Surviving Hurricane Ian


When we moved to Florida more than a year ago, the possibility of a hurricane having a direct hit on our development was real but not a foremost concern.  Up until Ian came ashore this week, Southwest Florida had had the quietest hurricane season in decades.  In other words, the randomness of hurricanes is one of the certainties about major storms impacting Florida.

Living in a new four-story building that could withstand 140 mph winds protected us from the gusts that probably reached close to 100 mph in our section of Fort Myers (Lee County).  (As of this morning 85% of the county has no power.  We are incredibly fortunate to have power.) The power went out at 11am on Wednesday and came back on 7pm Thursday.  Cell service was spotty and this morning the water is still not back on. 

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Our only contact with the outside world was an Eton radio we charged before the hurricane.  We were listening to WINK 96.9 FM and then the station went down as did the television station.   I then found a local news station, 106.9 FM, and learned that portions of the Sanibel Causeway were destroyed. Fort Myers Beach looks like a war zone. 

The causeway connects Sanibel Island to the mainland.  My sister-in-law has been a Sanibel resident for nearly 20 years and evacuated with her three pups.  She is staying with a longtime friend in Fort Myers and hopes to get back to see the damages to her house.  I will do everything I can to help her get there.

In the meantime, the yentas on The View are criticizing Governor DeSantis for his views on “climate change” not being responsible for  the devastating hurricane.  Dave Rubin puts the insufferable Joy Behar in her place. 

Federal aid will be flowing to Florida to help rebuild, reconstruct, and provide aid to residents who lost everything because of the flooding and winds.  This begs the question about an important issue, namely, what should be the federal government’s responsibility after a devastating natural disaster? 

Lew Rockwell, founder of the Mises Institute, provided a libertarian perspectivemore than 20 years ago.  Murray Rothbard, Mr. Libertarian, also weighed in years earlier with his analysis about the damage caused by hurricanes and other disasters. 

The bottom line, in our collectivist culture, the federal government has taken on the responsibility for natural disaster aid, thus creating a moral hazard, where individuals and business build in high risk areas.  In a free society, there would be no incentives to build on the beach, which is what government aid does. 

Absent federal aid, private insurance would handle all the risk of hurricane damages.  If the premiums were too high, then there would be very little construction in flood zones.  Meanwhile, federal aid flow to Floridians and residents of other states who are feeling or will be impacted by Hurricane Ian.

Until our collectivist ideology is discarded, moral hazard will be with us for a long time.  Libertarians should not have any guilt for taking federal aid.  Don’t let the media shame you for being a recipient of taxpayer money.  We did not create the current moral hazard system.

In future posts I will discuss solutions to the moral hazard that is all around us.   

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What do you think?

Written by CONK!


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