Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Why Texas Will Survive

Will we just have to abandon Texas at this point and start over?  The media seems to think so.

The media is at it again, wearing out its thesaurus trying to find adjectives to describe the devastation of hurricane Harvey.  This is not to trivialize the amount of damage and death that is occurring in Texas and Louisiana, only that the media tends to exaggerate things and should not be trusted for a fair analysis of any current issue.

Compounding this are politicians on both sides of the aisle which one to make political hay out of natural disasters.  One thing that turns me off from the Democratic party is their use of Katrina "victims" who are still considered to be victims of hurricane over a decade after it has struck.  This is not to say they were not victims at one time, but there should be a time limit on victimhood and least with regard to economic losses.

The media today is rife with reports that Texas will never recover from this flooding in the Houston will remain devastated for centuries to come.  Well perhaps they are not being that dramatic in reporting, but they are coming awfully damn close.  The reality is, Texas will survive and recover far more quickly than people expect.

Houses will be repaired, some rebuilt.  Those flooded cars will be sold at auction and repaired.   Restaurants will clean up and re-open (and not be permanently closed as some media outlets suggest).  Oil refineries will go back online faster than you think.   But the media, of course, will keep looking for the cloud in the silver lining, as that sort of story sells and sells big.

We've been through a number of hurricanes, having lived in Florida and also survived one here in Georgia. And in every case, we've noticed a pattern with these storms and the storm stories.  The media likes to show pictures of extreme flooding and extreme damage, but never bothers to show pictures of areas that are relatively unharmed, which often make up the majority of a community.

The media hypes fear and tells you to wait in line for hours for a bag of ice - so they can film you in line for hours waiting for a bag of ice and then say how awful things are (A better idea is to stay home, forget the ice, eat canned goods - that's what we did).

The media also likes to put up stories about people who lost everything in a hurricane, but don't talk to their neighbors who came through just fine.  This puts forth the wrong impression that everyone in the area was devastated by the storm which may or may not be the case.

Storms and natural disasters are not unpredictable wild events that come out of the blue or are so-called "Acts of God."  They are actually rather predictable events in your lifetime, as I noted we have survived several of them already.  To live anywhere on the east coast and say that you would never expect to encounter a hurricane is akin to someone in California saying they would never expect to encounter earthquake, or somewhere in the midwest saying they would never expect to encounter a tornado.

These are predictable events.  And as I noted earlier posting, you have to prepare for predictable events, and not act surprised when they occur.   You ride a motorcycle, you can expect to end up in a hospital - yet so many young people will forego health insurance so they can make motorcycle payments.

Other predictable events in your life include a health crises, car accidents, and possibly even a house fire. This is why responsible people buy insurance and save up money for predictable events, rather than live paycheck-to-paycheck so they can own lot of crap in their yard.

Undoubtedly there are many people in the Houston area who don't have flood insurance, and I suspect in some poor neighborhoods, have no insurance at all.  If you travel to New Orleans even today, you will still see from the interstate, some houses in the 9th Ward which were never rebuilt. These are people who never bought hurricane insurance or flood insurance while living in an area that was below sea level.

But many others, in fact, most people rebuilt rather quickly after Katrina, and in fact New Orleans is quite prosperous today.  And I suspect it will surprise everyone how quickly Houston will rebound from flooding, particularly once the insurance companies show up and start handing out checks to those who had the foresight to buy insurance.

Is sad that news stations hype the "ain't it awful" mentality of human nature, as it sells news stories and clicks - but tends to lead viewers to mental depression.  Depressed people like to watch a lot of television which makes them further depressed.  And television caters to the need for bad news.

At a time like this, no one wants to hear good news - namely that people will rebuild and get back and move on with your lives more quickly than many will suspect.  But I think that will be the case, once you peel back the hysteria of the news media and the political blatherings of the politicians.

UPDATE:  Today the media reports that heartless landlords are evicting tenants from apartments that were five feet underwater.   What heartless bastards!  Where will the tenants live?   But of course, if the landlord let the tenant stay in an underwater apartment they would be castigated (and rightly so) as irresponsible for letting someone live in an unsafe mold factory.  What is the media trying to say here?  Oh, right, what sells, which is landlords are bad and we are all victims.

Other media outlets claim that renters are being "forced" to pay rent on flooded apartments, but of course, the destruction of the apartment is grounds to terminate any lease, provided you put it in writing.  Get a pen and paper people, this ain't rocket science.   But again, rich people (landlords) are bad and we are all victims with no way out other than religious-based charities and government assistance.

That is the narrative they want to sell us.  I ain't buying it.