Tag: Disaster Management

What’s a Disaster? »

How bad is the BP oil spill? Remember, many people make big bucks scaring you!

Steamboats and Oil Rigs »

“[P]rogress marches with tragedy[;] ... new capacities breed new horrors,” as T. J. Stiles writes on page 67 of his masterful biography of Cornelius Vanderbilt titled The First Tycoon (Knopf, 2009). Mr. Stiles refers in that passage to the death and destruction caused by a series of regrettable accidents at the dawn of the...
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Five Economic Lessons from Haiti »

What economic lessons can be learned from the Haiti earthquake recovery? Below are five lessons drawn from economist Robert Murphy, based on his article for the Ludwig von Mises Institute about the week he spent in April volunteering with Hands On Disaster Response in Leogane, Haiti. (His blog post on his motives for volunteering...
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It Is About Power and Fear »

I had missed Anthony Gregory’s great post here when I wrote my piece for Lew a few days ago—but it seems everyone is noticing that it is about power—and fear—their fear of losing power! Government resources will be directed at those “enemies” foreign and domestic that threaten the guys in power. What I’m discovering...
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Maybe It Should be Renamed the Darwin Peace Prize »

Each year, the Darwin awards are bestowed—generally posthumously—upon those who “improve” the gene pool by removing themselves from it through acts of incredible stupidity. Recent Nobel Peace Prize awards increasingly appear to share the criteria that its recipients contribute to “improving” the gene pool by removing large numbers of people from it. Unfortunately, in...
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My Question for the Doomsters: Then What? »

Although I am reputed to be a cynic, a pessimist, and a bah-humbugger, I am not given to doomsaying in the same way that a growing number of others are. Although I tend to expect, as Thomas Jefferson did, that the natural progress of things will be for liberty to yield and government to...
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Hillary: Let Them Eat “Authority” »

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed fascinating priorities in the immediate aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in saying that a chief effort of the U.S. effort was to “assert authority” and to “reinstate the government.” On-the-ground private disaster relief organizations such as The Salvation Army understand that Job 1 is to alleviate human suffering....
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Boeing and the Higgs Effect »

In their calls for greatly expanding the Federal Reserve System’s and Treasury Department’s roles in the economy, Chairman Bernanke, Secretaries Paulson and Geithner, and their academic enablers have repeatedly emphasized the temporary nature of these “emergency” measures. “History is full of examples in which the policy responses to financial crises have been slow and...
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If You Like Congress’s Health Plan, Ya Wanna Buy a Bridge? »

When I was younger, we thought the line “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you,” the height of hilarity, invariably greeted with derisive hoots of laughter. Today it seems that any government official’s exhortation to “Trust me” is greeted as holy gospel, with nary more to be said. A case in...
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Florida’s Public Option »

As Congress debates the merits of the “public option” for health insurance, we might look at Florida for some experience, because Florida has had a public option for years, not for health insurance but for property insurance. After Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992 some Floridians were having difficulty purchasing homeowners’ insurance. (The reason:...
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