So what ND?

I wrote this to my grandmother in response to an email she forwarded me talking about how in North Dakota when they have a huge storm nobody complains to the government.  More or less telling New Orleans to quit their whining.

of course ideally we’d all be prepared for a disaster.  And it wasn’t the rains themselves that were the problem but the fact of the levee breach.  It had been recommended to the Bush administration to improve the levee, and the disaster that occurred had been laid out to him ahead of time.  So, when he said that nobody could have seen this coming he lied, because it had been predicted to him.

Now again, ideally the government shouldn’t have to do things like that.  But as part of this thing that we put together called civilization, we’ve acknowledged that there are some aspects of life that aren’t going to be taken care of by individuals.  So we pay taxes.  In addition, some parts of our great nation are clearly wealthier than others.  And while it would be awesome if everyone just paid their own way, we’ve decided that in order to provide people with the opportunity to live the American dream, and in order to help people to live better lives, we’re going to send aid.  We’ll let the federal government help build roads, fund schools and hospitals, and regulate corporations to prevent massive abuses against people.

Every man for himself will not work in this society, that’s why we have civilization, and that’s why we have government.  And that’s why I don’t complain about paying my taxes, even though they aren’t always used as efficiently or as honestly as possible.  In the end they’re doing more good than I could on my own, and we need that.  Our government uses taxes to fund programs that will never be profitable.  But many great things come from projects like the space program, and research on endangered species and solar energy, and providing safe shelter for people who can’t do it on their own.


  • Alan Bluehole

    Thank you. As a man with a grandmother IN New Orleans (as well as many other relatives), I am deeply angered by these email “forwards.” I got a few from my mother-in-law, so I sent her some photos of char-broiled bodies in Iraq in exchange.

  • jojo

    well put BD. civilized societies in general have a bell curve for wealth. some have more, some have less and the middle keeps things chugging along.