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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/7050/katrina-and-the-great-flood-of-1927/

Katrina and the Great Flood of 1927

August 29, 2007 by

Today we remember the victims of Katrina, but we should not forget that government levees have been failing in minor and major disasters throughout their history. Recall, for example, the Great Flood of 1927. The similarities are startling. A known threat was approaching and yet all the government spending and planning completely failed. In fact, in both cases the government turned a normal problem into a major disaster. The African American population was hurt disproportionately in both cases. In 1927 Herbert Hoover promised aid and assistance which failed to materialize (this was a major reason for the black exodus from the Republican to the Democrat party). In both cases it was individuals and organizations — both commercial and charitable — that did the real work of reconstruction. FULL ARTICLE


Bob Millbrook August 29, 2007 at 11:42 am

Mark Thornton,
I agree with your article on the flood of 1927, however in my many years have never heard of “Lincoln’s War”.
regards, Bob

Lester Luttrell August 29, 2007 at 11:56 am

This mirrors the great earthquake of San Francisco. It was the efforts of private industry and plain good folks that got that city back on her feet.
Today,agencies such as FEMA are merely bloated extensions of centralized government seeking to control a population. And now we have a population seeking to be controled by a centralized government. The expectaions of the American people at large of the government to “save” them in time of emergency hurts all of us and leaves the door open to exploitation.

Robert M. August 29, 2007 at 1:10 pm

Lincoln’s War is definately a good way to put it. It was pretty much his thirst for power that sent his dogs to rape and pillage in the south. I’m sure if he would have had WMDs back then he would have used them in his illegal war against liberty. It’s sickening that people still call him a hero and say he did what he did to end slavery. Funny how people say he freed slaves and can’t see that he enslaved us all. Off-topic I know but enough can’t be said about how evil Lincoln was.

Anthony August 29, 2007 at 3:05 pm

Here in Europe, we Euros are constantly bombarded with the image of Abe Lincoln as some kind of American hero president. I had no idea what a scoundrel he really was.

Anthony August 29, 2007 at 3:15 pm

As an additional comment on the article, it’d be nice if the author cited his sources for information he provides in the article (e.g. regarding private charity outstripping government aid.) It’d make it all the more valuable.

Dr. Mark Thornton August 29, 2007 at 3:33 pm

My main source for the article was John Barry’s Rising Tide, which I would definitely recommend.

Jesse August 29, 2007 at 3:37 pm

Lincoln probably is considered a hero of sorts, at least passively, by more of the American populace. The public schools tend to present him as “the one who fought valiantly for the end of slavery”, and the fact that he was assassinated helped to make him into a martyr. However, many of his public policies were diametrically opposed to libertarian principles, perhaps more so than any other American president, and I don’t find it at all surprising that his popularity is exceedingly low in libertarian forums like this one.

Mark Sunwall August 29, 2007 at 8:58 pm

Thanks for filling us in on the details Mark. The only association I ever had with “the greatest flood in history” …and I don’t doubt that it truely was, has been in the lyrics of Randy Neuman:

Louisiana! Louisiana!
They’re trying to wash you away,
They’re trying to wash you away…

It’s not clear from the lyrics what Neuman’s political take, if any, on the 1927 tragedy was. Another line mentions the president pitying the “poor crackers” an indication of benign neglect which hardly squares with the intimation of malicious agency in the refrain. Perhaps it’s just another outcop of Neuman’s studied pseudo-misanthropy…concealing what? An inchohate libertarianism buried underneath bohemian liberalism?

David C August 30, 2007 at 10:21 am

It turns out that my sister had the misfortune of being both in Florida at one time, and Hawaii at another during a Hurricane. In Florida, She said, they all just waited around for the government to do something, and nothing got done. While in Hawaii, everybody started working on reconstruction immediately as soon as the storm stopped. Large numbers of people from different walks of life just spontaneously started pitching in to clean up and rebuild.

It seems that Hawaiians had a long history of dealing with Hurricanes without the government’s help long before they became a state.

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