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Hurricane Florence Threatens Many Homes That Already Cost the Government Millions

Hurricane Florence Threatens Many Homes That Already Cost the Government Millions

Common Dreams staff

As now-Tropical Storm Florence continues to batter the Carolina's this weekend it's too early to assess the damage to homes along the coast.

Build, destroy, rebuild, repeat.
Tell me. What is the definition of insanity again?


This short sightedness happens all over the place. As example in Texas there was a time when housing was not built on floodplains as it was well known these areas would be wiped out in a flood with regularity. Developers pushed the Government to relax the rules so that they could build housing and generate profits by selling to the Public. When the places flood the Governments are expected to help rebuild.

Much the same goes on in California with more and more homes being put in places that were always prone to fires or landslides. Again these areas used to be avoided when it came to housing and development and again the developers bought up the land cheaply and lobbied Governments to relax the rules so as to allow the places to generate a profit for the same.

With Climate change these areas are even more at risk but the fact remains that these areas were ALWAYS at risk of floods/fires etc yet developed anyways.

The kicker is , this generates GDP growth each time these areas rebuilt and them stupid economists assure is this the sign of a healthy economy.


Federal flood insurance is socialism for the upper middle class. They’re the ones who build on the coastline.

Federal flood insurance, unlike Social Security, never pays for itself. It never comes close. It’s a matter of shoveling in billions of dollars per year of taxpayer money (borrowed, of course) with not a ghost of a chance of any return on that money.


Those homes did NOT “already cost the Government millions”, they cost you, me and the rest of the US TAXPAYERS millions and will cost us many millions more, just like the too-big-to-fail banks (TBTF) that cost US taxpayers trillions when those banks crashed the economy and will cost US taxpayers many more trillions the next time they crash the economy.

Examples of American exceptionalism brought to you by the best Congress that money can buy !


Kinda sounds just like our Democrat/Republican Congress members life cycles:

Lie, Deceive, Get Reelected, Repeat.


After the next crash there will be nobody left.


Developers are mostly a pox on the body politic…and a pustule on the environment.


Thanks Nighthawk,

I learned a new word today.



Sorry peeps—it’s time to move inland. With all due respect, I am unwilling to support your dumbass choice to live in a flood zone.


These FEMA grants have a max of $33,000 so they aren’t really used for complete rebuilds - mainly for repairs. The bigger money is provided in low interest loans that have interest rates under 2%. I don’t think either of those types of assistance should be available for vacation homes. Secondly, I’d also say that those large low interest loans should only be available for re-locations not for rebuilds.

Also, it is not just where these houses are built, it is also how they are built. Interestingly, Habitat for Humanity has provided plenty of low cost housing in hurricane prone states and they have time and again done just fine (see for example https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=10233).

Thus, my third suggestion would be to require a much stiffer code in hurricane areas and give existing structures 10 years to come up to that code (with subsidies for the poor).


Simple solution (assuming Congress has the guts to do it):

  1. No new properties can be added to the program.
  2. One and done - if you file a claim equal to more than 50% of the value of the property, you are no longer covered by the program.
  3. No new owners can be added - when a property is sold, the new owner does not get federal flood insurance.

The results will be:

  1. Self-liquidation of the risk to the taxpayers, as ownership turns over and/or properties are destroyed
  2. The value of houses in flood-prone areas will start dropping
  3. It will become less expensive for these risk-prone areas to be taken off the market by state purchase.

You’re welcome. I love to use archaic words that don’t get much usage.


These are reasonable suggestions WWS.

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Nationalize the banks, and while your at it, the entire fossil fuel industry. Problem solved.


Except for the fact that as a taxpayer you are going to support it whether you are willing or not…not sure who is the bigger dumbass you or the guy getting the money.

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I just recently moved out of a hurricane zone along the Gulf Coast, and the fed flood insurance subsidies are largely gone. That’s been over with for some time. If you travel down the strip in Gulfport, MS, for example, you’ll see a lot of empty lots from Katrina still down there that they can’t sell because of flood insurance costs.

Mostly this affects lower income residences than the rich, who generally can afford the significantly higher rates. But there is definitely less development now along the hurricane zone in the south than there was. People are figuring this out.


Sketch out a map of areas to live that don’t suffer natural disasters for us stupid people. What a tired simplistic cliche that gets uttered every single time there are disasters caused by fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and the rest.

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Feel better, all superior and stuff?

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Probably not!!!