Texans Wrestle with Role of Government

Houston Needs a Hand

*** the challenge facing Houston now is even more daunting. One estimate reported in The Houston Chronicle set the cost of the damage at $160 billion, making this the most expensive natural disaster in the history of the United States. Even a city with as many wealthy citizens as Houston cannot come up with that kind of money from private donations.

Which brings me to the subject of government, or rather, the lack of it. Texans in general have never liked it much, and the unruly, unzoned, entrepreneurial residents of Houston have only recently — that is, pre-Harvey — begun to tiptoe toward changing their stance. Tax-funded safety nets for the less fortunate, for instance, have historically generated about as much affection here as, well, flood-borne floating fire-ant beds

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