We are living in a time when the government has no money. I am an American, so I am talking about the US Government. I live in the Philippines, though, and the truth is that “the government having no money” could be said about most governments in the world these days. There are a few governments that have plenty of money, China comes to mind as perhaps the leading example. Germany has done well economically, and had money at least until it started bailing out Greece over and over again.
Because of the economic hard times, people will have to learn to live with less. Less commercial items, and also less government assistance. So far, from what I can see, Americans (many of them) do not yet understand this. The money is gone. Perhaps things will recover, or perhaps this is the “new normal” as they say.
I am 50 years old. Back when I was a kid in the 60’s and 70’s and even into my years as a young adult, there were certain things that the government helped citizens with, and there were other things that people had to help themselves on. In case of a disaster like a flood, hurricane, fire or some other such devastating event, you bought insurance. Purchasing homeowner’s insurance protected your home. If there was a disaster, the insurance was there to help you rebuild and recover your life again.
It seems that in the past decade or so things have changed. Why buy insurance, the government will pay you the money to recover from disaster. The first time that I really remember this happening, although it may have happened before, was when Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana. I spent about 10 years living in Louisiana during my high school years and my early adult life. So, I feel sorry for the people there who were hit by Katrina. But, I wonder, why did the government bail out private citizens who did not have insurance? I remember at that time seeing people getting government checks to rebuild what they lost in the storm. Surely, those with insurance policies did not get the insurance money and also a government check, but I don’t know for sure.
Over the years since Katrina, every time there is any kind of disaster, the government is there with money in hand. People are lining up to get their share.
A few months back, Superstorm Sandy struck the northern Atlantic coastline in the USA, particularly in New York and New Jersey. The government is still not handing out as much relief as is expected, but the Congress is working on it. I saw a news article the other day where a lady in New Jersey had $40,000 damage to her home. FEMA (The Federal Emergency Management Agency) had given her $1,400 for now to cover the damage. Why is FEMA giving out money to repair a home? Did the lady have no homeowner’s insurance? I can understand FEMA coming in and distributing blankets, drinking water, food and such to help people survive through the time when things are in flux, while they are waiting for the insurance to be settled up and such. I don’t see any reason why FEMA should be getting involved in repairing a home, though. That is what insurance is for.
I know that it sounds callous for me to say this. It has become an accepted fact that the government will hand out money. But, folks, the money is gone. The only way that the US is able to give out money like this is by either borrowing more money from countries like China, or by printing more money, which will lead to inflation. The current policy of handing out money when there is a natural disaster is not sustainable. It won’t be much longer before people figure out that they better buy insurance to protect themselves from such events, like what people did when I was younger.
God bless the victims of Sandy, and every other storm out there. I do feel for them, and do not mean to single them out or ridicule them. I just worry where the money will come from.