In her defense of laissez-faire governing, Sue Lani Madsen suggests Houston’s lack of zoning laws had nothing to do with the recent massive flooding. Technically correct. But she fails to acknowledge that appropriate zoning laws would have reduced the amount of damage caused by that flooding.
Wiser city leaders might have required houses in low-lying areas of Houston (those draining swamp areas) to be elevated on concrete block pillars, with living areas above expected flood water levels. We have seen this, and other solutions, in other coastal and low-lying areas.
Yes, land and building costs would change, creating winners and losers, a frequent outcome of many government actions. But with appropriate zoning, there would more winners, especially U.S. taxpayers, now facing a $180 billion repair bill.
And regardless of what Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggested following Hurricane Sandy, U.S. taxpayers will pay the bill. We are not as heartless as the Tea Party. Horsefeathers, indeed.
Pay now, or pay later.
Kim and Mary Kay Anderson