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Take from the poor, give to the rich

While the California fire dominating mainstream news is a horrible tragedy to hundreds of thousands of people, bringing FEMA in is an even worse tragedy – to hundreds of millions of us. I know it gives Gee Wiz an opportunity to show, his kind and gentle side, and that he too has studied at the Ted Kennedy school of charity, able to generously give away other people’s money. But that is not reason enough to lavish federal tax money on San Diego County. Again, I don’t want to make light of the human suffering of those people who lost their homes and sometimes generations-worth of cool stuff. But I don’t want to pay for it either.

The average income in San Diego is $64,273. The median home costs $472,000. In Idaho those numbers are income at $24,506 and homes for $113,252. Part of the reason we live in Idaho is so we don’t have to pay half a million bucks for a home. Therefore we accept a much lower wage and drive cars that cost a quarter of what theirs do. Now FEMA is coming to Idaho, taking our hard-earned dollars and sending them to San Diego. Dang! Now I get to pay for California homes on an Idaho salary. What the heck is this modern Robin Hood smoking? More likely they are taking FDA-approved prescription meds.

I left the People’s Republic over 7 years ago. Common sense emigrated some time before I did, but in my defense, I correctly saw that it was going to get worse. These people pay a million dollars for a home, then worship explosively-flammable underbrush as “the natural environment”. I really thought they all were awakened by the devastating Oakland Hills Fire of 1991. In the aftermath, goat-herders were suddenly celebrities who could command any price for “organically” reducing the fire load around expensive homes. The newspapers, magazines and televisions taught us everything we could possibly want to know about goats and the husbandry thereof. I suppose 16 years is a longer memory than can be expected in the 5-second-attention-span our televisions have trained us to have.

Real charity, the voluntary giving of food, clothing, cash, human energy and what-have-you is a hallmark of civilized humans. We do this naturally. The neat thing is that it goes directly to those who need it the most and in a marvelously efficient way. Always has and always will. Organizations like the Salvation Army, Red Cross, Saint Vincent dePaul, Deseret Industries, Goodwill, Food Bank, and innumerable more are able to deliver the bounty of human charity to balance human needs. And their overhead runs in the 5%-15% range. Government “charity” applies about $40 out of ever $100 to the real need. Are we really that stupid?

Unfortunately the answer is “yes”. FEMA is putting a great party on in the coliseum taxpayers built so the San Diego Chargers could rake in million-dollar-a-year salaries bashing into other football players. FEMA certainly wants to outgrow the “doesn’t know how to throw a party” reputation it earned in New Orleans. The devastated people of San Diego will chat with the FEMA folks to collect their cut of federal largess. Then they’ll hop in their BMWs and zip over to the insurance company offices to collect full-replacement value for their home and contents. Then, after a few FEMA-all-expense-paid weeks of recovery at the Zen spa, they will return to the drudge of their $64,273-a-year job.

Meanwhile, I’ll try to feel righteously generous as they increase the tax cut out of my $24,506 Idaho job. Do you suppose the Californians will thank me? … or FEMA?