Hurricane Reconstruction


This fall’s hurricane damage is severe. What should the federal government do? This massive rebuilding effort will end up being one of the biggest ever. We’ll be seeking resources from the Congress, to make sure that disaster relief is available. Politicians from the areas that were hit always say, give us lots of money! We do need and will need federal resources. Texas congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee wants about $150 billion — just for Texas. So far, Congress has agreed to a portion of that. Of course, only the federal government can send in the military and other first responders. After Irma, 13,000 National Guard soldiers helped rescue and evacuate people. This the kind of emergency response we expect from the federal government. But rebuilding afterward? Why is that the federal government’s responsibility? We’re going to have to restore a lot of
housing. Our infrastructure has to be restored. Yes, but why is that a federal job? Washington has no money of its own. Anything it spends is taken from states and local governments, from people who would probably have been smarter about spending it locally. This idea that it’s always the federal government’s responsibility is new, until recently businesses and charities handled most disaster response. In 1906, the massive San Francisco earthquake and fire that followed destroyed 80 percent of San Francisco. Despite this vast amount of destruction, the city was rebuilt quickly. Population recovered to pre-quake levels within just three years. This happened because rebuilding was done by residents, charities, and businesses, not by a bureaucratic government. The disaster even created some opportunities. All San Francisco’s banks were destroyed, But one banking entrepreneur reopened quickly, giving loans to all sorts of people who needed help. His bank grew to be the Bank of America. Seven years later, the Midwest was hit with a huge storm now called the “Great Easter Flood.” Eleven states flooded. Rising water and tornadoes killed 600 people. The federal government did very little. But businesses stepped in. The National Cash Register Company built 300 boats to rescue flood victims, and then provided meals and shelter for thousands of people. The role of businesses after disasters is seldom appreciated. Yes, they want to make a profit. But they also want to help neighbors, and they want a good reputation. Giving out water and ice. After recent hurricanes, big box stores like Home Depot and Wal-Mart were quick to bring in, fresh water, batteries, and food. In Puerto Rico, Coca Cola donated $1 million Pepsi Co, $2 million Elon Musk offers to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electricity grid. Researchers found that after Hurricane Katrina, business and charities provided much more help than FEMA did. A few years ago, Oklahoma took a big hit. For three days tornadoes tore through the state. FEMA spent lots of money to help rebuild but even NBC’s anchors noticed that private charities did a better job If you’re waiting for the government, you’re going to be in for an awful long wait. The Baptist men, they’re going to get it done tomorrow. The Baptist men got bulldozers and cleared tornado debris from more than a thousand homes. They brought in Bobcats and bulldozers and chainsaws and they just went to work. Within days, the Baptists gave them a new home. It was a mess out here, and they cleaned it up. And they’ve done that for our whole neighborhood. All the sudden we hear hammering and Maddie looks back and she grabs my shoulder and I look up, and they’re already on our roof. You have people driving though handing you meals. People I didn’t know, would just walk up and give us money it’s just overwhelming to me that we were that taken care of. For 200 years when disasters hit, neighbors took care of neighbors. But now we hear, “a big storm requires big government.” I say, the head of the Baptist charity has it right. I don’t think there’s any kind of disaster that can take place that the non-profit and faith-based groups cannot take care of.

89 thoughts on “Hurricane Reconstruction

  1. It's the federal governments job because they take all the income from the state. If the federal government stopped these outrageous taxes, states and local governments and people would have money for themselves.

  2. Charity is the way to go. The LDS church donated so much time and resources that even federal and state rescue teams started asking them to start saving people because the couldn't handle the calls.

  3. The National Guard seves at the request of STATE government, not the federal government.

  4. Aren't these businesses and individuals insured for this type of loss? I'm not saying that there still won't be some charity needed, but shouldn't most of it be taken care of by insurance? If a tree falls on my house, the government doesn't come fix that or give me the money to have it fixed. My insurance provides for that. Why is this any different?

  5. The useless and unwanted choose to believe they deserve whatever they want…. reality tells the truth of beliefs.

  6. Here is I aware is only helping around the federal government and helping with military and sending people around. It is lack of understanding of economic and political understanding that's rule of govertment. It is just small % of the recovery and rebuild fundamental. I found libertarian have lack of understanding on it. Only show you one side. I am a conservative I do understand the two sides. Over it. I agree communities like to help communities and what federal government it is to protect national interest in the international field. Take in mind a think with libertarians I am okay solving some of problems or look what's failing and get a good solutions. Reason Libertarian and conservatives got in common love debate and get solutions make things done. Take in mind in world we all in a battlefield….. Different of progressive and liberals big talkers add problems and never found solutions just add-on problems…

  7. This is why you never, ever, ever, ever allow laws to be written and enacted through a democratically elected body.

  8. Theft is theft. One person's need does not justify forcibly taking money from unwilling others to cover what he/she thinks she "needs."

  9. If the federal government is going to take money from the people by force then they should be helping in addition to the businesses. If they're no going to help then the people are being robbed via taxes.

  10. Feds are needed for Treage, as first responders but once the initial risk of life is over get them out

  11. That's because people who are the "federal government" want more and more responsibility because it is more and more power they have. Not much more complicated than that.

  12. I know what disaster that non for profits and faith-based groups cannot take care of. That's the disaster of animal products that they continually shove down their mouth eating hot dogs and hamburgers praying over it to some fictional character now that's a fucking disaster🙋

  13. John stossel why don't you run for president you could help eliminate all this waste

  14. Mr Stossel if the government is not responsible for rebuilding after a disaster then Federal Government should defund FEMA get rid of it Oh But its a government agency designed to help people in an immediate crises Well Then we should congratulate them on the Wonderful job they did with the hurricane Katrina disaster in Louisiana Yes i am being sarcastic but then again what would you expect form a U.S. citizen that is fed up with government BULLSHIT (edit) I Had relatives that died in Louisiana during that time

  15. Americans hate Christianity, why should Christian charities help out people who have never donated a single cent to any church, anywhere? Remember when Obama wanted to do away with welfare and social security saying that it should be left up to the churches and religious groups to take care of these people? Here's an idea, how about a disaster relief tax, we all pay into it so that we have government funded relief when a disaster hits? Oh, that's right, we all want someone else to foot the bill.

  16. Im not sure if stossel knows, when they say federal funds they dont mean money to pay fema workers to become plumbers, framers, carptenters. The funds are to pay private sector companies to do the rebuilding. Also, lets not forget that insurance companies opperate in the negative 100% of the time. They will never be able to pay ALL claims. In fact there are a few that just filed bankruptcy. There is only one way to not be a victim, dont live near the fucking ocean, tornado country, or on a fault line.

  17. And today we see those charities get sued by the towns, states and federal government for not having permits.

  18. It's a shame how few people actually watch your videos.  They are some of the best on YouTube.

  19. I think people do have to pay for some of the costs of natural disasters, because they choose to live there and how know whatever they sound on property is at risk. Definitely FEMA, the Red Cross and others need to be there to save lives.

  20. What about the people who are ordered out of their homes and forced to evacuate whilst the government seizes entire areas?

  21. Only the federal government can send in the first responders? John I am disappointed. You forget the Cajun Navy in Texas. They were there first, and rescued far more than the federal government did. Just private citizens banding together to help their neighbors.

  22. Pre-hurricane, Puerto Rico did not spend their tax payers' dollars on the islands' infrastructure as they should have. The roads and electrical grid were not maintained and expanded as necessary. The people of Puerto Rico and their government made choices.

    Do you think they should get better roads and an improved electric grid over what they wouldn't do for themselves? No way.

    FEMA should only work to return the infrastructure to what existed pre-hurricane and NOT make the improvements they should have made themselves, otherwise FEMA would be there 'forever'. I think that's part of what President Trump was talking about.

  23. In my opinion, this is why our society may fall in a few decades. We seem to be addicted to government, we do not trust businesses, charities, or other people. Our society doesn't, generally, know the people next store. We have isolated ourselves from each other.

    That is sad.

  24. The government people want to stamp out all private charities and faith based groups. How else can the spread Godless Communism?

  25. 2:28 The National Cash Register company better stick to cash registers. I've never seen a boat almost sink in ankle high water before.

  26. Yeah I lived in Cedar Rapids Iowa when the local government misspent 180million and had to go back and ask for more! Meanwhile the city went into massive debt!

  27. Another great video by Stossel!

  28. I do agree business does a better job rebuilding. First of all, if business money is on the hook, they will not help residents re-build houses in future flood or fire zones.

  29. But wait! Don't forget those non profits and faith based groups will need a permit to do all that work first!

  30. What about Florida Governor Rick Scott giving a Jewish school $1million for security when countless people need homes repaired ?

  31. If you remove the responsibility and the immediate cost for any problem you get INFANTS for a general population not adults in a society.

  32. I wish John ran for president. Honestly he is the only one who makes any sense.

  33. This is the curse of F.E.M.A. and the media. Does anyone remember the starving Ethiopians? Somalis? Hurricane Katrina?

  34. Recently in Texas it was the Texas and Oklahoma National Guards that we’re called out. They almost called upon the Active Duty Army but held off when they saw the number of guard troops report in. Oklahoma essentially said Texas you are our brother/neighbor. We are there for you!

  35. I understand everyones reaction to the government spending all the money to help people rebuild. But I'd much rather see my tax dollars going to help people in our country recover from a disaster, than have it spent on countless and pointless conflicts around the world, and trillions of dollars that are unaccounted for by the defense department, as well as all of the foreign aid. And all the other bullshit that the government wastes our tax dollars on. But stossel is right and I agree with most of his points

  36. Thank you Stossel, for saying what we thought. Hugs! It’s all about the golden rule. I have to give a shout out to The Salvation Army who did an amazing job when Hurricane Andrew hit Florida. #TheSalvationArmy

  37. Liberals and the LEFT love the USA's MONEY only.. Everything else they could care less about

  38. Restore liberty! It's what made this country but we're loosing touch of that. Now liberty to most is a slogan void of actual meaning.

  39. Honestly, if you compare the efficiency of the government compared to private organizations. There is a tremendous difference because gov employees dont think of money cost while private employees have to. For a toronto, a cement stairway took over 150k and 1 year to build. Imagine how long you would have to wait for the federal government while they have to manage not one city but all the states.

  40. Well it is rather clear why this is. If my town is in trouble and I want to help, I just help. I get up, get dressed, and go do what has to be done.

    If the government wants to help, someone is going to have to fill out a request form for the forms required to get the aid. Then that paperwork has to get sent off to someone behind a desk someplace who has to read it over to approve or deny it, and then that goes to the head of the department in charge of that who then files a report that will then be read by the scheduler who then will order someone to go assess the situation, and then they will make a report, and then that report goes to someone else who then approves or denies it, and then that goes back to the scheduler who then schedules a crew to help, who will be there in a week.

  41. Someone needs to forward this video to the dems, republicans and Puerto Rico. Great video

  42. Great story…more of the younger people need to know about this. Businesses, charity, and neighbors are much greater help than any government entity.
    As a rule of thumb, government demands so much and gives so little.

  43. Its the states problem. They need to stop wasting money on people who don't work or do anything to contribute back, like 99% of the welfare people. Take all of their money, that will be enough to pay for any rebuild of any city as California spends about 10m or more on them every few months.

  44. I remember when Rand Paul tried to offset this disaster relief by cutting USAID spending. Most Senators were opposed, as they really don't care that the nat'l debt is continuing to balloon & USAID funding is worthwhile.

    USAID is about as useful as a turd. Well, some turds are useful, as they can be fertilizer.

  45. I do not mind people giving their own money willingly to help others. I do mind welfare where you're stilling from A to give to B because B was not smart enough to plan ahead(and likely just figured As money would be there so why bother planning). Puerto Rico has always been a dump.. no offense meant to them but their economy and towns are in the gutter. So when the government wants to hand them billions of dollars it's like a bums cardboard box home blew away so we're going to build him a $500,000 home.. It makes no sense. I'd be more inclined to donate and help IF I was not already having my money stolen in the form of taxes to be redistributed.

  46. When all these people asking money from federal government it well never get to the people that really needed. And alone the way all these CROOKS are going to skim of the top

  47. 00:53 When did she say rebuilding was the federal governments job?! John your videos are biased and moronic.

  48. 2:40 I went through Irma in the worst hit area in Florida. Home Depot and Walmart sure they had water, FOR A PRICE! NOT FREE! So no businesses don't do things for free or charity anymore. They are only in it to make a profit don't kid yourself.

  49. If anything the federal government should donate the FEMA money to these charities, they're much more efficient with the money because they are charities. Any contractor that gets hired by the government is going to gouge the shit out of them because they know they can write a blank check.

  50. A perfect case study for this is Herbert Hoover. As a volunteer and organizer of charitable organizations, he ran massively successful efforts to rescue US citizens stuck in Europe at the outbreak of WW1, feed millions of starving people in Eastern and Central Europe when the conflict was over, and (beginning to step into governmental roles, but still relying mostly on private donations and volunteer labor) shelter and supply the people displaced by the flooded Mississippi. Then he became president, was stuck with a stock market crash, and accomplished very little to help the people in need. Most would say FDR succeeded where Hoover failed, but the slow recovery during FDR's early years may have mostly been the natural course regardless of federal policies, and in any case it's pretty clear that what really pulled the US out of the depression was WW2, which could hardly be described as a federal relief program. Private citizens do it better.

  51. Altho' not precisely on point, here's a tale. It was a dark and stormy night (thanks and a tip of the hat to Baron Bulwer-Lytton) in January of 2018, when a homeless guy showed up at my door. Turns out he was a former client from years before. At some point since then, his life had apparently gone to Hell and, in the depths of his misery, he apparently thought of me as the arch problem solver. We took him in (to have left him out there would have condemned him to sure death). I then embarked on a private rehab effort (everything from setting him up with transportation to getting him a place to live), which also included taking him around to the various government agencies which are charged with dealing with poverty and homelessness. One of the things I did was to get him signed up for food stamps. It took at least 4 trips to 3 different agencies (more than 16 miles in travel – for a guy who had no transportation – it would have been too much, I suppose, to consolidate these services for the sake of the ostensible clients…) and the efforts of not less than 6 State employees and 2 Federal ones (all drawing decent salaries with munificent benefits) in order to get this guy assistance with food. $15 a month! Unbelievable – it had to cost the governments involved thousands of dollars in order to get this guy $15 a month in food stamps!

    Now, apply that same level of efficiency to something like a hurricane and you will know just how right Stossel is.

  52. Thank the good work of the church and the businesses that brought up America.

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