For Consideration: Subsidized Disaster Risk

Source: (WSJ) Let’s Get Rational About Disaster Risk

Anyone whose labors take him among America’s distinguished elder statesmen, especially those in the Boston-New York-Washington corridor, discovers that our most influential citizens all have one thing in common: a house in Florida. An unfortunate truth is that the value of their Florida coastal property would plummet if they were made to bear the cost of their life-style choices. A lot of ritzy communities would shrink drastically.

Resources devoted to subsidizing the risk to those who choose to live in flood prone areas, are resources not available for other purposes. This isn’t simply a financial matter. It also leads to a concentration of talent that comes at the expense of other regions of the country. While state and federal governments have a role to play in disaster relief, encouraging people to make risky decisions without first properly evaluating the potential costs is immoral.