Government real outlaw in crises

(My Clovis News Journal column for September 2, 2016)

 People naturally solve problems (my chosen headline)

Recently, in Belarus, smugglers took a neglected gravel road and fixed it. They made it better for their own purposes, while helping others in the process. Just what were these black market villains smuggling on their newly improved road? Drugs? Weapons? Slaves? Not exactly. They were smuggling fruits and vegetables.

In another show of outlawry, the recent floods in Louisiana brought out neighbors in boats to rescue people from danger. They willingly accepted risk to themselves to help people they may not even know. These heroes are known as the “Cajun Navy”.

Louisiana lawmakers want to make sure events like this are prevented from happening again. Not the floods, but the unregulated rescues. In fact, so deep was their concern, they sent police to stop rescuers from getting to the people in need. It was more important to stop people from helping, than to actually help.

When there is a problem, the natural tendency of people is to solve it. Unless, apparently, they have banded together as government to prey on the population. In which case, obedience to rules becomes sacred.

The Louisiana situation is a repeat of what happened after Hurricane Katrina in 2005: people left to suffer, and volunteer rescuers threatened with violence, because government employees believed they had a monopoly on assistance– while refusing to do anything toward that end. In fact, government’s “help” made the suffering worse.

To those who believe government is a solution, things like this may be dismissed as extreme cases. But they aren’t.

In the example of the Belorusian road, as soon as government noticed the increased traffic, they sent agents to steal from the entrepreneurs. They call the theft “customs”.

The black market road builders are heroes, and those who follow them to rob the traders are the bad guys.

The Louisiana lawmakers may be even worse.

If you want to help people, do it. You can’t foresee and avoid every eventuality. It isn’t possible. There are too many crises which can happen; too many circumstances where people need help. There are always risks.

Going into a situation where someone’s life is in danger puts you in danger. You still have an absolute human right to try to help, without asking permission from anyone. Some even see it as a responsibility. True heroes don’t wait for permission to help, and accept that there are consequences to every choice. True heroes don’t look to government for guidance.

 A big “thank you!” to supporters of this blog. I probably couldn’t keep doing this without you.
My subscriptions are down about $65 from a year ago. That may not sound like much, but when you live on the edge as I do, it’s a lot. I desperately need to replace (or surpass) those subscriptions.

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