Who'd have thunk it?

by Russ Roberts on September 8, 2005

in Charity, Cooperation

The Washington Post (on the front page) makes a remarkable discovery (rr):

Many Displaced by Katrina Turn to Relatives for Shelter

Wow.  Incredible, isn’t it.  There’s actually an article, too.  First graf:

Owing to stealthy acts of hospitality that are largely
invisible to government, aid agencies and the news media, hundreds of
thousands of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina seem to be
disappearing — into the embrace of their extended families.

I’m not so sure about the word "stealthy."  Stealthy makes it sound like they’re trying to hide.  I know it may appear that way to the government, the aid agencies and the news media who now want to show their incredible responsiveness, but stealthy?

I’ve been wondering about the centralized vs. decentralized aspect of this disaster since it was announced that the people in the Superdome would be moved to the Astrodome.  Were they cattle?  Or antiques?  If I were in the Superdome without food and water, surrounded by waste and terrorized by a few evil thugs and someone said, "Hey everybody, we’re getting out of here.  We’re going to Houston" I’d say whoa.  Hold on.  I don’t want to go to Houston.  I certainly don’t want to go to the Astrodome.  Get me to dry land and I’ll find my own way, TYVM.  I don’t understand the attitude of "what are we going to do with these people now that they’re not dying right away."  These are human beings, not checkers or even chess pieces.  They have desires.  They have knowledge.  Some even have families and churches and friends.

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