Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

19 April 2010

Galveston - The Hurricane Damaged City We Do Not Hear About

Hurricane Ike struck Galveston, Texas on 13 September 2008 in the waning days of the Bush presidency with a Democrat Congress.  Tens of thousands of people evacuated Galveston, which is on a coastal island.  Dozens of people died.  Parts of Houston, which is not far away, went without power for weeks.

Before the storm, Galveston had a population of 57,000 people.  It now has a population of about 48,000, putting it below the important federal threshold for many benefits at 50,000.  For the next ten years, the Census will proclaim Galveston a city of fewer than 50,000 people.  Yes, the equal individual rights of Americans living in towns and cities with populations of less than 50,000 people are less equal than those of people living in the larger cities exceeding that threshold.

The people of Galveston have long been waiting for promised federal aid.  The aid is aimed at rehabilitation of the heavily damaged areas rather than compensation.  The resulting barrier of paperwork between the state government and the federal government has created long delays.  A first round of $1.3 billion of federal money is partially still held in state coffers.  In November 2009, the Department of Housing and Urban Development said it was holding up disbursing a second round of $1.7 billion requested by Texas because the state had not solicited enough community input and had not updated its fair-housing practices.

After the Katrina and Rita Hurricanes in 2005, the city of Galveston set up an emergency hurricane fund of $14 million and built caches of food and fuel.  The local banks made short-term, low-interest loans totaling $65 million to local businesses to help them reopen.  The city and the city's private sector pulled together to work on rebuilding Galveston.

Can you imagine the blame game Washington would be playing now if a Republican were President?  But, with a leftist-favored Obama presidency, the delays are completely without interest.

This post is based upon a story in The Economist of 17-23 April 2010.

No comments: