More Regulations: The Government’s Answer to Preventing Hurricane Damage

A recently pubished report entitled "Performance of Physical Structures in Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita: A Reconnaissance Report" argues that a lack of government regulation is partly to blame for the overwhelming physical damage caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In the report, the National Institute of Standards and Technology claims that unlicensed workers and overlooked building regulations were primary causes of structural failure, and that more local, state, and federal regulations are necessary to ensure the physical integrity of buildings. 

In their critique of building standards, the government implicity implicates the free market as the source of the problem. Of course they fail to address the fact that the levies that broke during the storm surge were built by the federal government, nor do they make any distinction in the report as to whether the structures that failed were privately or publicly insured. Lew Rockwell, president of the Mises Institute, defends the free market in this article from his website.