FEMA will soon be issuing debit cards of $2000 each to Katrina victims.
In their effort to make political points, issuing these debit cards will have a couple of unintended consequences.
- People will stay longer at the Astrodome because of the money than they would if there were no help at all. If no aid was expected, many people would disperse to other parts of the country to go find jobs and start rebuilding their lives. With promises of more and more aid, people will stay longer rather than make the effort to forgo aid and put effort in to moving on.
- It's my guess that there will be significant theft and murder related to not only these debit cards but other cash grants for the refugees who are (as I pointed out above) sitting around waiting for a handout.
There are people who really have no choice other than to wait for help the resources for those who really need help will be consumed by those who are not as needy.
The relief effort can and should be seen an accelerated example of the rise and fall of a welfare state. People will be talking for years about what should have been done to make it better and it will never cross their minds that it was doomed from the start and we wasted billions upon billions of dollars in tax money trying to fix something that should have been taken care of through private means.
**Sorry for the slow blogging; I've been visiting my parents with Little Dif and I just haven't been spending much time on the Internet.