Are We Possibly Expecting Too Much?

If you read this blog, you know I generally stick to pedagogically issues, with an occasional foray into economics. But there’s something I haven’t been able to get out of my head lately, something about the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

There is no question that Katrina caused immense pain, much of it on people who are least able to bear it. I am sure that in retrospect we will be able to see ways that we could have reacted more effectively. At the same time, could we possibly be expecting too much? Do we live in a perfect world, or one where bad things happen? If you ask citizens of the Third World, I suspect you’d get a different answer than if you asked someone in this country. I fear that Americans see this as a world where we are entitled to having everything pretty much perfect. I am not talking about the well-known American optimism, rather the sense of pampered ness I sometimes feel from Americans.

When bad things happen as the inevitably do even in the U.S., it is human nature to seek someone to blame. If we can’t identify individuals, we blame government. But aren’t there some things that just happen? Isn’t this blame seeking really a form of denial. Don’t we in fact live in an imperfect world?

The other day Austin Bay provided a thoughtful commentary on this topic, that may provide some balance. I encourage you to listen to it.

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