Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Nice: Subsidiarity in Action

A very nice post from one of the young writers over at CatholicVote.org about Americans pulling together and taking care of one another in their time of need:

Why have FEMA? Alabama citizens show us spontaneous charity in action
by Joshua Mercer

Natural disasters can literally destroy communities. We’ve seen this from Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Japan, the recent tornadoes in the South, and the current flooding of the Mississippi in Memphis. (Pray for my relatives in North Dakota; sandbags are keeping water from flooding their house on all four sides. They have to travel by boat instead of car because of the flooding of the Red River of the North.)

Because there is so much need of shelter, clothing and water for so many displaced families, it is thought that only the federal government can effectively rise to the occasion and meet these needs of all these people.

But Katrina changed all that. It opened our eyes to the incompetence of bureaucracy from the federal level (“Brownie”) down to the municipal level (remember all the school buses that went unused?).

In contrast, Walmart and Home Depot mobilized immediately and performed some amazing acts of corporate citizenship, while FEMA was spinning their wheels:

“Between August 29 [when Katrina made landfall] and September 16,” [Economist Steve Horwitz] reports, “Wal-Mart shipped almost 2,500 truckloads of merchandise to the affected areas and had drivers and trucks in place to ship relief supplies to community members and organizations wishing to help....

Mr. Mercer then switches over to the disastrous tornadoes that afflicetd the south last week:

And it’s not just corporations who have responded to the call.

When tornadoes recently ravaged the city of Tuscaloosa (home of the University of Alabama), they found help from an unlikely source. Their chief rival: fans of Auburn University."

Bless them!

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