NO's problems were really caused by the "welfare state" attitudes of the homeless

So says this guy the Intellectual Activist. He has different take on the roots of the bad behavior after the disaster. Does his perspective have any validity at all?

[An Unnatural Disaster: A Hurricane Exposes the Man-Made Disaster of the Welfare State ]An Unnatural Disaster: A Hurricane Exposes the Man-Made Disaster of the Welfare State - by Robert Tracinski Sep 02, 2005](

New Orleans’ problems were caused by a failure of the levee. I thought everyone knew that.

The “intellectual activists” arguments don’t merit the dignity of a response.

And may I mention a pet peeve: When did the “law of the jungle, everyone for himself” type libertarians gain posession of the word “reason?” Their positions don’t seem any more rational than anyone else’s. In fact they seem born out of a snarling atavism.

It’s called “compassionate conservatism,” I think.

When I was a kid our family was on welfare for a while. The only thing I’m bitter about is that there was never a disaster in our city so that we could have done some looting.

Yup, the OP’s link is classic “blame-the-victim” rhetoric. It pretty much ignores the fact that the vast majority of people trapped in flooded New Orleans were not committing violent crimes. Many of them, in fact, were doing all they could to take care of themselves and other people so that they could be rescued.

Tracinski, though, wants to reduce the situation to a simplistic tale of predatory criminals and irresponsible parasites helpless without their government handouts. (All black, natch.) Pretty easy to do, as long as you don’t really care about facts.

At least Tracinski is fairly honest about the imaginary basis of his conclusions:

Yeah, I’m getting a familiar “whiff” of Tracinski on a “sense-of-life level” too, and you wanna guess what it smells like?

Nothing like basing one’s conclusions on television reporting; TV always tells it like it is.

Proof how well most victims helped themselves and each other

So what went wrong?

That’s not entirely true. The levee was the 2nd of 3 events. Rioting stalled the rescue efforts for at least a day, maybe 2. If they had evacuated as instructed they wouldn’t be a situation requiring rescue.

A great deal of the deaths was the direct result of people choosing to remain behind during the hurricane. They lucked out when the hurricane veared East but were caught by the flood from the levee break.

People completely ignored a potential level 5 hurricane. That’s like a tornado the size of Idaho. The consequences follows the act. Call it blame, call it stupidity. It happened and now the rest of the nation has to pick up the tab for those decisions. Put another way, the same money we’re sending down for rescue could be have been used to rebuild the structures lost.

If it still bothers you that people find fault where fault is due then take comfort in the knowledge that we’ll still send wads of money to these rationally challenged individuals. Regardless of their reckless behavior, they are still the victims of a major disaster and need our help.

Some people chose to, but many simply couldn’t afford to leave.

In any case, blaming some of the problem on the comparatively few people who could have evacuated but deliberately chose not to, or who took advantage of the disorder to commit violent crimes, is reasonable. Offering a vague argumentum ab ano that the whole situation is somehow the fault of “the welfare state”, as per the pseudolibertarian drivel linked in the OP, is not.

And what were the people without cars supposed to do, Magiver, walk out? I think that they would have been caught outside during the hurricane, which would be much worse than being in the Superdome. Who told them to go to the Superdome, anyway? Oh yeah, the same people who ordered the evacuation.

Some people did ignore the warnings, some people always will. But, I think the blame for this is not as clear cut as you would like to think.

Those who couldn’t leave were supplied transportation by the city. The fact that they were taken to a shelter INSIDE THE CITY is another discussion.

IMO your “comparatively few” is under-estimated. I would say from what I’ve read that at least 20% stayed behind (not including those who went to shelters). You’re also using absolutes when you say people are inferring the whole situation is the fault of the people of NO. The whole situation is a multi-state natural disaster. Part of the situation was the relocation of people to safety before the hurricane. This was something that was easy to do, both for the people capable of doing it, and also the city government which was capable of moving those who couldn’t leave.

A tremendous amount of resources have been used for rescue when they could have been used for cleanup.

Not people, one person…Mayor Nagin. And he provided transportation. I’m not going to repost everything I’ve written on the subject so you’ll have to look it up yourself.

A question that has been bugging me–what happened to the prisoners in the jails in NO Parish. Were they evacuated to other facilities? Do released prisoners account for any of the criminal activity?

People act in many individual ways in a crisis. Some act foolishly, some act despicably, some show great courage and generosity. The vast majority simply do what they can to save themselves and their families. This has been true for all human history, and is almost certainly true in NO. Remember when watching the news that “if it bleeds, it leads,” so you are getting a somewhat distorted picture of the crisis. Most people are just making do. The people who are acting badly represent a percentage of humans who exist everywhere and at all times.

The bad acts at New Orleans were certainly not the result of some “welfare state.” This is especially ludicrous because the U.S. is not a welfare state at all. YMMV, but a genuine welfare state would make much more of an effort to provide its citizens with health care and education, as the Scandinavian states do. I don’t want to hijack this thread into an argumnent about the pros and cons of a welfare state. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, the U.S. ain’t it.

There was mention of a prison move before the hurricane struck. I think they set up a temporary facility. Probably nicer than the Superdome.

At some point (maybe 2-3 days after the hurricane), I saw a footage of a large number of prisonners on a jail roof waiting to be evacuated.

If that is true, and I see no reason to doubt it, would it not be fair to assume that at least some of the criminals committing the horrible acts were criminals already? I mean, assuming as well, that some of them were not evacuated?

One more thing

From the OP’s link:

My bolding.

Selected? Selected??Is there any doubt that this self proclaimed intellectual is an unbalanced lunatic?

I don’t agree in the slightest. Humans are sheep, and people can condemn that simple fact all they want. Hell, condemning humans as sheep is a form of sheepishness as well since individualism is considered socially favored and sheepishness is considered socially inferior so by insulting people as sheep you are just condemning them for not conforming to a society that holds individualism up as a laudable trait. Its a catch 22 if you sit and think about it.

Read the book ‘obedience to authority’ the vast majority of people are willing to torture someone either to death or unconsciousness just because they are told to do so. It has nothing to do with the welfare state.

As far as selective breeding of lazy people, I don’t know too many lazy gang members. They are facing death daily. Besides what about all us suburban white people (the author is probably one of us) who have our K-12 educations paid for and 70% of our college educations paid for with the other 30% coming from federally backed student loans & financial aid? Are we going to go a rapin and a pillagin just because we collect about 130k in welfare for our education over our lives? Does the author with his 100k+ in education, paved roads and unemployment checks and endless consumer safety protections to protect him from himself qualify as lazy and selectively helpless?

This guy is no different than the religious figures who blamed N.O. or 9/11 on gays. He is looking for a venue to push his radical, non mainstream politics on the public.

And the looters were a minority.

Nah, try “Objectivism” (Ayn Rand, anyone?)