Las Vegas Sun

January 27, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Helping hand is what unites states

Another view?

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This a great lesson for everyone who keeps telling the federal government to get out of their lives. I was wondering: With the damage left by Hurricane Sandy, do they really expect the states and local businesspeople to do it on their own, helping their residents? Of course not.

The federal government always comes to the rescue. This is the American way; we help one another. So if the federal government is helping the needy — be it a senior citizen, a homeless person or a student — let us not complain because in time of our own needs, we should be thankful that the federal government is around, ready to help.

Yes, it may raise the deficits we have, but the United States of America will always prevail.

Let us not call America a socialist government because she is not. She is just there willing to help when someone needs her. Just look back before you complain about our government. We tend to forget all the benefits that we get from the government: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security benefits and many others that the government provides its citizens in order to survive and have a better life in this great country.

Someone in your family probably benefited from such help at one time or another. Oh, yes, some might not have contributed to these funds, but when someone is in dire need, we should all pitch in. We should all be thankful to our great country for giving us a helping hand.

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  1. Thank you, Naz, for a compassionate and hopeful letter.

    I am afraid you will get alot of disagreement from people. Still, there are some of us the remember the past and saw how things changed in our country, and why.

    We in the Las Vegas valley may think we are pretty safe from disasters. However, think about the effects we might experience as a result of the long awaited and overdue "Big One" occurring in CA. It will be quite a disaster than can reach to us as well. It could also bring a huge influx of CA refugees. Will we ever need FEMA and other assistance when that happens!

    We can be subjected to Earth changes that create terrible conditions with much damage and threaten lives.

    The autumn, we had a rain that I've never seen before. It was pouring of the roof like a waterfall, plus area flash floods. I was shocked to see such volume. A sign of climate shifts? What more is to come that we are not aware of?

    We are also not safe from loss of essentials of life, like water, or pollution resulting from decisions to dispose of regulations that protect us from so many who want to make a profit regardless of the effect on others.

    My point is attached to yours. We need to have preparedness, individually and with the help that comes from taxpayers in programs that assist our needs when there is no other solution. That is who we have been and are as Americans.

    That can be facilitated by a return to growth jobs, wage growth in proportion to productivity and profits growth, as well as benefits that can make the populous less in need of government assistance.

    This creates more security in the workforce and more taxes to support the safety nets and other assistance need in disasters.

    So many in the workforce today don't have any experience of that being the reality in the past. They have come to accept the imbalance of today thinking that is all there is. Ha!

  2. I've often wondered if God or whatever Universal Energy there is doesn't visit disasters on us to remind us of our own basic goodness and present an opportunity to put that goodness into practice. A helping hand is what unites us and brings us together as people.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if we just practiced that basic goodness all the time, didn't need to be reminded, and had no further need for disasters? Just askin'.

  3. A bankrupt America will not be able to help our own citizens or those of other nations. Compassion is a wonderful thing but it works much better if our government is fiscally sound, and today it isn't.


  4. An occasional hand up should never become a guaranteed hand out.


  5. Gee, I guess all those folks who faced disasters before the bloated and bureaucratic federal govenment stepped in to "help" just withered on the vine. What a crock! If the pencil-pushing bureaucratic drones in Washington didn't siphon off local resources with onerous rules, regulations and taxes, those resources would remain where they should and would be used much more wisely by local bureacractic pencil-pushing drones. If they didn't use them more wisely, they'd find themselves out of office in a New York minute. The horror stories are already pouring in about the inefficiency of FEMA and even the Red Cross in the Sandy incident. Problem today is, way too many are willing to hand over their rights to morons in Washington so as to gain a bit of safety and security. As the saying goes: those folks deserve neither!

  6. According to Mitt Romney FEMA should be privatized.

    Privatization means corporation. Corporations means profits.

    Profits always comes before the well-being of the individual outside the corporation. That means people would die in a disaster situation under a privatized Emergency Management controlled entity.

    The also means a privatized Emergency Management entity would welcome a disaster and not necessarily be there to help in term of immediately relief or assistance. The term "milking it" would be appropriate with an expected response and arrival from an privatized Emergency Management controlled entity.

    After all, privatization is about making dollars, not saving lives.

  7. ReFreeman,

    Good to see you back. Hope your doing well and improving in all areas of your life.

    I wish you well in all that you do.


  8. My house was destroyed during the Sylmar earthquake years ago. I didn't have earthquake insurance. Millions get helped by these disaster relief programs. They're going no place. They are as important as national defense. We don't have that many wars or massive terrorist attacks but disasters seem to hit almost every year.

  9. Kepi... I did receive disaster assistance money. I don't remember how much. I think it came from FEMA. I remember standing in line all day to fill out the paperwork. In addition I was able to write off the loss and got all of my tax money back from the state of California and the federal government.

    The rest came out of my pocket. I never bought earthquake insurance. We moved to California in 1961 and had to deal with several quakes. The Sylmar quake was the only one that cost me any substantial money. I figured I would take my chances and that the likelihood of my house being destroyed by two consecutive earthquakes was very slim.

    Many of my friends did have earthquake insurance and got checks ranging from $40,000-$300,000. Premiums went up dramatically after the Sylmar quake. Many dropped the insurance after the premium increases.

  10. A bankrupt United States will never happen, it's a farce to say so. As a baby boomer all my life I've heard about the debt being laid on future generations. As long as American banks control the global economy debt is a non-issue. There is however a decline in the middle class because the plutocrats have sucked the wealth out of our economy. If we continue down that path there will be a revolt akin to the unions strikes at the turn of the century, when police forces and the military were called out to murder American citizens fighting for workers rights.


    1: government by the wealthy
    2: a controlling class of the wealthy

  11. Lontimevegan

    "Privatization means corporation. Corporations means profits."

    The word "profit" is always used as a dirty word in these forum, and I find that truly shameful.

    It is the profit motive along with market pricing that determines the best use of scarce resources.

    That also means that with privatization comes accountability for failure.

    Consider Katrina, if you will: FEMA actively blocked the coast guard from delivering fuel, the Red Cross from delivering food. They blocked a 500-boat flotilla from delivering aid, and ignored a navy ship equipped with a 600 bed hospital, all while thousands were dying. Not to mention the two-day delay while they trained relief workers.

    Government-provided relief programs such as this, as with most gov't programs, present what is known as a "moral hazard" where individuals' incentives to plan and prepare are skewed by the impression that no matter what, the federal gov't will bail them out. Sound familiar? (big banks, et al) Where there are fewer donations to private organizations at the local level because those funds are already being taxed to fund FEMA.

    Private programs would not have the huge amount of waste and fraud which has been FEMA's trademark such as when the agency distributed $31 million to 13,000 Miami-Dade residents in Florida following Hurricane Frances, even though Dade County experienced no hurricane conditions.

    An excellent example for privatization would be FEMA attempting to copy Walmart's innovative and most efficient distribution system.

  12. Pat Graves,

    We can see with the Sandy storm, FEMA, when managed properly to serve the public well. Under the Obama administration FEMA is doing as it was intended. Helping states in time of extreme need. The Katrina handling was a mess under the Bush administration, FEMA had the wrong person at the helm.

    Now, FEMA is working, and working well. Just ask the governors of the New Jersey and New York.

    Remember, the states must request FEMA assistance. However in the obvious needed situations like Sandy, the President was pro-active with Governor Christy and Governor Cuomo.

  13. Hurricane Sandy:

    A few bits of information, and thoughts...

    The National Guard, Army and Marines have all been involved in helping in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

    The US government via FEMA has been involved in locating housing, including waiving federal tax issues to assist in creating available housing.

    I believe there are an estimated 10,000 New Yorkers who are homeless and efforts are being made to determine how to house them.

    FEMA has worked with the Governors, and charitable organizations to identify needs and coordinate services of both human and pets.

    The President also put a 3 month hold on any foreclosure actions.

    I am sure that homeowners have initiated claims the claim process.

    Regardless of all that FEMA and States are doing, it will not be fast enough for many people, and that is understandable. So, I anticipate there will be many complaints. Whether they are reasonable or not will be a matter of reviewing the facts. It may turn out to be a mixed bag.

    There seems to be alot of activity going on to help in the aftermath of the disaster.

    As in all disasters, there will be a slower avenue of help coming from the public when their interest fades. That can be very fast for many. It will be left to those who truly care to help as much as they can over the longer term, but it won't be enough.

  14. EL_Lobo,

    Your responses are thought stimulating. Good stuff. Quick to the point.

    You are a good debater and well informed. And, you make it interesting by placing humor to illuminate the issue. Don't go away anytime soon.


  15. EL_Lobo says,

    "Hey Bradley...

    Read the latest post by peacelily. It answers many of your concerns.

    FEMA is doing the job that needs to be done in dealing with the mountain of problems resulting from Sandy...

    Yes, the Marines, the Navy, and the National Guard are there doing what they need to do.

    Also, President Obama is working closely with the governors of New York & New Jersey to see that things happen the way they should...

    He also has put a 3 month hold on any foreclosure actions.

    Governor Christie of New Jersey was 100% correct with his praising of President Obama's approach to the disaster....

    He gave credit where credit is due.....

    I wonder if other Republicans across the country saw that? Imagine that, a Democrat & a Republican working together for the benefit of millions of Americans....." (Posted by EL-Lobo)

  16. So, Hageman admits to shirking his responsibility to protect him, his family and his property and then expects taxpayers to pick up the pieces after him. Shame on him and his "entitlement" attitude. If insurance is available and Hageman or anyone else decides to shun paying for it, they take on the financial risk involved and should quit holding their hands out when push comes to shove. Somehow, lots of these folks have money for cigarettes, booze, gambling and who knows what else, but they don't have the money to protect their interests? They made the irresponsible & reckless choice and should live with it.

  17. Naz: You have no idea. The federal government does NOT provide a safety net for working Americans, not beyond Unemployment Insurance. As for FEMA and other agencies re disaster assistance: limited, very limited. But then, acts of God cannot be reversed by government--at any level. There were MANDATORY evacuations but people stayed anyhow. After a South American earthquake, I heard a passing media clip from a mother who couldn't even give her kids a glass of water--for days. So now I have about a week's worth of water. I have canned goods and a manual can opener. Heat / AC and dryness are a gamble on our climate and my house on a hill. I'm prepared to take care of mine as best I can. Cities, Counties and States have the responsibility to help residents with local disasters. We have state employees who practice at their command center. But I'll bet you they have no plans to provide food, water, rescue other than watch the fires burn. Local governments have emergency shelters with blankets and meals ready to eat. But once the weather clears enough to leave the shelters and go back home, IF THERE IS NO HOME to go back to, you are pretty much on your own. I see, Mayor Bloomberg is looking for longer term housing to get folks out of the shelters. Weekly motels will fill up on the East Coast so you'd think you were in Nevada with all the long-term unemployed homeless people displaced by illegal invaders.

  18. zippert 12:19. OK, re whether or not it's worth it to buy insurance. What would you do if you owned a house on the shores of an ocean? Flood insurance for $200 a year? Say Stossel run on about not allowing government to under wright flood insurance--cause it's gonna cost taxpayers a lot. Maybe local governments should ZONE OUT RESIDENTIAL construction on the coasts???