We have had wild fires before. We have had hurricanes before. Tornadoes, floods, virulence and petulance. And yet folks insist on going right back to the same spot and building again, mostly the same way they built before.
Just what exactly is it with the old saying about ‘doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting different results’ that does not apply to home owners, developers and insurance companies? Have they received a special dispensation somewhere along the way allowing them to be simple minded?
Don’t get me wrong. I feel bad for folks that have lost their homes in the recent catastrophes. I feel a lot less bad for those that lost them a second time in a similar catastrophe in the same or similar location. I don’t feel the least bit bad for insurance companies or their ‘investors’ who have had to pay out, nor developers who don’t give a damn about the consequences of their fast turn profits.
I do however feel bad for the tax payer in general. The tax payer gets the shaft no matter what. When the bill comes in for the rescue of someone who rebuilt in the same place they were rescued from before, and the bill for the national guard units sandbagging, and the bill for the cleanup, re-building of roads, sewer systems and all that other infrastructure that should never have been built to begin with…. well, who pays? The tax payer of course. And how do we pay? By having congress an state legislatures take on more debt, which they have no idea how to repay. Yes, the tax payer gets the shaft, again.
And what is a good solution? Well, make such places un-insurable. Whether by regulation or by simple market pressure (insurance companies and developers and homeowners just not being able to afford insurance because the risk is too high). After all, should not this be market driven? I think it should. And I think there is something pretty screwy with a market that rewards making the same mistake over and over again. Now that I think about it – it reminds me of ‘trickle down economics’. Some people never learn, and the rest of us pay for it….