Tuesday, 20 November 2012

EXAM QUESTION: On emergencies

Since it’s exam season, NOT PC will begin a short series of exam questions for readers.  Here’s your first:

“The truth is governments are useless in emergencies,” says Robert Wenzel.” “The ‘leaders’ are posers. Christie, Bloomberg, Cuomo et al. They only make matters worse, e.g., enforcement of anti-gouging laws, rationing and interference in privately written property damage insurance contracts. These characters would have fit in nicely under Khrushchev. He looked ready for emergencies also.”

Discuss, with specific application to Christchurch.

This question is worth twelve marks.


  1. YOu need to differentiate the immediate response with near and longer term responses.

    There can be no doubt the govt did play a useful role immediately in Chch earthquake - fire, police, local govt, energy providers, hospitals - all played important roles (you can argue about effectiveness) . One of the most visible was the aid of the Navy who were on scene and then ran a cargo shuttle in the following week. And of course financing aid efforts and foreign aid was facilitated by govt.

    There is a lot more scope for argument for what has been done post the intial event response.

  2. There are people who survived the earthquake, but died waiting for help, that would disagree with you.

  3. In the short term what I saw were members of the public saving lives and acting heroically.
    Over the long term all I've seen is the government not allowing us to access our building in the CBD, demolishing iit and sending us a large bill. Then they use our land to store their equipment without our permission and still send us rates accounts. We have already received notice that they will steal our land for the common good.


  4. @ anon

    are you one of these nanny staters who thinks the govt should protect everyone all the time, everywhere they go? True randians would have got themselves out without assistance. Or built magnificent earthquake proof structures.



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