This is a good point I hadn’t thought of:
Charles Black
1

There’s a natural tendency to be revolted by people profiteering during disasters. It diminishes natural human charity, and it makes people not want to help for free, because they feel they are being taken advantage of.

Your use of example of the 9/11 boat rescues was particularly appalling. Don’t you understand that the amazing thing about them — or Dieppe, or many other examples — was precisely because people took time and effort and even risk for free?

If on 9/10, you had gone to these boat owners, mostly affluent individuals, and asked them to register for a service which allowed them to make money renting their boats, I expect you’d have had no uptake at all.

I note that you seem to ignore the same objection that everyone else had: that having a large number of independently-motivated individuals descending on an emergency scene hoping to make money seems like a recipe for even worse catastrophe.

Most rational people in most countries would use your example as an argument for well-organized emergency services, and in the last resort, a civil defense network, formal or informal, which could draw on a large part of the adult public in the time of ultimate need, just as we saw on 9/11.

In other words — government. Yes, responding to systematic, immediate emergencies is one of those things that big government is actually really good for.

Overall, I might be mistaken, but I perceive you as one of those “free market trumps all” individuals — I might be wrong, but I believe that you see “government” as the primary enemy — and I feel that in the last couple of decades, this attitude has done tremendous damage to America and American society, to the point where I feel it will not recover in my lifetime.

If I am wrong about that, I apologize for my immoderate tone.

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