Drop by and read this.
If a private-sector employee performed as badly as the federal, state, and local governments performed before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina, he would be summarily fired. But the governments will claim their budgets were too small and proceed to extract more money from the taxpayers. That’s how the political world works. And it’s part of the reason that governments perform as miserably as they do.There's more, but the whole article is best summed up in this line.
A private company that had built those levees and made those assurances would have hell to pay. It would be facing bankruptcy and its officers lawsuits for gross negligence or even criminal indictments. The prospect of such consequences tends to deter private harmful conduct. But government personnel are effectively immune from such consequences. They don’t risk their own capital. Accountability is nonexistent. There are likely to be no dismissals, much less indictments.
The problem is not only the people who run the agencies. It is in the nature of bureaucracy, which gets its money through coercive taxation, does not receive market feedback from consumers and insurance companies, and never faces bankruptcy. Cynics love to denigrate private businesses as putting profits before people, but it was Wal-Mart and Home Depot that were getting the goods to desperate people (when government agents weren’t impeding them) while FEMA was still recovering from the shock that the levees failed.
With guardians like these, who needs enemies?Amen!