Fixing Disaster Relief is Simple! Let Markets Work.

I’ve often commented on how childish, really adolescent, the views of libertarians are. But it’s rare that I see such a stunning example.

In a recent NYTRoom for Debate,” Russell Sobel of The Citadel gives us this:

Fixing disaster relief is simple: greater use of decentralized markets, and focusing government on its proper role.

After all, “Economists from Adam Smith to Friedrich Hayek to Milton Friedman have stressed the inherent problems in central planning.”

So there you go. QED.

Here, Sobel explains, is the “simple” solution to solving any problems of disaster relief:

By renting the [Chicago Board of Trade] trading floor and using the exchange, supplies and services would be better allocated to disaster victims than they are now by FEMA.


Such mechanisms simply work better

It’s so simple! And obvious! Why didn’t anybody think of this before? Heck, a thirteen-year-old could have come up with it.

And all of this is before we ever ask the question: does our disaster relief system need fixing? It certainly did under W. And: what part of it needs fixing? If recent fiascos provide any answer, the missing piece was effective national leadership.

Given that effective leadership, America seems to have far and away the best disaster relief system in the world — private, state, local, and federal combined, all working together. Just look at our preparedness and response this week — awe-inspiring.

Conservatives: Am I wrong?

And: You want to dismantle it?

So much for American exceptionalism.

Cross-posted at Asymptosis.