Thursday, August 31, 2017

Pick your poison: where do you want to live?

Yes, Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the Houston area, with terrible damage that will take years to rebuild.  

It happens.  Living in subtropical areas such as Florida and southern Texas as well as many nice areas along the Gulf coast has its appeal: nice, temperate weather for most of the year, with the winters just a bit chilly and the summers pretty hot.  Lots of people like this.  Me, too.  But living in subtropical environs, one should expect that extreme subtropical weather will be part of your living experience as well.

But nobody should expect that taxpayers should subsidize your choice of where to settle down.  When you buy a home in Oklahoma ('Tornado Alley'), you should expect a tornado from time to time, and accordingly you should buy appropriate insurance.

Or living  in the beautiful forested areas out West: it's real nice most of the year, but from time to time, lightening or careless campers set these forests on fire, and folks' homes go up in flames along with the trees.  Again, some home owners insurance goes a long way when the poop hits the fan occasionally.

When you choose the Great State of Alaska to put your roots down, you need to know that the place is frozen two thirds of the year and that your heating bills will take up a significant amount of your disposable income, in addition to snowmobiles and snow blowers just to get to the store or post office, etc. so that you have some semblance of freedom to move about.

Ditto living in the upper mid-west: it can get down to 30 below zero in northern Minnesota.  For weeks at a time in January and February.  Expect to sit tight until that kind of killer weather moves on, and don't expect government helicopters to swoop in and take you to the grocery store when you run out of Oreo cookies. 

But please don't expect to live in these areas on other people's dimes, and when the weather dumps on you horribly, you put your hand out to the government and expect to be made whole at the taxpayer's expense.

Pick your poison.  Live where you want to live.  This is America, and you can go wherever you want.  Just don't expect the rest of us to pay for your choices.  

It may sound hard hearted, but this is the United States of America, Land of the Free and Home of the Brave: take care of yourselves.  

19 comments:

LL said...

I agree - but in the situation in Texas, with a significant portion of Houston under water, the USGOV will step in to try and restore infrastructure. That doesn't mean that the taxpayer will underwrite damage to individual homes, but to walk away from that level of damage to the nation and to Texas is unrealistic. I expect that as with New Orleans, there will be a piece of Houston, Port Arthur, etc. that are not rebuilt for a long time if ever.

The key as I see it is learning from these disasters and taking steps (if indeed they can be taken) to make it less likely that Houston and the Gulf Coast is so damaged by these inevitable storms - that have been hitting the same coast for time immemorial. The same thing is true of the Mississippi River, which floods the same homes with an uncomfortable degree of regularity.

Tornadoes are a different matter because there's not much that can be done about them except making a tougher building code that makes it less likely that a tornado passing in the area will wipe them out (a direct hit is an act of God). The tornadoes seem to be attracted by mobile homes.

Adrienne said...

One of our favorite things about North Idaho is no weird bugs, alligators, hurricanes, tornadoes, or tropical storms. The worse thing we have is the occasional blizzard. With no where we have to be, plenty of wood for our stove, a full pantry, and a shelf dedicated to emergency reading, it's no big deal for us. We also have a wonderful "snow plow fairy" now who makes sure we're plowed out. We've both done Minnesota, Texas, and Arizona. North Idaho is the best.

Gorges Smythe said...

Agreed. Yet everyone rebuilds the SAME PLACE and in exactly the SAME WAY. Idiots abound.

Fredd said...

LL: yup, some damage will never be rebuilt. Lesson learned. And living within the flood plain of the Mississippi River just doesn't make sense to anyone with half a brain. But still folks build there. And get hammered every 8 years +/-.

There are a few places that are not prone to anything Gaia has in mind: the White Wolf Mine, for example. Other than scorpions, rattlesnakes and killer tarantulas the size of your hand, all of which can lay you out big time.

Like I say, pick your poison.

Fredd said...

Gorges: live and learn, or so they say. Some live but never learn. Idiots do indeed abound the world around.

Fredd said...

Adrienne:

We have good friends that have built their retirement dream cottage in Donnely, ID, they snatched up some land that was formerly listed at millions of dollars on the perimeter of the now bankrupt Tamerack Ski lodge for pennies on the dollar.

We stayed up there for a week, had a great time river rafting, antiquing (sp?), it's truly God's country. BUT: the mosquitoes up there could carry away a small child if left unattended, those monsters have drumsticks instead of legs, and the thick swarms of no-see-em's will eat you alive. And of course there's the occasional Grizzly that will gobble you down as an appetizer, or the moose passing by that can tear the deck off your house if its antlers get tangled in the railing. Not to mention the forest fires that abound.

Other than that, it's God's Country, true enough.

Fredd said...

Adrienne: I forgot to mention the wandering gangs of Sasquatches, those Big Foots (Big Feet) are a real nuisance in your neck of the woods.

drjim said...

We're moving from Southern California (Long Beach) to Northern Colorado (Fort Collins) in three weeks.

We know where to buy, and where not to, thanks to in-laws that have lived in the area for 35 years.

We're going from worrying about earthquakes and civil unrest to worrying about bad storms and possible forest fires. We won't buy on a flood plain, or IN a forest, but we'll still have the weather to worry about.

I'd rather worry about the weather than hundreds of thousands of "The Entitled" rioting if their EBT cards don't work....

Fredd said...

Dr. Jim: I have a feeling that in the fullness of time, those entitled folk will find you anyway. Not to worry, though. Just put a sign out on your property stating "No mobs allowed.' That'll keep 'em at bay.

Linda said...

We moved to NWKS 44 years ago. We do get some blizzards once in a while, and some pretty hot weather other times of the year (thank God for Mr. Currier), and we've seen a small tornado hit a motel in our little town about 10 miles to the north, but other than that, we've loved being here. I can't have a garden (getting too old for that, anymore) because of the crop sprayers. They used to always spray and get my tomato plants just at the 'right' time, and we ended up with no tomatoes. We have a Walmart, a Dillons, and a half dozen or so fast food places to eat. We also have one or two 'upscale restaurants'! We are so fortunate to have a community college which was built because I70 goes through our town. We are also grateful for the wonderful medical community. We have Doctors, nurses, surgeons, etc. What we don't have on staff come monthly or bi-weekly. We also have a good dental community. I think we are safe from the extreme forces we see coming about in our country. No one wants to live in our 'peek' and 'plumb' town. (Peek around the corner and you are plumb out of town. Oh, I forgot our wonderful library! They have a great selection of books, but if you want one they don't have, they'll get it!

I was born and raised in Denver, and don't miss it at all!

Our hearts do go out to the 'Houstonians'! The poor will be the last ones who will get their lives back.

Fredd said...

Linda: I hear that Denver used to be quite a nice place; 75 years ago. Now it's chock full of Californians who have wrecked the place.

drjim said...

Boulder is FAR worse than Denver, Fredd!

Adrienne said...

Donnely is quite a ways from us. It's very beautiful there. I've heard rumors that there are some mosquitoes around here, but in close to thirty years I've never seen one. Yellow jackets. Yep, we have yellow jackets, but they're pretty tame. I've been stung once in 30 years and that was actually a bee sting.

You're right about the Sasquatches. Real pests, but they keep the elephants away.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

I don't do heat and humidity so the Rockies will probably be where I die.

Fredd said...

Dr. Jim: Boulder is home to the U. of Colorado Buffaloes, where they give tenure to scumbags like Ward Churchill.

Yes, Boulder is much worse than Denver. And that is saying something.

Kid said...

Exactly Fredd. In 1900 say, People picked their risk level and lived with the consequences when stuff happened. Now everyone expects to be bailed out. Ain't good.

LSP said...

Fredd, everything you say makes good sense but, and it's a big but, you're missing one thing. That's right, the War on Weather.

Just think, if Houston and the rest of Texas had paid the Weather Tax, none of this would've happened.

Still, the question is, what areas of Houston won't get rebuilt? I'm guessing the ones which are predominantly...

Fredd said...

Kid: yeah, the good ol' days around 1900: when a guy could expect to live to the ripe old age of 47. Maybe, if he lived right. Back then, we were still predominantly an agricultural economy, and most guys worked from dawn until dusk in back breaking labor on tobacco farms, corn fields, bucking hay, from the time they were old enough to hoist a bale of hay onto the back of a flatbed trailer until the day they died...probably in the field somewhere.

Ah, the good ol' days.

Fredd said...

Pastor: you got me there. It's pretty well known that Texans haven't been paying their fair share of climate shake-down cash to the climate change cabal. And now there's the devil to pay.

Just like in New Orleans after Katrina, the poorest neighborhoods are still nothing but mile after mile of rotting shotgun shacks as I type this, where the French Quarter and other well heeled neighborhoods are living in the land of high cotton with trimmed yards and fresh cedar decks and awnings on all the new double-wides.

Life is like that, even here in the land of the free and home of the brave.