Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Does Hurricane Harvey support socialism in Texas?

Jerry Stratton, August 30, 2017

Hurricane Harvey socialism

Just before midnight on Sunday, while Hurricane Harvey was still raging through Texas and Louisiana, an acquaintance posted this on Facebook:

Everyone OK with using socialism to help clean up Harvey, or should we let the free market take care of it? Asking for a friend.

This is the essence of socialism: a protection racket on behalf of national-level socialist policies. Government takes resources from Peter and from Paul. Paul undergoes a disaster. The left asks, during a disaster, would Paul rather rely on his own resources and on whatever Peter can offer, or on the government? They ask this knowing that the government already has both Paul’s resources and Peter’s. The question is corrupt on its face. It reveals socialism as, literally, mafia-style government.

The non-corrupt formulation would be, would you rather we gave you and Peter all of your resources back, and let you keep them all in the future, and rely on voluntary assistance during this disaster? Or would you prefer that we provide assistance using whatever is left after we pay all the bureaucrats managing your assistance, after we buy things you don’t need because we don’t know your needs as well as you do, after we ignore corruption because it isn’t our money, after all, after we tell Peter to go away because he doesn’t have the right permits?

The free market is people working together without force. As a Texan1, I think it’d be a great idea to let Texans and anyone else who wants to provide assistance freely opt out of the federal taxes that pay for what the left is here calling socialism. Charity at the point of a gun is not charity. It is corruption to take taxes from people at the threat of prison and call it charity.

Let Texans, and anyone else who wants to help, opt out of the crazy regulations that literally block people from helping. So many times in past disasters we have seen people try to provide food, boats and other transportation, building and emergency supplies, and the labor of their own hands, only to be told that it is forbidden by EPA rules or Department of Labor regulations or that they need to apply for an expensive use permit that the government agency in charge will take days, weeks, and even months to issue.

The Democratic Mayor of Houston couldn’t come up with a plan to evacuate Houston, according to reports.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner defended his decision not to evacuate the city in a press conference Sunday. He said: “If you think the situation right now is bad, you give an order to evacuate, you are creating a nightmare. Especially when it’s not planned.”

“We don’t know what you should do, so you shouldn’t do anything” is the left in a nutshell. For all I know, it was right not to evacuate Houston—the storm is still going on as I write this—but “because the government doesn’t know what to do” is not the right reason.2

The federal government is still managing Katrina twelve years later. Let people get back on their feet freely, and let people help freely, and we will recover from Harvey in months rather than years. We know this from past disasters from before the federal government sucked up all resources and chased off anyone trying to help outside of big agencies and organizations that specialize in navigating federal regulations. We know that the free market—letting individuals act freely to help however they can afford—works to recover from disasters far more quickly than federal bureaucrats do.

If the left really is offering to let Texans opt out of bungling federal assistance and help themselves, and let the rest of the United States opt out of bungling federal assistance to help Texas voluntarily, then I suspect they’ll find Texas taking that deal so fast their Che poster will flip to the wall in the winds of freedom. If, on the other hand, they’re asking Texans to forego the watered-down bungled benefits while still facing jail time for not paying into the corrupt and incompetent system, then this is just the standard ghoulish left, never letting a crisis go to waste when it could be used to increase socialism at the expense of individuals.

We’ve taken your money, they say. And now that you need some back, you can’t have it unless you promise to support socialism.

Even as I was finishing this reply, the left has started to call Texas Republicans hypocrites for opposing the pork-laden bill that was supposed to be only emergency relief for Hurricane Sandy victims. They are desperately casting about for a way to use this disaster for political gain. Stuffing an emergency relief bill with non-relief spending and non-emergency spending and then complaining that other people don’t care about helping disaster victims is, in my opinion, a better place to look if you want to find hypocrisy.

In response to Texas and Round Rock: News from Texas, and especially Round Rock/Austin.

  1. But only at the edge of the storm, as I write this.

  2. And it may well come out, after the two-day-rule—which hasn’t even started its countdown yet—that the news is misreporting what the mayor actually said. That is always the way to bet before the two-day rule, and often after it.

  1. <- Round Rock Highway 79