Posted by $ AMeador1 1 month ago
                      I don't mind tweeting per se, not like this media would ever get his message out otherwise - but I'd prefer more of a Facebook where you can really say something without the stupid short character limitation of Twitter - but I agree with you completely we need a President to explain and educate much more. Currently they all speak in surface level platitudes and "I just signed this bill" with no philisophical "why" to it. I think that would go a long way.

                      Interestingly enough, I have a lot of exposure to our county level politicians in a role where I can have some influence - and I have had it explained to me that the more you say and try to explain to people the more they twist it and cause more trouble - so keep it simple, direct, and short. That's not my opinion - I'm for more information, transparency, teaching/explaining - but they are the ones in office and I'm not. Maybe they are correct - but I would like to think not and that they just got bad advice.
                      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                • Posted by $ 1 month ago
                  Yes, Trump was a unique tool of the Patriots, an outsider, with the same basic values they have, needed to take down the deep state. Regan tried, Kennedy tried, and neither had the defenses to survive. The next President, if following Trump will have a much easier time, once the trash is cleaned out of Congress and the Fed bureaucracy. There will be many arrests and trials his second term to clean house. I also believe a Galt like moment is coming with clean free energy and other things to be released.
                  Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ blarman 3 weeks, 3 days ago in reply to this comment.
    Ignoring the rest of your post, I was only interested in the answer to the question I posed.

    "In short - to answer your question about should parents be responsible for their children - that is circumstantial."

    And that's precisely my point. You took the concept of "personal responsibility" and turned it into a principle thus: "I should be responsible to the nth degree for everything that may possibly happen to me regardless of whether I have any control over it." It's prima faciae absurd. Context always matters in the application of a principle. (See what I did there mixing in an absolute with a conditional?)
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by term2 1 month ago
    Identifying changes in the environment and then either preparing for them, or moving away from them makes sense.
    Now that we have dispensed with that "crisis" and do what needs to be done, there is no need for government action.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ blarman 1 month ago
    I think every state should have a disaster relief fund and that fund should be sized appropriate to the populace and threat exposure. For example, every gulf coast state should have an extensive hurricane-relief fund. California should have a large earthquake-relief fund. Mid-west states should have tornado-relief funds. The list goes on and on. This is prudence and it makes them quantify the risk. I don't think it should necessarily be a Federal government thing, but I don't necessarily consider it unConstitutional per se.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by TheRealBill 2 weeks, 3 days ago
      You'll have the same problems at the state level. In order for it to be responsive and appropriately sized it has to be, for a government funded or run system, done at the most local level it can be. Take Texas, for example. People in Dallas never deal with Hurricanes. Why should they pay for Houston's problems? Why should hurricanes in Galveston make it more expensive to live in Dallas?

      In that scenario it sets up the situation for people in Galveston to profit from people in Dallas. If the people in Galveston want to have a program, let them do it - but they do not get to impose it on people outside of their jurisdiction. If that makes Galveston more expensive to live, then it is a reflection of the risk. It is one thing for the people of Galveston to vote to tax themselves, it is another for them to be able to vote to tax residents of cities hundreds of miles away. Or perhaps the county level would even be fine. But state level would only make sense if the actual risk and damage was evenly distributed. Otherwise you are still subsidizing the cost of the risky areas to the less risky ones.

      About the only scenario where that state-level risk and damage cost might apply that I can see is Florida - the entire state does seem to get hit from time to time. But that may still be too broad as I am not as familiar with the detailed patterns there. I do know that Miami-Dade county has the highest risk even among Florida as it is the single largest "target" of hurricanes in the country.

      The catch is also not just some official risk. For example, Idaho is among the highest states with an official risk for earthquakes. But almost nobody knows it. Why? Because despite the geological risk, the actual risk of a damaging quake is really low. As a result, few people have insurance for it - despite the fact it is 5th in the nation for frequency averaging almost one every other week.

      Which brings us to a functional problem with all states having something. Things change, and laws change even slower. Tornadoes, for example, are becoming less common in Tornado alley as they seem to be moving eastward. Good luck convincing a state government that they don't need as much money or programs when the risk decreases.

      On might say Idaho should have one for fires, with it being one of the top hotspots for wildfires. But the reality is that most of the land there is wilderness and the fires rarely affect many people. They are generally limited to people who live in "cabins" and arrested houses. But they number a paltry few compared to the rest of the state.

      So the idea that you can quantify the risk of living in an area even at the state level is dubious at best - Florida notwithstanding.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ blarman 2 weeks, 3 days ago
        "So the idea that you can quantify the risk of living in an area even at the state level is dubious at best"

        I agree. That's part of the problem with natural disasters. The risk is so low but the impact so high that conventional risk assessment methods with respect to insurance don't work.

        "Otherwise you are still subsidizing the cost of the risky areas to the less risky ones."

        That's the way any insurance policy works, yet I don't see anyone here objecting to private insurance. The problem is that the private methods to this point don't create a viable product - they're either so horribly expensive as to be unaffordable or they cover so little as to be useless.

        "On might say Idaho should have one for fires, with it being one of the top hotspots for wildfires."

        That's what happens when you have a State full of forests controlled by the Federal government... Western Montana isn't much better.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ AMeador1 1 month ago
      Why? Why do you think this is not the responsibility of the individual? The states should not own the roads - but as they do, I can see the state having disaster funds set aside to pay for damage to state owned infrastructure - but they have no business using tax payer money to give, or loan money, to people impacted by disasters. They need to take care of themselves or hope for private sector help - but ultimately they should take care of themselves without expectation that someone else should be responsible for them.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ blarman 1 month ago
        Let's look at the example of national defense. It's absurd to place that responsibility on the individual in today's day and age. The more efficient way to do things is to delegate and fund a professional military. Why? Because no individual is going to go purchase an aircraft carrier - let alone a modern fighter aircraft. (And that says nothing about the industry necessary to research and develop such things.) The individual has neither the time, talents, or resources necessary. Some things are only efficiently done by group delegation and funding. Call it crowdsourcing if you will. But what happens when you don't have those joint resources...? Everyone suffers the consequences.

        "but they have no business using tax payer money to give, or loan money, to people impacted by disasters."

        While I understand why you might feel that way, consider the personal responsibility involved. It is one thing to encourage people to be responsible for their own actions and things under their control. It is quite another to hold them responsible for actions they have no control over, such as the proverbial "act of God." I consider the establishment and use of safety accounts prudent and a form of insurance. One can certainly go back and forth about whether such an offering should be public or private; I see issues on both sides of that equation and examples in real life on both sides. (The Deepwater Horizon accident presented failures on both sides.) The problem is that no one can predict who is going to be affected in any given incident and therefore the preparation must be general in nature to be equitable. That's how insurance works: its the one product you buy hoping you never have to use it and it only works as a "shared risk" scenario.

        "The states should not own the roads..."

        That's a wholly different conversation. Personally, I don't see how private roads other than interstate toll roads can possibly work. The overhead involved in trying to track and charge everyone who drives from one foot of road to another? And one wants to rail against big brother... Thanks, but I'll stick with what we have - flaws and all. (Having worked for a transportation/construction company, I can tell you that if all you did was eliminate Davis-Bacon wage controls, you could lower the costs of Federal road projects by 50% or more.)
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by $ AMeador1 1 month ago
          Military is a direct responsibility of the government - so no argument there, but that is a whole different creature than expecting people to pay for the decisions of others - who chose to live where they live - which tends to relate to acts of nature that they tend to most be exposed to.

          When a person builds a home in the flood zone - that is there choice and it should reasonably be expected that they may be flooded at some point.That is why they should have their own private insurance - not a justification for the government to take money from people who decided - smartly - not to live in a flood zone. I would never move to tornado prone areas like the mid-west or Florida - with the expectation that if my home is damaged by a tornado - that someone else should be on the hook for paying for tornado damage to my home. Again - if that is a risk - get insurance to cover that. The higher your risk the more your insurance will be - but that's on you - not everyone else. And especially - if I know I am at risk - and a high risk at that - and I don't get insurance - then I would doubly have no business expecting others to pick up the tab for my decision not to protect myself.

          I understand these issues very well - I was the Floodplain Administrator responsible for issuing permits for development in flood areas in our county. I eventually quit that position as I felt like there was too much government overreach in what it forced people to do and because of exactly this where you have people demanding government assistance for damages when they made the choice to build in a floodplain. It's just ridiculous entitlement syndrome.

          You can get insurance coverage for most natural disasters cheaply when you don't live in areas prone to those kinds of disasters. So buy it. And it you don't then suffer the consequences of your decisions - but do not expect and/or demand that now somehow others should be responsible to pay for your choices. Again - want to ASK for assistance from private charities - good for you - but you have no demand to be made of anyone else.

          This idea is pure collectivism.

          And roads - it's not like the current system of how money is collected and used to pay for them is good. It is complicated - convoluted - corrupted - and then on top of that pays ridiculous wages as you mentioned for the work done. Private sector could handle it. You know that commercial trucking operations effectively do what you are talking about - they track how many miles are driven per county and/or state and literally pay fuel taxes accordingly to account for their use of the roads. Then you have fuels taxes when purchasing fuel. Then I'm sure there is all kinds of intermingling of other taxes in both directions once the government has their fingers on it. Now, I don't have the solution as to how it could be done - but the option is not at the forefront either as too many people like yourself are content with the status quo - but if there were serious consideration for privatizing the roads - I'm sure many talented people and business currently near that industry could devise mechanisms to collect money to maintain them without making everyone insane
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by $ blarman 1 month ago
            "but that is a whole different creature than expecting people to pay for the decisions of others - who chose to live where they live - which tends to relate to acts of nature that they tend to most be exposed to."

            Show me one part of the country that isn't at risk for some natural disaster. The fact is that life has uncertainty. And again, it isn't a direct choice. Living in Tornado Alley isn't choosing to be hit by a tornado neither is living on a flood plain asking for your home to get flooded. It is taking a risk. Now is it a lot more risky to live in a twenty-year flood plain than a hundred-year one? Sure. (I work with my home state's disaster management agencies as a volunteer, so I'm glad to talk to another experienced individual.)

            And as I said before, I think there's a debate to be had about whether private or public insurance is the best way to go about this, but I couldn't help but notice the caveat about private insurance in your statement. Why? Because private insurance for natural disasters is insanely expensive. Prohibitively expensive in fact. I think it should also be pointed out that these disaster funds aren't necessarily to rebuild homes, they are primarily to fund the disaster response, which in and of itself is incredibly expensive (as you are probably aware).

            As far as the roads, the only way it becomes feasible is a massive tracking system that makes big brother look tame. I'm not saying that government administration is flawless, but I look at the efficiencies gained and contrast that with what would have to happen to institute 100% private ownership of roads and I shudder. It's fine to have ideals, but what is the real principle? It isn't being anti-government, its about efficiency. The complaints about government waste are about efficiency and honest use of taxpayer funds - not private property rights. Its upon that principle (efficiency) that I use to justify certain government services. Show me how private ownership of roads is more efficient and you've sold me.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by $ AMeador1 1 month ago
              If private insurance is prohibitively expensive then how would the government do it for less? Look at FEMA - they went in and gave people coverage at a lower than market rate. Then when disasters hit - they went deep into the red. They were not collecting enough for their insurance offering. Insurance - whether collected privately or by the government - or by taxes has to be enough to cover the event in question. Having artificially low insurance rates via the government because they are subsidized by taxes on the backside doesn't change the net cost. I am always - in principle - in favor of private sector over government - specifically due to efficiency in cost, time, etc.

              Yes there is practically no part of the country free of natural disasters issues. So learn what they are and get insurance to cover them. If you want to buy a disaster response package at a lower rate than a package that will give you money to re-build your home - that is on you.

              The issue here is government intervention. If they would keep their fingers out of it - people would assume the responsibility to know their risks and to mitigate them. Government sticking their fingers in the mix also screws with the market - much like FEMA practically running out all the private sector options for flood insurance a few years back. They entered the market with cheap insurance rates backed by taxpayer dollars - ran the private companies out of the market, and then came back in saying they were going to have to jack the rates up to amounts higher than the private sector options before that had been. It ended up being Congress that stepped in and stopped that just prior to implementations that would have caused business to have to shut down due to the insane rates they were getting ready to impose. But that then put the burden back on the taxpayers to deal with these people's decisions to build and operate in flood plains. And, thanks to the government meddling (and I believe with this intended outcome) the private sector options were effectively destroyed. 'Cute' way for government to take over another private sector insurance arena. No surprise this was done under Obama's reign.

              I find it inconceivable how you can see that there is higher risk for someone living in a 20% Chance Flood Zone than someone who considers that - and moves completely out of any flood zone - should then be responsible through taxation to flip the bill for the person who went on into the 20% chance flood area. Just because they don't WANT to be flooded doesn't alleviate their responsibility for moving into an area likely to be flooded soon. How can you rationalize that? I don't want to be hit by a vehicle - but if I keep walking across roads without looking and I get hit by a vehicle - how the hell is that on someone else to be responsible for paying my medical bills? It that same thing! How totally irrational.

              To the roads - if there were a chance of them being privatized - again I think people more knowledgeable than myself could come up with reasonable solutions. Until that becomes a viable option - those solutions will probably not come to bear. I have no interest at the moment in studying to topic top to bottom - researching methods that have been discussed or trying to find others that may have been thought of but not publicized simply for that sake of a forum argument - but again on principle - private sector is more efficient than government. They are more responsive, less layers of bureaucracy taking their piece of the pie, less people spending other people's money that are less likely to spend it wisely, etc... I'm sure in the case of roads - you would have a handful of larger companies that would handle it. It's not likely that every Joe, Dick, and Tom - are going to own 500ft sections of road here and there. Larger scale companies would be in a position to implement fairly consistent methods and may be able to use that to their advantage to figure out ways of collecting the necessary incomes to maintain the roads without getting into ft level tracking of everyone. Who knows - again - even if I had a simple, easy solution right here that I could put down in 1 paragraph that would be easy on everyone and would save money - getting the government to give up that power would be like me deciding to run for President right now for the 2020 election and expecting to actually win. People like their status quo - power - money - kickbacks - etc. Tis' the nature of powerful government - they want the power for a reason - and too many people are willing to shirk their personal responsibilities, minds, reason, etc.. to let them do it. It's easier - right? Especially if others are expected to pay for it.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
              • Posted by $ blarman 1 month ago
                "If private insurance is prohibitively expensive then how would the government do it for less?"

                I think we should explore both options openly and not automatically rule out a tax-based fund simply because it is a tax-based fund. That's just as irrational as you claim I'm being. I'm not saying this is the best way or the only way. I'm saying that there are appealing practicalities about it. That's all. I don't automatically rule out solutions to problems simply because they are implemented by government. There are a limited set of services government can provide more efficiently than the private sector - that's just fact. I'm open to the discussion on disaster response and relief but my mind is in no way made up.

                "I find it inconceivable how you can see that there is higher risk for someone living in a 20% Chance Flood Zone than someone who considers that - and moves completely out of any flood zone - should then be responsible through taxation to flip to bill for the person who went on into the 20% chance flood area."

                I agree that people should be responsible for their own decisions, but I draw a very hard line between things which are inevitable/direct cause->effect (such as socialism destroying freedom, etc.) and things which are risky (stock market investments, where to live, etc.). Risk is not eventuality. And while its fine to gravitate to discussions on flooding because that was your focus, again, pick any spot in the US and it's susceptible to some sort of natural disaster. Trying to segment up the broader concept is appealing to a certain portion of your argument, but when the problem is looked at on the whole, the segmentation - and its rationale - tend to disappear.

                I also look at disaster mitigation. A vibrant economy will stutter from time to time, but a natural disaster can destroy an economy entirely. Economies depend upon volume of transactions, i.e. volumes of participants. When whole swaths of consumers are removed from an economy (via war, natural disaster, etc.), everyone in that economy suffers the slowdown. Getting those people back into the economy quickly means a faster resumption of normal business - something which directly benefits everyone. So the notion that a general fund for disaster relief only benefits some isn't really supported. Does it benefit those hit by the disaster more than those not? Sure. But that's the principle of any insurance product.

                I'm not making a case for collectivism, just pointing out that sometimes individualism can be taken to such an extreme that people forget the truism that "no man is an island." We thrive by specializing - not by generalizing. Specialization only happens when you can pay someone else to do the things you don't specialize in.

                (I also find your analogy about crossing the street to be fatally flawed, as it deals with strictly human interactions. A better analogy (though still flawed) would be someone at a railroad crossing.)

                "To the roads - if there were a chance of them being privatized - again I think people more knowledgeable than myself could come up with reasonable solutions."

                And if/when they do I'm certainly open to hearing them. Until then, I don't think its a hill worth dying on - or even climbing.
                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                • Posted by $ AMeador1 1 month ago
                  I think we should explore both options openly and not automatically rule out a tax-based fund simply because it is a tax-based fund. That's just as irrational as you claim I'm being.

                  It is not irrational to expect people to mitigate and take care of their own self imposed risks, to take care of even the remote risks if that is what they think they need to worry about - or to suffer the consequences if they choose neither - or choose incorrectly. It is irrational to use the government to steal other people money to then hand it to them when something bad happens. No matter what happy little spin you want to put on it - taxes are theft for someone who produced their income to spend it on their interests. People out there trying to save money to buy a house have no interest in paying for someone whole built a house in a flood-way that miraculously - got flooded. Or a house in CA that was damaged in an earthquake, or a tornado in FL, or whatever. Stealing from one - subverting their actual rights - to take care of others who abdicated their responsibilities to protect themselves IS collectivist and irrational. You are positing that one persons rights superseded those of another - making it even worse because you want to do this is cases of complete denial of the realities of the dangers of where they live. But what the natural event is and where it happens is not really relevant. The basic principle of human freedom is. I don't care if a meteor hit someones house and blew it up - that does not justify stealing from others to pay for it. Private sector charity is the answer - whether from family, local organizations, or national organizations - as they get their money from those that are willing to give it voluntarily. And, I unusual crises - people are generally willing to volunteer to donate more to help handle it - the government wants the money all of the time - whether you like it or not. Other that the few 'services' the government provides that they should - like judicial and military - bull if they can do the job better than private sector. You ignore my points about layers of bureaucracy taking from those tax dollars at each level - with overhead, high salaries, politicians, red tape, etc... No the government does not do it more efficiently. I would even argue that military and judicial could be done privately - but as those are the fundamental services that should be provided by the government - so be it. The government is not responsible for the weather, people making stupid or irrational decisions - and the only way they can is by stealing from everyone and shifting those burdens onto people that were not responsible.

                  I agree that people should be responsible for their own decisions, but I draw a very hard line between things which are inevitable/direct cause->effect (such as socialism destroying freedom, etc.) and things which are risky (stock market investments, where to live, etc.). Risk is not eventuality.

                  That's an odd perspective. You promote socialism in stealing from one group to redistribute their assets to another that made living location decisions (on their own) while deciding (on their own) to not get insurance to cover themselves for natural events that are typical for their area. I would suggest that people who live in areas where water can flow quickly (like water in mountainous regions) to get flood insurance - even if they are not in a flood-way or floodplain. I would suggest that people in coastal areas - get insurance that will cover hurricanes. I would suggest that people that live in CA - get insurance that will cover earthquakes. I would suggest people in tornado alley - get insurance... Get the idea? They chose to live there. Get insurance that will cover the issues common to your area - if you don't and your house gets destroyed - don't have the government setting here stealing my earnings out of my paycheck to cover your stupidity. I have bills I need to pay. I have home projects I need to complete. If I want to donate money to someone in Oklahoma that had their house destroyed by a random giant hail ball - then that is my prerogative - but what you are suggesting it socialism/collectivism. Period. You say that you draw the line between inevitable/direct cause->effect and things that are risky - but that is arbitrary and will forever be in flux and is a statement that would be loved by socialists/collectivists because it gives them the ability to put everything in the risky category so they can take advantage of it to steal more people's money to redistribute it to others - based primarily on the fact that the 'other' ceded their minds from think rationally and to be responsible for themselves. You included stock markets with where to live. Based on this - I assume you think that people who loose their money in the stock market should be compensated for their losses by stealing/taxing others to reimburse them? That's what you are saying about their choice about where to live. Chose area A - and ignore area A's common natural disasters and don't get insurance for it - and now everyone else must pay for your choices. Yes, the people cannot choose what their weather or natural disaster will be or whether or not the want them - but then can choose to mitigate the damaged by insuring themselves accordingly. My argument here is not segmented nor was it from the beginning. I offered an example case - the underlying premise is rational thinking, conceptualizing reality - in terms of doing some research about the area you are moving to, abstracting that the results of your research means you should get insurance to cover the kind of natural disasters that are likely in (and even somewhat less likely) the area - and then acting on that and getting insurance coverage. Additionally - assuming responsibility for ones self to do that - and not expecting others to bail you out when you don't do so. Segmentation... BS - you are ignoring the core principles here across the board.

                  I also look at disaster mitigation. A vibrant economy will stutter from time to time, but a natural disaster can destroy an economy entirely. Economies depend upon volume of transactions, i.e. volumes of participants. When whole swaths of consumers are removed from an economy (via war, natural disaster, etc.), everyone in that economy suffers the slowdown. Getting those people back into the economy quickly means a faster resumption of normal business - something which directly benefits everyone. So the notion that a general fund for disaster relief only benefits some isn't really supported. Does it benefit those hit by the disaster more than those not? Sure. But that's the principle of any insurance product.

                  Again the core here is not violating the most important basic human rights by stealing from them and using them as a collective tool. This is the collective over the individual. The collective does not get to invalidate the rights of the individual for a collective good. They natural disaster you have discussed so far are extreme rarities and would be even more so if government would keep their fingers out of it. One of our worst in recent history would be Hurricane Katrina - right? Who enabled a city to be built 15ft below sea level by building their levees and flood-walls? Government. Was is risky or inevitable that this system would fail and flood a city? The point - don't build a city below sea level along the ocean - it's probably not a good idea. Maybe - people should leave the area - spread out through less dangerous places to live - and relinquish the area back to the ocean and swamps. I say it is inevitable that this will happen again. It's rational common sense. But this will not happen. They will stay there. In 50 years or 100 years - it will happen again - and you want everyone to pucker up and prepare to spend billions and maybe trillions to fix it - again. I have not interest in that. I live in as area with very low natural disaster areas - for a reason. Even before I worked as floodplain admin - I know enough to look at those flat areas bordering a river to say - nope - not living there. I don't disagree that an economy can suffer due to an event like this - that doesn't justify government theft and trampling the rights of the citizens - nor does it change the fact that insurance could handle this instead of government - a private decision based on freedom verse government coercion. It doesn't matter if is might benefit a community, a micro economy, or a macro economy - it doesn't justify trampling individual rights, treating them like slaves, and stealing from them. And your comment But that's the principle of any insurance product - correct - but there is a massive distinction between a voluntary insurance product and a government coerced, individual rights trampling, theft for taxes, TAX which is NOT and insurance product.

                  I'm not making a case for collectivism, just pointing out that sometimes individualism can be taken to such an extreme that people forget the truism that "no man is an island." We thrive by specializing - not by generalizing. Specialization only happens when you can pay someone else to do the things you don't specialize in.

                  This statement is just so corrupted it's not funny. You are certainly making the case for collectivism. Plain outright, no holds barred - collectivism. You are saying the collective should pay for these people who have abdicated their responsibility for themselves - in thinking or in protecting their own self interests. And why should they when people are out there saying they don't need to be - we'll make everyone else pay for their mistakes or misdeeds. Individualism is not taken to the extreme. That IS all we are is a collection of individuals. There is not collective rights - the collective does not exists. The individual exists and they doe have rights. You are used to the idea of income taxes, social security taxes, medicare taxes, etc, etc. I doesn't mean that they are not violations of our individual rights by having a coercive government coming and stealing from one group to re-distribute it to another in roles and ways they were never granted to power to do. The founders did not establish these taxes - and they recognized the danger in people figuring out that they could voted themselves goodies when politicians started selling votes for distributing the goodies. Al mean are islands when it comes to their rights. They are not islands when it comes to basic knowledge and their need to specialize and deal with each other via freely trading. But again they are island when it comes to the effort they put in, the knowledge they attain (as thinking is not automatic and much be volitionally sought) - and then in extending that knowledge into new knowledge - such as scientific achievements and discoveries, inventions, and so on. But this all ceases when the rights of the individual are ceded to the collective - that means effectively that the individual no longer has rights and surely cannot count on them being upheld whenever the collected decides otherwise.

                  My street crossing is just fine. You may want to see it that way - but it is a person knowing there is a risk of getting hit, making the dicision to walk into the road blindly anyway and then wanting others to be responsible for not protecting himself. This blindfold being the lack getting insurance. Maybe he would get hit - maybe not. I'm picturing a one lane road in the country. He could go back and forth 500 times - but it's likely that at some point he will get hit. Without insurance coverage - and expecting others to pay his bills accordingly. Very good example. Now, you might make that a 2 lane road in the country - if you want to compare it to something like building in the flood-way or tornado alley.
                  Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                  • Posted by $ blarman 1 month ago
                    "It is not irrational to expect people to mitigate and take care of their own self imposed risks"

                    No one can predict a natural disaster. No one asks to be affected by a natural disaster. The fact is that we simply don't have a choice over whether or not we get hit. To assign blame to someone for something they can not control is more irrational than anything I've suggested. That's like saying that you're responsible when you get mugged simply for traveling to a city with a high crime rate.

                    "No matter what happy little spin you want to put on it - taxes are theft for someone who produced their income to spend it on their interests."

                    And it is this hard line with respect to government that turns so many other people off. Again, you can not deny that there are certain pursuits that government can entertain more efficiently than the common populace. Yet you insist on taking a hard line against government as a whole. Why? To what end? Anarchy? Go ahead.

                    "You included stock markets with where to live. Based on this - I assume you think that people who loose their money in the stock market should be compensated for their losses by stealing/taxing others to reimburse them? That's what you are saying about their choice about where to live."

                    That's not what I said and you know it. You've turned this into an absurd conversation now. You're not trying to find common ground or seek understanding. You've turned to zealotry. I'm done.
                    Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                    • Posted by TheRealBill 3 weeks, 5 days ago
                      No one can predict a natural disaster. No one asks to be affected by a natural disaster. The fact is that we simply don't have a choice over whether or not we get hit. To assign blame to someone for something they can not control is more irrational than anything I've suggested.

                      It isn't about blame, it is about responsibility for choices made. We can't predict when a disaster will hit, but that is irrelevant. Butte, Montana is not getting hit by a hurricane any time soon - likely not in our lifetime. So people in Montana have no reason to be forced to spend money on Hurricane insurance or recovery funding. Nor should building codes there reflect hurricane resistance.

                      They can, however, expect to get snowed in from time to time and have the occasional blizzard. So they should be prepared to handle them via such routes as in situ food, medical, and energy supply/caching.

                      If you don't want to suffer/prepare for a blizzard, you can live in places that don't normally get them. If you don't want to get hit by a hurricane, then you can, for example, move to Montana.

                      You can even mitigate certain risks in higher risk areas. San Antonio has flooding issues - but only in certain areas. When I moved here I took that into account and moved to one of the highest hills in the area - and about 10ft from the peak at that. Flooding will not be taking out my house in my lifetime. Note, by the way, that this isn't a rich vs poor thing here: the most expensive areas to live in the city are in the flood prone areas. We're middle class up here in the hills.

                      But again it isn't about blame, but rewarding risky behavior or choices - or more accurately not punishing making the safer choices. The fundamental issue as I see it is this:

                      Why should I, having made the choice to live where the flooding will not harm my property, be forced to pay to rebuild the house of someone who chose to live in the high risk (as in - it happens. every. year.) zones - especially when they make more than I do and have houses more expensive than mine?

                      Certain risks are as close to inevitable as can be expected. Live in Florida long enough and you will be dealing with a hurricane, for example. Live in Tornado alley long enough and you will be dealing with a Tornado. Live in Montana long enough and you will be dealing with snow. Live in the flat or low parts of San Antonio long enough (ie. for a year) and you will be dealing with flood waters.

                      The distinction isn't irrelevant, but core to the issue.

                      That's like saying that you're responsible when you get mugged simply for traveling to a city with a high crime rate.

                      No it isn't.


                      Now as to the efficiency argument I find it neither compelling nor reliable. I'll explain the latter.

                      The reason the government is no better at, say, hurricane insurance than the private sector is the scope of when it happens. A fire in most places (especially outside of dense cities and California), doesn't take out whole cities and counties at the same time. So the provider can soak a house or building here and there.

                      However, when half of, or an entire, city gets wiped out at once the immediate cost in terms of funding and processing that is enormous. The need to have that kind of money sitting around waiting (liquid, essentially) is untenable to managing money properly. If I've skimmed/read your two's arguments correctly here you've argued that nowhere is w/o risk. This counters the claim of government efficiency - at least at a national level. Sure, the government might be considered "more efficient" at collecting money from people with the threat of force than a voluntary private insurance company/system, but I don't view that as better or desirable.

                      Why should Californians pay for Floridians to have their houses rebuilt after a hurricane, if the Floridians don't pay for Californians to rebuild theirs after a quake or wildfire? They shouldn't. Now if they are paying for each other, it is no more efficient than if they just paid for their own area locally. Indeed, it is less efficient because of the added overhead of managing it at the interstate level. Even then it descends into whomever has the more expensive housing benefits the most unless you tie it to property value - ie. a federal property tax.

                      But the other effect of that scenario is that it pushes cost onto people who have chosen, or do, live in areas that are less risky. Wildfires happen nearly every year in California. Hurricanes nearly every year in Florida. That puts a high cost on any program to cover rebuilding costs. Now why should Idahoans who don't have those risks pay those high costs? In most decades Floridians will not be paying to rebuild houses in Idaho from natural disasters. So year after year the Idahoans are bearing a financial burden for those who choose to live in (expensive) risky locations. That isn't very efficient for them - especially considering they already have lower cost insurance for their lower risk area that they pay for.

                      That is where you lose any alleged efficiency. It is also where your argument that a national general disaster fund benefits everyone who is forced to pay into it falls down. People in Idaho and Montana, for example, can - and do - go a lifetime of never needing it. Meanwhile people in California, Florida - and the other gulf states, for example, can expect to be using it at least once every few years. Further those places will frequently get hit hard enough to require enormous sums of money in a short window which requires high rates and large reserves - reserves that can quickly be depleted in a single event.

                      So yes, there will be people who do not benefit from paying into the system - ever. It will be those who choose to not live in the high risk areas.

                      I find your argument that "getting people back to work quickly" (paraphrase) is a benefit not compelling as well. First, how quickly (or indeed if) a 7-11 reopens in Miami is irrelevant to someone in Boise. From that perspective, the argument fails. However, there is another one to consider as well.

                      That argument assumes the funding and efforts reliably result in a speedier recovery than a non-government option. History tells us this is not the normal case. Over the last decade, at least, private insurance had most houses rebuilt or rebuilding within the first year in gulf coast hurricane disasters, whereas the government assistance ones mostly took longer. I've known people in Katrina who gave up after several years, and some who still haven't got their promised federal aid. Thousands of households destroyed or damaged by Sandy in NY were still waiting as of late 2018 for their assistance. This is a common occurrence.

                      The government does not have a track record of getting people back to "normal" quickly after large scale disasters. Now in my view a lot of this is population density related (and nakedly inefficient bureaucracies), but nonetheless it is the reality we have to deal with.

                      Tornadoes in Tornado alley were, and are, more manageable due to their limited blast radius (as it were) and lower density. Smaller areas with lower population density and local efforts have a significantly better track record than the federal government.

                      Then we have such things as fund re-/mis-appropriation in federal programs. For example, one of the more recent changes in federal disaster recovery allows FEMA to use disaster recovery funds to "mitigate" damage before it happens. It shouldn't take a mathematician to know what that will do to the funding available when an actual disaster strikes.

                      My argument/issue here is with the scale of it being national; or in many cases even statewide. It simply does not scale. If the residents of, say Houston, want to impose a local property tax specifically to cover flood relief and response for their people, I say have at it. Will it be expensive? Perhaps. Or perhaps with it being them who pay they'll avoid needless "benefits" and keep it more reasonably costed. Perhaps they'll focus on recovery infrastructure and temporary housing rather than a bureaucracy that tries to do it all. Or maybe they'll try to do it all and fail terribly, and learn from that mistake. Maybe they'll start building better housing. For example if you go to Corpus Christi you'll see that nearly all beachfront houses (and even park administration buildings) are on stilts. Not the garage, usually, but the house itself is on stilts (even then it usually isn't an enclosed garage under the house - more of a carport). Why? because they get swell from hurricanes that don't hit them and doing that removes the need to rebuild the house. It does increase the cost of the construction, sure. As it should.

                      However they handle it, that resolves the issue of personal responsibility. If you don't like it, move elsewhere. If you are OK with it, stay or move there. The people taking the risk should be the people paying for the result when it, inevitably in many areas, happens.

                      And that is the other aspect of this pay-for-recovery setup: it reduces incentive to reflect the risk in the direct price. If making a house resilient to, say, 90% of the hurricanes it is likely to hit increases the cost by 15%, so be it. But if federal disaster relief covers the cost of replacement, that incentive is dramatically reduced. When we separate the cost of a thing from the person using the thing, we cause all sorts of problems. We can see this most heavily in healthcare and college, but it isn't limited to there.

                      If an area has a higher frequency of disastrous events such as floods, fires, or hurricanes, it should be more expensive to live there. Spreading that cost to people who live hundreds or thousands of miles away in safer areas subsidizes living in the riskier places. Thus, it is subsidizing the risker choice and penalizing the less-risky choice.

                      It isn't about blame, but about paying for the consequences of our choices or at least not paying for the choices of others. "Blame" is such a poor choice of argument here. Sure, maybe you aren't to "blame" (or be at fault) for your house getting hit by a tornado. Then again, neither am I so why should I be penalized for it? If someone who isn't "to be blamed" for it happening to them shouldn't have to pay for rebuilding their home, then neither should anyone else because there is no blame/fault to be assigned.
                      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                      • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                        One flaw in your points above, I think, is the idea that at the national level - it's not good, but at the local level it potentially makes sense. Again on the arguments I have made - it is never good to violate individual rights for the collective. This nullifies the idea of individual rights when you cannot count on them as the whims of the collective can then take them away at will for whatever reason. Mob rule. Like you, I live in a high area where I will not get flooded. But I only live a mile or two away from places that are highly prone to being flooded. Our choices at the local level also mean that we should not be responsible for the choices of those who chose to live in a floodplain and not get insurance to cover themselves for flood damage. Now I get that in case of things like hurricanes - local choices of where to live don't matter much - but making the choice to spend extra to build my house stronger so it takes less or no damage means I pay more to do that - but am still on the hook for even my neighbors that didn't do that and took major damage. Not only does it remove incentive for me to build better (if I know I'll be taken care of by the government anyway) - but that market interference also means the customer base for insurance companies will be reduced in the area - raising rates and/or just having the insurance companies bail out of the area (as has happened with FEMA interference in the flood insurance market).

                        Speaking Objectively - it simply is not proper to have government taking from people, with whatever title you want to give to it, to give to others. It is a violation of individual rights.

                        If insurance company A has one customer and the customer has a flood insurance policy - and they live on the top of a mountain. The insurnace company knows the risk that they will ever have a payout on the customer is EXTREMELY unlikely - so the customer's premium is pretty low. But, the company still has to hold a certain amount of liquid assets IN CASE they manage to be flooded. This scales. If Company A has 100 thousand customers on the coast of Florida - obviously they will have to charge much higher rates and have much larger holdings in case of a hurricane. Insurance companies operating the way they should - should have enough liquid assets as to be ready for mass damage - such as from hurricanes. So just because the scale of the damage area gets large - is not a reason to assume the insurance companies cannot handle it. They should be able to unless they are not being run properly - so back to the efficiency side of things - they are still in a better place to respond efficiently than government - and most importantly - they are private and people are not forced to be their customer.

                        Basic premises here - the high level arguments are pointless when the basic premises are the primaries - don't violate individual rights under the guise of protecting a non-existent collectivist right. Collectives DO NOT HAVE RIGHTS. A collective is only a group of individuals and one individual's rights do not come at the expense of another's. Nor, do the wants/needs of multiple individuals justify the trampling of other's individual rights.
                        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                        • Posted by TheRealBill 2 weeks, 4 days ago
                          Sure, let us talk basic principles.

                          1. A group of people agreeing to do things is not a collective i the sense you are using it
                          2. You can temporarily assign your rights to a group, it then has those rights


                          Starting with the first one, just because people get together on things does not make them collectivist. You don't have to live in a given area, you can choose to move. The trick to an actual collective in the sense you're using it is that you can't not be a part of it.

                          According to your argument, your argument of private insurance violates your basic principles. By what right does the insurance agency have to impose fees, alter pricing, and decide who gets the help and does not? In isolation: none. However, they are not in isolation - they are created by the people who choose to be a part of them. Just like any venture, the organization has the rights assigned to it by the people who comprise it. Governments aren't any different in principle either. A government exists and has rights in relation to those that were assigned to it, and with regards to other governments.

                          The argument you make, you basic principles as you put them, means there can be absolutely no form of government at all. Pure anarchy; not even anarcho-capitalism, as legitimate because in your view it is a collective. I maintain your basic premises are flawed as a result. If I don't have the "right" to form groups with rules your entire notion of individual rights falls.

                          Lets posit a small town along a river (we have a lot of those here in Texas, so it isn't an unreasonable position). Say we have a thousand people living there. They all agree to pool their resources for disaster recovery by paying into a central fund run by the town that pays out to recover costs of rebuilding or repairing after floods. According to you they somehow do not have that right. However, that is a violation of your basic principle since people have the right to decide what to do with their property, and to form associations.

                          Now say you choose to move to that town. Are you then subject to that law? Yes. Is it a violation of your rights? No. Just as you can choose to move to a floodplain and are responsible, by your own argument, for the consequences, so too are you responsible for the consequences of moving to that town. Just, as you say, as it is your responsibility to determine the risk of floods it is also your responsibility to determine and judge the legal aspects of where you choose to move to. You don't get to claim one but not the other.

                          And your straw man about "don't violate individual rights under the guise of protecting a non-existent collectivist right" is called out for what it is. Nobody has posited, or at least I have not, a "non-existent collective right". Now back to the no-group rights notion.

                          This notion that a group or organization has no rights is flawed, and fatally so. According to that notion, which you espoused, governments either can not exists, or one government can take over another. After all, the right to exist doesn't exist for non-individual in your premise. This is where the relational context matters.

                          The right for a group to exist is predicated on the members assigning it. If that right does not exist, then people do not have a right to form groups. Now that group so formed has the right to exist. It now also has rights in regards to other groups. Not other individuals, but other groups. The largest context, and most obvious at play here, is a government. In that context a government formed by its people, and allowed to continue existing, has the right in relation to other governments to exist. This is a proper formulation of delegation of rights and powers. It has the fundamental rights with regards to other governments, and whatever powers or rights within that framework granted to it by its constituents.

                          We can see this most spectacularly played out in The Old West. Note: not the "Wild West", so dispel that image from your mind. In The Old West (the time before the Civil War), the West was what we'd recognize as anarcho-capitalist. The people formed associations and organizations that were their government. There were no geographical limitations or exclusions. By that I mean I could be under my association's laws and across the street, or hallway in the hotel, you would be under yours.

                          When there was an issue between people of differing jurisdictions the individual boards, the governments, would hammer it out between them unless one side agreed to go by the rules of the other. It worked out surprisingly well. You could even choose to switch to a different jurisdiction if they would have you. You could also be expelled from a jurisdiction.

                          This historical example epitomizes the basic principle of elective government and individual choice. However, it also demonstrates that the governments so formed have rights with regard to each other, and among their members as assigned to them by said members. This working example of anarcho-capitalism is perhaps the largest lost casualty of the Civil War.

                          While we do not enjoy that level of flexibility today, as you have argued you can choose where to live. If you don't want to participate in the local rules about disasters, don't live there. And be more precise in your use of the term collectivist and collective.

                          Now in closing lets briefly discuss why the "but I live a mile or two away" argument fails in the context of local government response. You have two fundamental choices: either that government does absolutely nothing in the case of a flood, or it does something. That something will have some cost associated with it. Even if it is just cleaning up the streets or its own offices, possibly damage repair. I could argue that during the event the responsibility of law enforcement still applies to it, so it would need to be prepared for that and that will cost more. Therefore, despite you and I living outside of the flood zone, there is still an added cost to living in the area.

                          That is a cost and consequence of living in a jurisdiction that includes the flood-prone area we chose to not live directly in. All arguments about choosing to not live in a flood zone apply to living in a jurisdiction that includes one.
                          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                          • Posted by $ AMeador1 2 weeks, 4 days ago
                            I'll keep this short. Your points are so flawed I'll have to write a book to argue with you. You are in Galt's Gulch - read Ayn Rand. Read Philosophy - Who Needs It, The Virtue of Selfishness, For the New Intellectual, and Capitalism - The Unknown Ideal. If you really still think your arguments stand then I am wasting my time trying to discuss these issues with you.
                            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                            • Posted by TheRealBill 2 weeks, 4 days ago
                              I'll keep this short as well: blarman is right about you. And we can see why, it is in your own words: you're here to argue and be a gatekeeper. We are here for discussion. Keep your assumptions and resulting ad hominems to yourself.

                              If you're here to argue with people, then yes you are wasting your time. We aren't going to bend to what you believe just because you think we should. We aren't going to bend to your judgement just because you hold yourself as the gatekeeper of what truth and Objectivism are. Your appeals to authority are as unconvincing as your ad hominems.
                              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                              • Posted by $ AMeador1 2 weeks, 3 days ago
                                Two wrongs don't make a right. You guys wouldn't know ad hominem if they slapped you in the face. You both want to use them as a crutch instead of making rational arguments.

                                The idea that a collective/mob via mob rule can tell someone they have to relinquish their basic rights and their privately owned assets to the mob is the letter of the concept of collectivism/mob rule. Just on that principle alone - if you can't get that - then there is no rational arguing with you.

                                Even if I lived in the middle of the floodway - the mob still doesn't have a right to force me to give up my rights or assets. They don't have the right to force me to move out of the area - nor do they then have the right to take away my basic human rights or assets.

                                Ridiculous.
                                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                      • Posted by $ 3 weeks, 5 days ago
                        Well laid out logic, and responsibility, I totally agree. I have been sick to see time ofter time, flooding in the midwest, and knowing billions will go to replace everything, again and again. Just like people who do not have earthquake insurance in PacNW, should not be allowed aid after, since this is well known to happen, has happened and will happen again. I pay 250.00 yr for a rider for it.It should be included as mortageg insurance is, or just be a requirement for everyone, and put the money in bonds or something to get interest. Again some argue that is the state interfering, but when the state has deliberately raised idiots, the few who work and know should not have to pay for their stupidity.
                        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                        • Posted by TheRealBill 2 weeks, 4 days ago
                          Yeah the flooding that used to be an annual event (or, rather, series of events) in the midwest got so bad even people from there were beginning to say they shouldn't be getting all that money. When Katrina hit there was this general question of whether the "relief" should take the form of helping them move out of there. Indeed, many did stay in Houston where they had taken refuge.

                          It is a tricky needle to thread when it comes to disaster activity. Years ago in Idaho we had people (generally wealthy people) wanting to build houses down in a well known flood plain for the Snake River in Eagle. The codes at the time prevented building housing there at all. Of course they argued it had been years since it had flooded (because a few years matters in a ten year flood zone, amirite? ;) ) so they should be allowed to.

                          Much to my surprise the general consensus in the area at the time was "ok, but only if you agree the city will do nothing to help you when it floods - not even rescue you". In hindsight it should not have been so surprising. After all we had spent years witnessing millions being spent rescuing one or two people here and there and some of them more than once. There had been much public outcry of "why are we doing this?" around that subject. That sense of personal responsibility had been poked at enough I suppose. I moved away shortly thereafter so I don't know what eventually came of it. But that rescue aspect still holds, and I suspect they got to build there with no concessions. To be fair, some of them were willing to agree to that condition.

                          You can say whatever you want about personal responsibility for property. However, many people have a hard time "standing down" instead of rescuing people from natural disasters - even if it isn't them doing the actual rescuing. It is one reason that people in Texas hundreds of miles away from the hurricane and floods hitch up their boats and drive to Louisiana to help. As a result, convincing people that the local government should "let people drown" is a poor battle to choose regardless of your principles. So even outside of paying to rebuild a house, there are costs to living in a disaster prone area.

                          So while limiting it to paying for property replace/repair seems easy, it is only the easiest part of the topic. I've found that many people one on one agree that someone should be responsible for paying for insurance for it or you're on your own. But get them in a group where someone starts playing heartstrings and that rationality usually seems to evaporate.

                          The problem is that we rarely isolate those when we should be doing just that. A structure where there is "cleanup & damage control of 'public property'" and "rescue and aid efforts for people during the event" as two separate budget lines, and none for private property cleanup and damage control would be a damned good start. You'd probably have to specifically exclude private property recover though.

                          I lay them out that way because trying to exclude either of the included ones makes one look foolish and heartless (in that order); and doing that doesn't help the cause of the excluded one. If you can get that structure in place you won't need to mandate flood insurance as you aren't protecting people from their lack of risk mitigation and planning. It wouldn't take more than 1-2 disasters to clear that up. Well, absent state and national subsidy of course.
                          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                    • Posted by $ AMeador1 1 month ago
                      You ignore reality, have weak arguments, don't understand Objectivism - nor the basis of human rights.

                      Again, when you move into an area - you can inform yourself before doing so if there are particular natural events that are at higher risk for the area and specific location you are considering. Or, if you go into a high crime area - you know there is increased risk for bad things to happen. It is your choice to put yourself at those higher risk situations - mitigate it. Get insurance for the more likely events that may happen to you. You KNOW it is MORE LIKELY that 'X' event COULD happen to you so don't go there - or get insurance coverage to cover 'X'. If you go into a high crime area - mitigate the chances of getting mugged. I don't know that you can get mugging insurance - in any case be particularly careful to mitigate the chance of being mugged - just in case you end up dead in the process. Don't go the that area for one. If you must - take precautions - don't go out by yourself. Don't go into the worst know areas at 2AM and walk around in dark unlit alleys. Don't where a $50K Rolex watch on you arm with a short sleeve shirt so everyone can see it. Don't draw unnecessary attention to yourself. Don't have a large lump in your pocket with a $100 bill visibly hanging out of it. Just because you cannot guarantee getting hit by a tornado, earthquake, flood - or mugging - doesn't mean you are not responsible for being aware of the fact that you have put yourself in a situation with a greater risk of that happening and doing something about it. That is on you - not on everyone else to pay for the ensuing damages you incur when the damage does in fact happen.

                      I can't see how you don't get this. And, BTW - YOU are the one who lumped Stock market and and where to live - thus my comment that I assume you think everyone should be responsible for their losses as well. Look at you comment. You are arguing for natural disasters based on where you live being paid for by others and you group where you live and stock investing together - it is a rational conclusion based on the categories you established that you think tax money should be used to bail out losses in stock investing. If not - great we can agree there. Although based on your arrangements - I can see others taking the same line of arguing an apply it to stock investing - and practically anything else that they decide to latch onto when promising that goody to voters - for their votes.

                      And yes - I am not willing to bend on the idea that violating individual rights is OK because the collective deems it so. Maintaining individual rights is not anarchy. There is a very definite place for courts to be in power to judge and to uphold those individual rights. That is not anarchy - that is stopping tyrannical collectivists - or people breaching contracts, or for cases of fraud, criminal acts of violence etc. Again, you arguments are weak so you revert to a straw man argument accusing me of anarchy when that is in fact not the case - and then deny that you are in fact trying desperately to rationalize your collectivist positions while saying your are not promoting collectivism.

                      Be done if you want. That's your choice. I'll be here if you change your mind.
                      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                      • Posted by $ blarman 4 weeks, 1 day ago
                        "You ignore reality, have weak arguments, don't understand Objectivism - nor the basis of human rights."

                        You aren't going to persuade me with any arguments by relying on ad hominem and personal attacks. If you had bothered to look at my profile, I've been a paid member of this site for more than seven years. If you read a part of my book you could see that my entire approach to philosophy begins with the individual. I understand what you are saying. I simply disagree with your conclusions and I have cited - and supported - my arguments. If you want to change my mind, you have address my arguments - not simply restate your position. And stay focused. Going off on a diatribe about my implied socialist leanings only further exposes your emotional attachment to your position and your unwillingness to step back and examine your premises. Do you really see reality as clearly as you think?

                        We disagree. We can either do that in a civil manner or we can resort to ad hominem and descend into thoughtlessness.

                        I don't advocate for a "devil-may-care" attitude about personal responsibility, no matter what you may think. Your argument just takes the opposite approach of individualism to an extreme I find to be both ridiculous and impractical - as I cite. But neither do I go to the extreme you accuse me of (which is socialism). If you were to put the two of us on a scale from extreme individualism (at one) to socialist collectivism (at ten), you'd be sitting at a zero and I'd be at a three. Don't allow your extremism to characterize everyone who isn't at the same point on the scale as being opponents. I heartily support individualism, but not when taken to the point of anarchy or isolationism.

                        I never argued that we should bail out stock market investors. You have falsely attributed that argument to me twice now despite my pointed disavowment. My comparison was to two risky situations and emphasized differences due to the source of the risk, the amount of personal responsibility involved, and the repercussions. You chose to conflate those differences and lead you to the conclusion that there is no moral difference between the scenarios. To me, those differences are entirely material to the question at hand and why? Because they tie directly back to personal responsibility.

                        "You are arguing for natural disasters based on where you live being paid for by others..."

                        I'll just stop you right there. I advocated for a disaster relief fund. At least in my state, the primary use of that is to respond to natural disasters in order to mitigate damage and help get affected communities back on a path to productivity. You seem to be completely ignoring this part of the argument. Being an expert on flood-control yourself, you know that there is a non-trivial knowledge gap between your experience and that of the common consumer. If you are like the other emergency management professionals I have worked with, you specialized to become an expert in your field so that you could provide that expertise to others (and they in turn specialize in theirs). You know that the common individual has neither the time nor the resources to respond to a disaster scenario with any level of expertise close to what you have. It is only because there is a coordinated government-run response (overseen by competent and knowledgeable individuals such as yourself) that problems get addressed and relief is administered in a timely manner. I call that efficiency but you're welcome to say what you will.

                        The other part of a disaster relief fund would be for assisting individuals affected by natural disasters to get back into the economy as quickly as possible. This would be an insurance fund where you pay in hoping you never need to take advantage of the fund. I would also point out that I was open to this being either privately-run or publicly run, I simply pointed to the scope of the problem being such that a public-run option was feasible, had precedents, and may provide advantages. But I never extended it any farther or to include any other programs - stock market or otherwise - and I clearly differentiated those based on personal responsibility.

                        Another clarification: I never argued for a point of no responsibility such as your extreme analogies about walking out into a street blindfolded or intentionally tempting fate by ignoring common safety precautions. Instead of simply asking what kind of personal responsibility I would advocate in such circumstances, you jumped to the assumption of an extreme position on my part. That your assumption was wholly unjustified doesn't reflect on me, it reflects on you.

                        If you'd like to have a rational discussion, I'm more than able and willing, but it has to start with an assumption of good will on the part of the other participant. Ad hominem and other such personal attacks don't engender such, nor do unfounded assumptions about the other's position or beliefs. When we say to re-examine one's premises, it is as much about how one approaches a conversation as it is about the content of the conversation. You can either assume I'm an addled, unbridled socialist like Fauxcahontas or you can take the more sensible route and simply ask me my personal opinions on a given matter and not read into them any more than what I state.
                        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                        • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                          Sorry for the time away - long and difficult weekend.

                          Anyway, I'll keep this short. It is not an ad hominem attack to point out that you are ignoring reality, have weak arguments, and don't understand Objectivism. That's not an attack on your character or personal traits - it is a statement about your rational and understanding of the premises at hand. I didn't say you are an idiot, stupid, ugly, smell bad, etc... If you honestly think it follows Objectivist philosophy to argue for why the government should take from one group to give to another - then you do no understand Objectivism. Period. Simple as that. Fact.

                          If you refuse to acknowledge that people assume risk by choosing where they live and shouldn't mitigate their risks on their own - simply because they don't want to get hit by 'X' natural event - when the area they move to is prone to natural event 'X' - then you are ignoring reality and ceding the concept of personal responsibility. When you keep trying to defend this by making arguments based on ignoring this reality and not acknowledging the basic premises that you are violating one set of individuals rights by redistributing their wealth to another group of individuals - you are ignoring reality and NOT being Objectivist.

                          I don't care what your profile says - or whether or not you have a $ by your name - what does that prove? I am going by what you are saying and arguing now.

                          If you want to put this in the private sector where people have freedom of choice - then we have no argument - as I said from the beginning. But thus far - you have been arguing with me about the case of government forcing the issue - in that case my points stand.

                          And you didn't listen - I said I quite the job of dealing with Floodplain Admin. I was sold into it as one much lesser thing but after going through all the training on what and how it was supposed to be done - I got out. I think it is a total unconstitutional overstep of government power - in so many ways - and I explained that as my reasons when I left the position. Unlike your position here where you apparently think it is not an overreach and are arguing to expand on that overreach by forcing people to effectively pay for national "natural disaster insurance"/tax - as no tax is insurance (like Social Security - sold to the public as an insurance when it is simply a tax).

                          You are in Galt's Gulch here - correct? If you are here because you support Objectivism - then you must see how government enforcing this idea via taxation is anti-Objectivist, anti-life, anti-freedom, anti-reason, coercion, etc. If you do not accept Objectivism - well that's another topic.
                          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                          • Posted by $ blarman 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                            "It is not an ad hominem attack to point out that you are ignoring reality, have weak arguments, and don't understand Objectivism."

                            Um, all of those are your subjective opinions about me, therefore by definition they are ad hominem attacks. They occur from abject ignorance, as you know nothing about me and assume that you are the only one with "true" vision. I challenge you to re-examine your premises, because as soon as you hold that you are the only one who sees something clearly, you're really the only one with their eyes shut.

                            It's clear that you're not willing to have a reasonable discussion, so I'll bid you adieu.
                            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                            • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                              I don't need to know anything about YOU. As I said, I'm going based on what you have said. These are not opinions about you - but points about what you have said. You have not refuted the Objectivist premises that I have posed. You ignore them and continue on with your high level arguments without addressing them. And yes, I have studied Rand and Objectivism enough to know that proposing this from a government imposed taxation on people would absolutely not be acceptable based on Objectivist philosophy. It is as clear as 2+2=4 in a base 10 number system. You would not propose that telling a 4 year old that they are wrong and don't understand the math when they say 2+2=10 is an ad hominem attack on them. It's plain fact. It is not subjective it is objective. I'm not saying you are a 4 years old - but I'm saying that I understand Objectivism well enough to tell you that if you think Objectivism supports your argument - you are wrong. That's not ad hominem, it plain simple fact. It's not like Objectivism is confusing or gray on this matter - it is very clear. As you keep arguing from a high level - while ignoring the basic core premises - I say your arguments are weak. Again, no ad hominem - a fact that when basic premises are ignored for - this is a weak method of arguing your point. You can't really argue the laws of physics if you refute that reality exists. I already addressed pretty clearly the issue of personal responsibility. There is a difference in attacking your approach, methods, etc... than attacking you personally - which I did not do. Nor, do I think I attacked your approach, methods, etc... subjectively - I made points about why they are wrong - objectively.

                              But whatever. You want to holler ad hominem and skedaddle - that's your choice. Have a nice day.
                              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                              • Posted by $ blarman 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                                "You have not refuted the Objectivist premises that I have posed."

                                That was never my point or intention. I simply pointed out that you were taking such an extreme position with regard to personal responsibility that it was untenable and unrealistic.

                                You've chosen an absolute - an extreme absolute - as your position. That's your choice, but it makes the position vulnerable to rebuttal via the illustration of any exception. I already provided one: national defense. You had no counter-argument. I'll pose a second: should parents be responsible for the actions of their children? If so, why? If not, why not?
                                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                                • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                                  Currently - the primary method people have for getting money for re-building their homes in cases of natural disaster is from them having their private insurance. How it an extreme position to say that that should be the way it is across the board instead of moving towards taxpayers having to take up the brunt of it? It is not extreme to expect people to recognize the realities of where they live and to take proper precautions to make sure they are covered in case of disaster. Most government assistance in terms of rebuilding is in loans - no it giveaways. Again this is a straw man - turning my position into being extreme is not correct - it is more or less the currently implemented system. You are proposing to extend the current system even further socialist. Is your position extreme? I would not even say that as our country as a political whole has been moving more and more socialist/collectivist for a long time. I have a problem with that and am thus arguing to yet another position being put out there to further expand the role of government in our lives, to invite government interference in the private sector markets of insurance, to give more people another reason to cede their personal responsibility, to further cede using their minds in determining precautions they should consider in managing their own lives, to violate the rights of others in taking their assets to pay for such government redistribution programs, etc... backed by the philosophical premises that underpin all of those concerns via Objectivism.

                                  I did respond to you about the military - I said it is one of the core functions that the government has been tasked with - so in that case I did not have a problem with it - at least in the same way - and I also stated that I could argue that even the military could be privatized.

                                  Absolutes have their place. Throwing a complex issue out about parents responsibility for their kids does not change my points. You think because it is an absolute that is inherently wrong - sometimes that is true - sometimes not. Would you argue not to make it an absolute that people should not kill each other in cold blood? Are you absolutely opposed to slavery? Are you absolutely opposed to racism? There are plenty of basic premises that very well should be absolutes.

                                  In short - to answer your question about should parents be responsible for their children - that is circumstantial. In terms of taking care of them, making sure they are educated, etc... yes. If the teenage child is violent towards their single mom and run away and then do bad stuff while the mom has no direct control over them - then no and it is on the teenager. Kids are their owns people and are not always able to be supervised by the parents - such as while they are in school - so responsibility for them in terms of them doing bad things has some relativity to their custodians at the time. In terms of longer issues of parenting issues - then this would move back to the realm of the parents - such as schools not trying to make non-emergency medical decisions for the child verses the parents. In general, primarily the parents should be - but as I said in the beginning - it is circumstantial.

                                  That being said - it is not circumstantial in when the government by use of coercion - override individual rights. It is inherently ridiculous to say people have individual rights when the government can ignore them when they see fit. Then there is no individual rights - and we are just slaves and tools of the state. That is the extreme. Protecting individual rights is not extreme.
                                  Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                                  • nickursis replied 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                                  • blarman replied 3 weeks, 3 days ago

FORMATTING HELP

  • Comment hidden. Undo