Furthest Right

Why No One Should Send Maui Any Money

Imagine a small island with a beautiful climate. Thanks to international travel, a steady flow of tourists appears with ready money to offer for food, housing, and entertainment. Its natural beauty and climate essentially prints money for the place.

Because nothing must be produced in order to profit, the community becomes complacent. They need to do nothing to keep the money rolling in except keep being what they are, so they fritter away anything they take in via taxes through spending on non-issues.

At some point, someone warns them that the local agricultural industry ruined by international competition has left behind large amounts of grasses which are drying out in the record drought. Despite its large income, the local government pleads that it is too broke to do anything.

Consequently the crisis that will come forms a Platonic pattern. Each part is needed for the final result: dry grasses, high winds, lackluster response, and a spark. Eventually the spark comes, as one might suspect it would, whether from a cigarette butt or downed power line.

In that moment the local government, fat on easy money, goes into bungle mode. The fire detectors that should have worked are somehow not working; the emergency alert system failed; key officials are offshore on non-essential trips; a discoordinated response cuts off water and stops firefighting.

Soon the whole place burns to the ground excepting those who had the foresight to install firebreaks, metal roofs, and yards which did not provide much tinder. Many die in a horrible event that is called a natural disaster despite having human origins in both neglect and spark.

As the population stands among the ruins, they face a cognitive dissonance test: either they can accept that their government has failed them, or they can play the victim and put a hand out, hoping someone else will help. They ask the federal government for help.

What this means, broadly, is that taxes paid by people in other states would flow into this wealthy island to subsidize its failure. This both rewards failure and punishes the other states, who had no control over the bungling government that led to this disaster being of epic proportions.

Leftists cry for the children, and conservatives rage that money is being sent overseas instead of being shipped over to the endangered isle. Conspiracy theorists talk about space lasers being deployed so that the wealthy can buy up the land cheaply. No one focuses on the obvious: the government failed.

A sane solution to failed local governments is not to subsidize them but to let them collapse so that the true story of the ineptitude and corruption comes out. This forces the people on this witless island to actually fix their local government, instead of having someone else pay for the money it stole.

Maui made its bed, and it should lie in it. The rest of us should not fund the continuation of this failing enterprise. If the wealthy buy up these now-distressed properties, they will keep installing firebreaks, steel roofs, and low-burn yards. The problem will be solved.

On the other hand, if we the united saps of the people voting with their feelings and not their brains send them money, nothing changes. The government will be just as bad. The next disaster will be ignored until it hits. And then out come the pleading hands again.

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