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Monday, August 26, 2013

FEMA and NJ: A Tale of Pretty Much Nothing, Part I - A Libertarian Primer

To those of you new to RBL&OS I am from New Jersey, which is odd considering I am a minarchist libertarian who believes in individual rights and personal responsibility, because based on their voting history for the past 50 years, New Jerseyans obviously feel they need people who are incapable of employment in the private sector (politicians) to wipe their butts for them.
It is also sad.
But anyway, this week we're going to talk about Hurricane Sandy, FEMA, insurance, and why we still talk about Katrina eight years later, but Hurricane Sandy is no longer interesting to the rest of America.

Before we start on all of that, we need to refresh ourselves on the minarchist libertarian view of people, property rights and what our relationship to our government is supposed to be.
Let's assume that all of you people believe America grants you the right to own property.

Ownership is defined as the "right, act, or state of possessing something."

Now let's assume that you all are not farmers (even if you are) and that you don't live on a farm (even if you do.

Let's introduce our characters:
Bessie is the cow you would like to buy so you
can start giving extremely fresh milk to your kids.
The role of Bessie will be played by Bessie.
The role of "the government" will be played by
a black white guy with no real world or job
experience who has duped millions of people
into believing he is special.
The role of "property" will be played by your house. Find it on Google Earth, like the rest of the world does when they want to look at your house.
The role of "you" will be played, convincingly I might add, by you. Come on, you told all of your Facebook friends what you ate for lunch today, so stop being so shy.
The Story
Now, go buy Bessie and tie her up in your yard, somewhere between the swimming pool you needed a permit for and the deck you needed a permit for. Don't worry about tying a good knot because ol' Bessie will be safe behind the fence you needed a permit to install.
Oh wait. Silly us! You can't just go buy a cow and put her in your backyard. There are laws and regulations against livestock ownership if you don't live on a farm.
You don't own your property. The government does. You are merely a serf to the government, a sharecropper that lives on the government's land at their pleasure. You are just like all of the generations before you who handed over their freedom to be protected by people who are no better at protecting you than you are.
The Moral
The system is wrong, and we continue to allow it to be wrong.
How This Connects To Hurricane Sandy
I believe you should be able to build your house wherever you want, as long as you own the property. I also believe that if you build your house in a city that is below sea level, or in a place that is subject to sea level when a storm comes and makes sea level be your living room, then that's your problem, not mine. With less regulation, more companies would offer better, cheaper, insurance for those of you who insist on living where I can't afford to live, so shut up about insurance companies, (and anyway, we'll harangue them later this week).
The problem with my worldview is we have developed a system that forces us into servitude to our government through excessive taxation and over-regulation in return for the government's promise that if we have a problem (like sea level in our living room) the government will fix it for us. The problem is we have been conditioned into believing this pile of lies in spite of constant evidence to the contrary.
I also believe you should not be compelled to wear a seat belt, but that if you wreck your car and bounce around inside of it like a pinball, that is also your problem (I wear a seatbelt as a result of several real-life experiences with bouncing around inside a car). But again, the system has evolved into one of safety nets held up by noodniks who claim they know what's best for us while they insist on getting a full taxpayer-funded pension after 20 years on the job.
Lest you think I am a heartless bastard, I've spent the past 10 months working to raise money and help my neighbors who were affected by Hurricane Sandy (explaining the lack of content here lately). Not because the government told me to, but because it's the right thing to dobeing a willing participant in "society" I am obligated to help make "society" better, in spite of the roadblocks thrown in my way by an ever over-reaching government.
The problem, as we shall see this week, is we have handed our lives over to an inept, uncaring, ineffectual government with no intention of keeping its promise to take care of us, that has also left us too broke to fend for ourselves.
That my friends is why I am a minarchist libertarian, and why I have such intellectual pity for those of you who are too afraid to step out of the shadow of government and live your lives as nature, or God, or whatever, intended.
Tomorrow: I share a letter I received from FEMA that directly contradicts my personal experience with them.

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