Why Are Taxpayers On The Hook For Houston's Poor Planning And Questionable Building Codes?

Submitted by: normalfreak2 1 month ago in News & Politics

The time for zoning/building codes is well passed due for Houston and the Southern States in General.  It's not rugged individualism that's paying for the Harvey cleanup.  It's the Federal Government's socialism that's covering the costs.  Building in flood plains with no regulation is stupid.  It's TIME for Texas and other states that have no laws and regulations to take personal responsibility for themselves to not have the Fed come in and pay for the clean ups due to the lack of personal responsibility of these States.

An excerpt from Bloomberg Business: Texas policies leave home building decision to cities, whose record is mixed: Corpus Christi uses codes that reflect national standards, minus the requirement that homes be built one foot above expected 100-year-flood levels, according to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. Nueces County, which encompasses Corpus Christi, has no residential building code whatsoever.

The consequence of loose or non-existent codes is that storm damage is often worse than need be. "Disasters don’t have to be devastating," said Eleanor Kitzman, who was Texas’s state insurance commissioner from 2011 to 2013 and now runs a company in South Carolina that constructs and finances coastal homes that are above code. "We can’t prevent the event, but we can mitigate the damage."
There are 14 comments:
Male 1,733
Someone please explain something to me.
The yanks hate socialism. They don't want to pay a few dollars in taxes to go towards free health care. "It's my money. Why should I share it with anyone so they can get free treatment?" Every person for themselves.
But when a disaster hits, they want every stranger to hand over a few bucks to help them out.
Fuck 'em. You want capitalism? How are you enjoying that $10 bottle of water that used to be $1

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Male 464
oobaka In America, nobody wants their neighbor to suffer, but the solution is different for the 2 parties.

Republicans want to be able to provide personal donations directly to people they deem in need. 

Democrats want the government to collect money and redistribute it to people that the government deems are in need.

Since the country is split, you get both when a disaster strikes. Government aid and disaster bureaus as well as considerable private donation. 
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Male 40,756
toetagmodel2 Excellent answer!
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Male 374
"Why Are Taxpayers On The Hook For Houston's Poor Planning And Questionable Building Codes?"

The reason taxpayers are on the hook is because federal regulations force them to be so. If the federal government left flood insurance to markets, the insurers would be on the hook. (And, no, the feds aren't stepping in where markets refuse to tread. The reason there is no private flood insurance is because private insurers can't compete with the low-priced federal insurance. And the reason the federal insurance is low-priced? Because taxpayers are forced to underwrite the insurance.)
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Male 7,927
AntEconomist I'm going to disagree here, the Flood insurance is not something at play here.  Who the F is going to give affordable flood insurance to people who live in a flood plain?  It would have been cost prohibitive.  The situation you have in Houston is a lack of regulation on what buildings go where.  Having a free for all  market is the root  cause of this.  The market didn't regulate itself like it always never does.  The Feds are coming in to bail out bad city planning.

Also I missed you on the Conservative case for Single payer. =(
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Male 316
normalfreak2 "Who the F is going to give affordable flood insurance to people who live in a flood plain?" That is the point exactly. If people had to pay market rate for flood insurance then few houses would be built in flood prone areas. The insurance companies will charge enough to make sure they won't lose money.
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Male 7,927
taxidriver I know, what i'm saying is, these people didn't have flood insurance in the first place, I'm not sure why that matters in t his discussion, the land the houses were built on had no building codes or requirements so I fail to see how flood insurance matters here.
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Male 40,756
taxidriver He has trouble seeing the point, any point no matter how obvious, if that point deviates from the DNC Playbook.

Yes, people who live on floodplains should pay more for flood insurance. And people who live on high ground should pay less. Duh! But the free market is evil, only The Nanny State knows what is right for you.
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Male 3,437
I read about this yesterday.  It's what happens when you approach things from a "wild west" perspective.  There are scientifically proven methods of building in flood zones (and many other "zones") that should be REQUIRED not because of "Government Regulation", but because it is the intelligent thing to do to save lives.
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Male 7,927
kalron27 Correct sometimes Regulation is common sense.  Allowing people to build back where their houses flooded will only encourage more bad behavior.  It's time Texas and the Southern States take building codes and Construction seriously.  it's time for Government to step in and make these rules before the rebuilding starts.
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Male 40,756
That is an ongoing thing everywhere, it really bugs me too!

In Edmonton (for one example) there was a tornado years ago which destroyed a lot of stuff. (iirc no one died tho) It turned out dozens of homeowners didn't have tornado insurance (or any insurance in some cases) and guess what? The Government stepped in and gave out millions... NOT to those who had insurance, they didn't get anything special or refunds for their years of premiums. Just the deadbeats.

What does that encourage? To not be responsible because the Gov't will use other people's money to pay for you. Deplorable eh?

A similar thing on certain riverbank housing: the people were told when they built that the land would erode and NO government would step in to stop it. It wasn't feasible. Yet when their 500' of property became 50' after years of erosion? What did they demand? Millions of bucks to stabilize the banks... tens of millions, to save (iirc) 12 houses that they KNEW were not supposed to be there in the first place :p
Luckily the gov't turned them down flat, and now the houses are all washed away :-) no more problem!
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Male 135
5cats Insurance companies are glorified legally forced Ponzi schemes. You can't be trusted to manage your own finances so hand them over to an untrustworthy legal entity that finds every loophole in the book to keep your money in your time of need. 
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Male 40,756
moldysod I know that too, they take a $1.00 and might pay you back $0.50... if you qualify! It's a huge scam.

My point is, though, that the government should never 'bail out' those who freely chose to not have insurance. Not unless they also give the exact same monies to the people with insurance too. 
Nor should they force everyone to buy it, like Obamacare does.
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Male 464
5cats I have been told that in my area, if I submit 3 home owners claims of any kind I will lose my insurance and not be eligible for insurance at all. What if i am just unlucky and have hail damage, a tornado hits, and winds blow my roof off?

I am fine with having insurance, but being threatened not to use it is shadier than a palm tree in the Sahara.
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