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09/11/2005

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Palooka

"Should all these persons be compensated? This seems contrary to Posner's efforts, which I agree with, to try to treat disaster victims like others who suffer losses."

I agree that Posner's analysis lacks consistency. See my post on his comment, if you're interested.

Certainly those devastated by the flood should be eligible for medicaid, welfare, and other forms of assistance.

There are some differences between personal and natural disasters. If one's home is destroyed, they can remain in their hometown, possibly stay with friends or family, have access to a network of local business contacts, and are generally better off than those now experiencing relocation because of Katrina. This distinction, then, seems to justify some additional assistance. Cutting some of the red tape on unemployment benefits seems like one reasonable step the government has taken. I can imagine many others.

But Posner suggests the federal government should compenstate uninsured property for those of modest means. That goes way beyond getting an individual back on his feet, which is the nature of the assistance you mention and I support. One can always restart without a home, however painful that may be. Going without insurance is a gamble many take everyday, and the federal government doesn't come to the rescue.

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