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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How Wall Street could help Prevent Flooding from the Mississippi River, but Refuses to do so.

Over time, the Mississippi River bottom literally gets "muddied up". The result is the depth of the Mississippi gets shallower and shallower. Today we see the result of that shallow depth as the midwest experiences monstrous floods unseen in at least 15 years.

Some people like to rationalize that floods are good for the economy. Insurance money "floods" the area and people go forward with the task of rebuilding their lives, hiring contractors who in turn purchase supplies, and so on.

While one can agree that there is sort of a perverse economic insurance funded bounce after a tragedy, I doubt that the actual net affect is a good one. How about Wall Street actually supporting the revitalization of the Mississipi River by having it dredged several feet deeper. I would assume that the mud at the base of the Mississippi River is actually good potting and planting soil, no?

Why can't Wall Street just create an industry that actually maintains the Mississippi River and in the process prevents flooding, damage to billions of dollars worth of real estate, reduces Insurance Industry costs, and creates a made in america product? Or should I say Mud in America. Mississippi Mud would probably would be coveted in the United States, especially with so many people starting to grow their own fruits and vegetables.

If you are an expert in the field of flood management and want to refute my position, please do so in the comments section. I just want to understand why Wall Street can't create a win win win situation within the United States, but happily will bilk indebted american citizens to the tune of 30% credit card interest rate charges, and then use that money to invest in economies outside of the United States. How about Wall Street start helping the very people they are overcharging and underserving.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some people like to rationalize that floods are good for the economy. Insurance money "floods" the area and people go forward with the task of rebuilding their lives, hiring contractors who in turn purchase supplies, and so on.

This is the broken window fallacy, and I don't know of any serious economist who contends that it's a good thing.

Why can't Wall Street just create an industry that actually maintains the Mississippi River and in the process prevents flooding, damage to billions of dollars worth of real estate, reduces Insurance Industry costs, and creates a made in america product?

Well: If it were profitable and legal, someone would be doing it. This suggests that doing so would either not be profitable (likely; dredging is expensive, nobody knows if there's a market for what you're talking about) and/or not be legal (for all kinds of reasons: control of the rivers is confusing in terms of competing state/federal agencies, the Army Corps of Engineers seems to be in charge of these kinds of things, there would probably be some nasty environmental impacts...)

I continue to wonder if you actually think that you have any idea what the hell you're talking about or, better yet, if you think before typing your insane rants.

but happily will bilk indebted american citizens to the tune of 30% credit card interest rate charges

Nobody forces anyone to sign agreements that do that, or to rack up massive charges that they pay off. Sure, credit card companies should be better at communicating those kinds of charges, but that's hardly an indictment of the entire US financial industry.

and then use that money to invest in economies outside of the United States

Why shouldn't they? Those economies need investment as well. People in the US aren't the only ones who deserve jobs, or to expand their businesses. This 'America First' BS the populist left and right touts around is ridiculous and xenophobic.

A.M. said...

After World War II, the United States had the Mississippi River dredged. It's a logical practice that would enrich the american economy in so many ways, or we can do it George Bush's way, and just way and have Congress cut a "welfare" check to all the "indigents" who weren't smart enough to be millionaires and live elsewhere.

Investing out of the country is fine, but NOT IN PLACE of investing within our own country. That is just basic economics 101.

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