Tuesday, 4 October 2005

Bagging the Ice-man

All that banging on that everyone did a few weeks back about people in a disaster zone charging ten bucks for a bag of ice: turns out now that FEMA wasted over $100 million of ice that was intended to help to hurricane victims. So much for the power of government coordination in a crisis.

As the Mises blog notes with some asperity,
One frustrated truck driver had to drive 2,000 pounds of ice around for 4,100 miles, being redirected half a dozen times, and waiting up to a week (with the engine running) for FEMA to make up their mind. 59% of the purchased ice was never used, and much of it ended up thousands of miles from the affected areas because not enough storage space had been arranged. A homeland security report stated that the problem was that there is "no automated way to coordinate quantities of commodities with the people available to accept and distribute them." But not to worry, because “there are programs in the works that will help us better track commodities.”

Hmm, an automated way to coordinate quantities of commodities with the people available to distribute and consume them. I think I’ve read about something like that.

It's called a free market.
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1 comment:

  1. I miss Ruth. If it weren't for anti-spam she'd be here right now to take a big suck of a lemmon and let that experience induce a comment on this item. :(


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