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Reason First: The Business of the Storm

How Private Individuals and Private Companies Should Comport Themselves in the Wake of a Severe Act of Nature

Hurricanes mean business.

Television networks seem to savor storms. They anticipate the coming of a hurricane or tropical storm with a giddiness and a twisted glee. They know that their ratings will shoot up at the mention of such natural phenomena and that advertisers will come crawling. Why is it always the case where there’s an anchorman or woman sitting pretty in an air-conditioned or heated newsroom, hair neatly combed, suit or blouse in place and bone dry, when a reporter and (his or her crew), in the field look like he or she just experienced a washing machine’s rinse cycle?

Private organizations ought to reconsider their role in sending camera crews and talent out into the middle of the worst conditions possible. While it may be entertaining, thrilling even, the cost that someone could be injured or experience death may be too much for TV. News companies and their parent corporations ought to take heed to the warnings of the professionals that deem the areas too dangerous to report. They ought to take into account how business would flourish without the incessant bombardment of battered TV journalists clinging to signs and rails to keep their footing.

The drama and humanity shown by people struggling to leave or standing on their property seeking to face down a massive storm is all fodder for news agencies. They crave the human interest story about the “cat lady” who had all of her twenty five felines saved by the National Guard. The idea of a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an abomination that ought to be abolished. It is not just because they are incompetent and clumsy in their deportment but also because the whole system is evil. Government ought to play no role in the economy and that includes the insurance and maintenance of property. It ought to only protect property not take money from other citizens to supplement the non-thinking people who don’t consider insuring their property. So, get your radar maps for Reason First: The Business of the Storm.

Taxpayer money should not go to insurance.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has monopolized the market of insurance. Instead of individuals seeking private insurance to guard from property damage from acts of nature, people are forced to go to the government for their insurance. This is not a failure of the free market. There is no free market for it to fail. What this represents is bureaucracy run amok. To coerce people into buying insurance from Uncle Sam as opposed to private entities like Allstate and Progressive corrupts the entire system and undermines the individual’s ability to choose.

The insurance programs that the government offers are backed by a system that is tens of billions of dollars in debt. Due to gross incompetence and an inability to face facts, this problem persists. It is only in the wake of natural disasters that this issue is brought to the fore. It is a risk for people to live on the coast with the full knowledge that a hurricane or other storm may do harm, most importantly, to their lives and also their property. It ought to be up to the free market system to assess and document whether an individual should be afforded insurance to cover the damage that a natural disaster can do. Private companies should be the only factors in these cases. What a private company would do is to seek the profit motive. The government lacks this essential characteristic. It just wants to seize funds from the populace and be in the hole. But who cares? Big government will step in to take care of the people, they say. Don’t worry about it, they say. They don’t know much.

When an occurrence brought on by nature threatens homes and businesses and other private property it should be left to General RE to determine what property should be restored or not and how much coverage an individual should receive. It is none of the government’s business to do the business of insurance companies. It ought to only serve as a police to guard against looting, disputes, and other calamities that men engage in when wind and water levels rise.

NFIP represents just another government body that have should never been established in the first place. Private organizations not only do a better job at insurance policies, they are moral when they do it. Privatization of the insurance companies across the board should be at hand, especially the kind that concerns storms.

For those people who champion or praise NFIP, they ought to take caution. They ought to remember that tax dollars are going to other people who risk their lives and property to live in coastal regions. They possess the full knowledge that a severe meteorological event might befall their property. Their concern ought to be not on how many “freebies” the government can dole out but the fact that tens of millions of Americans are paying into a system that is corrupt and almost bankrupt. They ought to remember that the money that could have stayed in the pockets of the populace go to the government’s ineptitude. That’s unfair.

FEMA ought to be abolished

Not only does FEMA control NFIP, it also allegedly provides care and comfort to those most affected by natural disasters. Why? When you have private companies like Anheuser-Busch that sends hundreds of thousands of cans of water to citizens who stayed in the path of the storm, doesn’t that constitute better care and vigilance? Walmart sends emergency and relief packages to areas that receive damage and destruction from storms. All FEMA does is steal taxpayer dollars just to show face like they’re actually doing something and bungle the whole situation based on red tape and bureaucracy run wild.

Notorious for its treatment of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the backlash was misplaced. Instead of people arguing the whole agency ought to be phased out, most people complained that FEMA wasn’t fast enough and provided very little aid in the wake of one of the worst natural disasters in United States history. All of this could’ve been avoided and can now and forevermore be established that private companies work faster and provided better comfort in times of turmoil brought on by nature.

A multitude of other corporations devise patterns in their complex structures to ensure that people are taken care of based on a capitalistic model. The government relies on the feelings of one another and applies “help” when they get enough votes on what to do within the labyrinth of pull. What private companies provide is the ability for them to go directly to the affected people in need without hurting their bottom line. FEMA hurts everyone in the process. Taxpayers, storm victims, and anyone else can feel the sting of this clumsy organization of the United States government.

What’s sad is that the employees of the agency feel that that they’re doing the right thing. They get a queasy relief from the idea that they’re helping people. In reality, they’re adding to the detriment of a government body that is malignant and repugnant. Every piece of FEMA is a reflection of the government overstepping its bounds into the private sphere. Private individuals and companies are more than ready to send money, care packages, and other items and services to assist the folks impacted by harsh weather conditions.

And for anyone that says that President Trump is a free marketer, notice his opinion on FEMA. He has said that the agency has done an “incredible job.” This shows just how altruistic and horrible he is as a businessman and how he is not in any way a capitalist. Quite the contrary is true. For Trump to applaud an organization that is awkward and awful like FEMA is to show just how base and oafish he is when it comes to free markets. If he were half a decent president, he would remove FEMA from all controls and finish it off completely. Alas, he lacks the brains and the nerve to do such a thing.

With the removal of FEMA from the federal government, the people of America would not just have a few more dollars in their pockets, but they would be able to see private companies handle a disaster area with thought and agility. The speed and efficiency that private entities would present would demonstrate the power of the markets when they are left to fully free men and women. Overall, the privatization of FEMA would spark a chain of other government bodies like the FDA and DEA that ought to be eliminated as well. Free market economics ought to be put in place in the United States to show to the world that FEMA is ill-equipped with handling acts of nature. Corporations stand a much better chance due to their commitment to quality, excellence, and readiness.

The coverage of TV journalists in the storm should stop.

Millions of dollars arise out of the wind and rain of a storm. The news people find themselves interviewing retired generals, meteorologists, and other other figures who have participated in the act of saving lives and maintaining order and of describing in full the storm’s path. Networks seem to get their kicks out of reporting the intensity of the storm and when it will hit land. They seem to pep up about the severity of the storm and then, in a moment of gravitas, consider the amount of lives in danger and the extent of damage that could be done.

The tracking, the barrage of weather maps, the incessant talking about how fast the wind is blowing, and don’t forget the reporter standing in six inches of rain water, the wind nearly knocking them to the wet pavement all combine to show just how many advertising dollars a network can generate. Called a “stand-up” there’s very little comedy done in this routine. Instead, there is a human being out there with their crew covering a powerful event just so that the market share of their news company can go up a few points. More money would be made if that reporter stayed in the dry, waterless studio and conveyed the occurrence. Why put them and their team at risk of flying debris and being sideswiped by wind gusts?

This is not to say that avarice is at the crux of such coverage. Greed is too good and too pure for this kind of behavior. This is negligence in making sure that all of the reporters and crew are safe during a act of nature. Private companies should be able to do whatever they like within the confines of the law and sound reason. What is the rationality behind sending out a crew to contend with a storm? The money would be much higher with a knowledgeable team set far away from the storm who can relay the message from a place of safety.

Cash flow would be the main idea as it is now with private news agencies if they took the time to embrace the power of logic. If a news organization can demonstrate that they are factual and timely and ready to deliver the news without the dangerous conditions, then the capitalistic system would reward them for that. But to continue to subject these people to the harshness of weather conditions is just antithetical to good business practices.

Now, of course the government should not step into solve this matter. These are private reporters who sometimes volunteer to go out there in the storm. Anchors like Anderson Cooper even stepped away from the desk to cover storms outside. It’s not at all commendable for a multi-millionaire to brave the wind and rain, but a bit backwards for anyone to go out of their way to test the tempest. Cooper’s altruism most likely played a role in his exit from the anchor chair into the wind and rain. But there should only be capitalism involved here, not lowering yourself and signaling your “virtue” of being just like the rest of the reporters.

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