Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Kevin Boyd of the Foundation for Economic Education tells
a tale that needs a much wider audience: That of the role of the
"Cajun Navy" and many other private parties in providing fast,
effective relief to victims of the recent inundation of
Instead of waiting for the government to come rescue them, the people of Louisiana used their own privately-owned boats to save their neighbors. This "Cajun Navy" drew its ranks and fleet from Louisiana's large numbers of sportsmen. People who needed rescue contacted a Facebook group and the boats used smartphone apps such as the GPS app Glympse and the walkie talkie app Zello to coordinate. The "Cajun Navy" was responsible for saving the lives of thousands of Louisianians and their pets and livestock.One group who would do well to contemplate this story would be anyone (particularly any conservative) who has called for President Obama to cut a vacation short to visit the area, and not just because one man's misfortune does not mean another must cease enjoying his life. Rather than try to score cheap, meaningless political points, we should take this opportunity to question the whole idea that the government should be providing comprehensive disaster relief in the first place. Furthermore, it is heartening that we needn't look back a century to see Americans responding to a disaster like adults, rather than wards of the state, as many did during and after Hurricane Katrina.
The people of Louisiana also distributed immediate relief to their displaced neighbors much more efficiently than the government was able to. One of the best examples of this was the conversion of a movie studio into a shelter housing over 2,000 people. The Celtic Media Centre is one of Louisiana's premier film production studios located in Baton Rouge, which was one of the cities hardest hit by the flooding. The studio's executive director, Patrick Mulhearn, saw how devastated his neighbors were by the high water and decided to open up Celtic as an emergency shelter. [links in original]
Added clause to end of last sentence.