Friday, April 14, 2006

Is it management or economics? 

Perhaps one means of dividing left and right bloggers will be to see their reaction to the news that much of the money spent on temporary housing for Katrina victims has been ill-spent. People who think government should be run like a business -- which some think is how Bush sold himself to the public -- or who think the right people wouldn't be so incompetent have an entirely different view of government than those who recognize that government is inherently inefficient. Only the last can be considered part of the reality-based community.

Reason gets a gigantic "toldja so." So too CAGW.

Thomas Sowell as well:
In both emergency times and normal times, governments have different incentives than private businesses. More fundamentally, human beings will usually do more for their own benefit than for the benefit of others. The desire to make money usually gets people in gear faster than the desire to help others.
Privatized disaster recovery -- you've seen the commercials for the guys who clean your basement after it's flooded or your kitchen after a grease fire? -- is quite capable of dealing with these issues. The problem with Section 8 has to do with a lack of incentives to increase the stock of housing or to improve the existing stock. In a disaster situation, there are no incentives to rebuild unless HUD were to change tack and move from subsidization to the old-fashioned policy of building new housing. See here FMI.

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