Human nature being what it is, one of our greatest motivators is self-interest. It’s probably a corollary of the survival instinct, and hard-wired into us in order to perpetuate the species. One of the fine arts of politics is to harness the self-interest of supporters and feed it back to them in a way that makes them feel like altruists. “America, the shining city on the hill”-type stuff.
Anyway, this is the second time in as many years that the northeastern part of our country has experienced the sort of peril we Floridians face on an annual basis, and pay commensurate insurance to protect ourselves from. For decades, we here in Hurricane Alley have tried in vain to convince our northern brethren that a national catastrophe insurance backup fund might be a good idea for keeping homeowner and business insurance premiums from rocketing through our vulnerable roofs.
Until now, they’ve turned a deaf ear. Why should they share the burden for people who are stupid enough to live in a place that gets hurricanes? I’m guessing that two cyclones in a row is enough for insurance companies to start adding windstorm riders onto those northern policies, the same kind they’ve been slapping on us for years. Which means, now that Sandy has softened everyone up, it’s time to strike. Paging Senators Rubio and Nelson.
One of my colleagues safe here in our South Florida office looked at the TV up on the wall and observed dispassionately, “It’s interesting to be on the other side of something like this for a change.”
Wrong. We need to realize there is no “other side,” that we’re all in it together when something like this strikes, no matter where it happens. How tragic that our northern friends are having to learn that lesson the hard way.