The idea that the federal government must lead in rebuilding is only a recent phenomenon, says the Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards.
“Prior to recent decades,” he writes, “private charitable groups and businesses have been central to disaster response.”
In 1906, the massive San Francisco earthquake and fire that followed destroyed 80 percent of the city. Yet that tragedy “is remembered not just for the terrible destruction it caused, but also for the remarkably rapid rebuilding. … (The) population recovered to pre-quake levels within just three years, and residents quickly rebuilt about 20,000 buildings.”
The rebuilding was quick because it wasn’t done by a cumbersome government bureaucracy. Rich people and companies donated labor and goods. “Johnson and Johnson quickly loaded rail cars full of donated medical supplies and sent them to San Francisco,” writes Edwards.
Also, “90 percent of San Francisco residents had fire insurance.”
Today in America, even people who live on the edges of oceans don’t buy insurance. “Why pay?” many think. “There probably won’t be a problem, and if there is, government will step in.”
The more the federal government intervenes, the more people come to rely on handouts.
He is absolutely correct. Washington DC spends money like a drunken sailor precisely because it's not their money they are so careless with; it's other people's money. And they have now successfully cultivated a fatal dependency from the majority of the American public. Government dependency addiction is actually a form of enslavement that is no different than being monetarily in debt. This doesn't bode well for the trying times in which we live. When disaster falls, most are now like sheep, waiting for someone to come take care of and protect them. With little foresight, most live only for the moment, unprepared for the storms that inevitably befall a fallen world.
There is only one kind of dependency that fosters self-sufficiency: dependency upon God. However, unlike previous generations that largely depended upon God, the current culture ejected God from the public square and jettisoned any allegiance to Him. The result is multitudes enslaved to a fallen civil government.
But for the few that retain dependency upon God, self-sufficiency is a natural outworking of that dependency.
Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God (2 Cor 3:5, ESV)