Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Flood Plain Law

Flood plains are fascinating places. They turn liberals into anti government-intervention conservatives and conservatives into great babies sucking on the bottle of society. They do this because many smaller, more conservative places live within the floodplains and demand dams, levies, roads, etc, (all built at OTHER taxpayer's expense) to keep them safe, while liberals would just as soon tell people to leave the floodway and stop getting flooded and wasting money.

Yesterday in a Planning Law class I presented on the National Flood Insurance Program and hazard mitigation law among other things. What I basically said was that we subsidize bad behavior among floodplain residences and that our inability or unwillingness to require people to not continue to build in such an area is representative of the actual unwillingness of our political system and establishment to make good decisions that impact some people who are loud. There is no doubt that government can regulate floodplains by either requiring people to leave (which may require some form of property compensation), or by requiring people to elevate their homes to avoid further losses from floods. The truth of the matter in this case, though, is that property rights types get angry on a local level when floodplain regulations are enacted. While they feel that the government should stay out of their face most of the time, they whine about not being protected enough as soon as they are in danger, even though it makes more sense just to tell them to get the heck out of the way and to stop costing everyone else huge amounts of money.

No comments:

Post a Comment