Friday, May 26, 2023

My May 2023 trip, mostly by bicycle, to Vancouver, BC. from Bellingham, WA.

Cambie St. Bridge at sunset.

See photos on my Flickr space. No paywall. Click forward from this photo to the following 78 photos with captions about this trip.

Compared to housing and healthcare, most of the rest of inflation seems like just pocket change.

Republicans are stirring up anxiety over the national debt. A consequence of the debt is inflation, but I haven't really noticed inflation that much.

Yes, home values and rents have skyrocketed over the past few decades.

Inflation of other prices has been more modest until after the pandemic when it did tick up some. Wages have gone up also. I've noticed somewhat higher prices for restaurant meals, food and consumer goods, but seems like these things are mere pocket change compared to rent or healthcare costs.

My rent is held at a bit below 40% of my income as I am in subsidized housing. Medicare covers most of the cost of my health insurance premiums. The Medicare premium is much lower than it would be if Medicare wasn't subsidized by government.

I have no car.

Other expenses do seem like mere pocket change to me. Everything else is around half my income, but I haven't noticed inflation that much. My Social Security has had a generous cost of living increase due the inflation. If the economy crashes, everyone could be a lot worse off.

Homonormativity questioned.

Saw stuff about this on Facebook.

Apparently, during the campaign of 2020, a group of activists calling themselves “Queers Against Pete” attempted to disrupt his events. They were folks who saw in the former mayor of South Bend a paragon of “homonormativity.” I read, in the post, about an article written for The New Republic that the magazine later retracted, the writer Dale Peck derided Pete Buttigieg as “Mary Pete,” the gay version of an Uncle Tom.

I can understand being a critic of homonormativity, but I certainly wouldn't be part of a circular firing squad attacking other gay people and allies who have made it to influential positions. Pete has done good in my opinion.

I am definitely not part of a "normal" middle class couple, myself. My own sexuality and lifestyle is very low on the romantic scale and higher on the unusual scale.

Interesting that, until that recent Facebook post, I have never heard of that group of activists, but around two months ago, I wrote this somewhat toung in cheek blog post about right wing, rather than left wing, criticism of Pete Buttigieg.

Did "family values" cause the air travel chaos of Christmas 2022?

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

In many cases gender and gender pronouns don't really matter

Talking to some young people about the gender pronoun issue, I shared memories from my college past of almost 40 years ago. Back then, the gay issue was coming out on campus. I also knew quite a few transgender people, but pronouns wasn't a topic that people were discussing. As I remember, there was less anxiety about proper pronouns.

The folks, I was discussing this with, understood and seemed accepting of my perspective.

Back in my college days, I think expectations were lower, but I would like to think that society keeps progressing forward. On the other hand, people may have been just as happy, back then, or maybe even happier back then. Expectations were less demanding.

It's kind of like before electric lightbulbs were invented, folks didn't fret about the inconvenience of not having electric lights. They didn't know what they were missing.

These days, I think the science about gender has progressed, so it's seen as less binary. One now hears about folks who want to be called "they" instead of he or she. The term "gender fluid" was less in the lexicon, back then.

Science has progressed to where gender fluid is more recognized, though most people still identify as either male or female. There are shades of grey that are more recognized today.

The term "they" is kind of awkward. Maybe a new term can be found? They is usually thought of as non singular.

At the same time, I have used the term they to describe one person before. For instance, "I wondered how to get to a certain road so I ask someone how to get there and THEY pointed me in the right direction."

In many cases, gender doesn't matter.

Back in my college days, the big issue was that women didn't want to be called "girls." Often people were corrected when they said "college girls." It's "college women." The term "chick" for woman was totally incorrect.

As I remember, I always did say women and my mom once said, "in this case it's" when I was talking about my nieces that were, then in grade school.

I also remember the attempts to put the word womyn. in the language. It's womyn instead of women. That term less subservient without the "men" in it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Science doesn't necessarily indicate that there is no god, but squabbles between religious factions seems to indicate that religious truths might be BS.

I still believe that there could be something like what we call a god.

At the same time, I think the best evidence that there is no such thing as a god or spiritual reality is the behavior of so many religious people. All the squabbling over interpretations and the fighting over what people claim is the truth.

This behavior is stronger evidence that it's all BS than what we are learning from science. On big questions about the meaning of life, scientific evidence seems inconclusive. It doesn't rule out spirituality, in my opinion.

Science, itself, seems inconclusive on many big questions, so far, but the behavior of some religious people; especially the folks who claim to be certain about what the truth is, does indicate that many religious claims are BS.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Living without a car has worked for me

Lots of people think it's almost impossible to live without a car in USA. I have been able to do it all my life and it doesn't seem that hard for me. Admittedly, I live in town in a city that is fairly bicycle friendly. Bellingham, WA.

Seems like making our energy sources totally green and building passenger rail systems, like they have in Europe, would take nearly a century to accomplish. Waiting for society to change from the top down is a long wait. Meanwhile climate change scientists keep saying that time is running out.

I think my own lifestyle has a fairly low carbon footprint already, though I may be missing something in the calculations. I might be drinking enough milk to counteract everything else I do, or don't do.

Friday, May 05, 2023

If we spend 50 trillion to decarbonize, how much lower will global temperatures be?

Sen. John Kennedy, (R-La) grilled a Biden Administration official about climate change. The senator ask, "how much would spending $50 trillion in American taxpayer money to become carbon-neutral lower global temperatures?"

The official was at a loss for words, but I'd say, "There are too many other variables in that equation. What will other countries do, for instance." "It's not a question that can be answered that simplistically." I don't know, for sure, what I'd say if I was sitting at that microphone being grilled, however.

Here is my take.

Climate change is a global problem related to population growth and increasing consumption around the world. Apparently, the US now accounts for only 13% of global carbon emissions; according to that Biden official's testimony.

Republicans use that figure to imply that our efforts to reduce our own carbon emissions may not make that much difference in the bigger picture. We are just one of many drops in the bucket.

One must also, of course, figure in the things we consume in the US that are manufactured overseas. Our consumption likely accounts for more than 13% of global carbon emissions, but it likely would still be much less than half.

Other countries are making strides to reduce emissions so they aren't just twiddling their thumbs, as many Republicans would say. This is a global problem that goes beyond an "us versus them" mindset.

Historically, the US and other first world countries of the past, have created most of the emissions over the past century, but going forward, it's a different story. Our emissions are now a smaller part of the overall picture.

I highly doubt that we (first world) can amend or compensate for the past. Aside from the logistics, the political will does not exist.

Forgetting the past, going forward is the issue we are dealing with now.

Over the next 10 years, I doubt we will be able to meet our goals to reduce carbon emissions. Green technology is still slow in coming, though it is coming faster than before. Our society's dependency on wealth and convenience is so strong that we can't likely meet the goals environmentalists set, let alone think about the past.

As for the rest of the world, the problem is global. The US does need to strive harder to reduce carbon emissions along with the rest of the world. The technology and lifestyles to accomplish this should be shared around the world.

Solutions to the problem include, of course, technology, but also changes in the way we plan our living habitats. We should learn how to build with less sprawl. The whole world needs reductions in population growth worldwide (which is starting to happen). We need less dependency on automobiles, large homes and personal wealth. New paradigms for the entire world including USA.

Thursday, May 04, 2023

We could continue kicking the can down the road on the federal deficit, or cut spending and go into a recession.

About the debt ceiling, it seems like the choices are to raise it, as the Democrats want to do and continue the spending we have now. This contributes to the inflation we have now which doesn't seem like that big a problem, or at least it's just like a slow boil.

Another alternative is to significantly cut spending, as Republicans would like to do. This would likely put us into a recession.

Falling off the fiscal cliff (artificial debt ceiling default of the government) could roil markets, confidence and bring a recession as well.

We may by cycling toward recession anyway, regardless of what the politicians do, as we've been in a period of relative prosperity, coming out of the pandemic slowdown. We have been in a recent period of a booming economy with low unemployment. We've returned to high consumption and dealt with supply chain bottlenecks.

Carbon footprint and energy consumption is now up again, after falling during the pandemic.

Of course, in spite of the prosperity of these times, there are always lots of people left behind. The prosperity is never enough.

The stock market and asset values does motivate people in office; especially Republicans.

The market crash of 2007 lead to Tarp bailouts. Market loss in 2020, due to the pandemic, led to debt worry set aside and 3 Trillion appeared even under a Republican president and majority in the Senate. On the debt, we can likely just keep kicking the can down the road, versus crashing the economy.

Another possibility. Maybe Biden looses most of the newly past infrastructure bill. We kick the climate change can farther down the road. Biden looses most of his plan to forgive student loans, which the Supreme Court may take away anyway. A compromise like that goes through. The economy could go into a downtourn while more people complain about loosing funding for addressing climate change and continuing to be burdened by student debt.

More and more young people may start voting.

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

Public or private could be the new norm versus men's or women's for spas and restroom facilities

More and more bathrooms are becoming gender neutral. This is a good idea as our understanding of gender is becoming less binary. This tends to mean more privacy such as single unit facilities which can also add to the cost of buildings.

In the past, like the 1950s, facilities were divided by gender, but they were still public spaces to save on construction costs. Pragmatism.

I've got to thinking that for restrooms and especially spas, saunas and showers, there could be two types of facilities. Instead of men's and women's, it would be "private" and "public." Often spa, hot spring and sauna type places are social environments so some would be public for that reason. Others would be private. They could all be gender neutral, however which solves some problems.

Some public spas would be clothing optional while others could continue to require bathing suites. This could be the future for these types of facilities.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

A government default could pull the plug on asset values

The debt ceiling impasse has gone to the next step. Surprisingly enough Republicans in the House did barely get on board for a "Republican plan" to raise the ceiling and have big cuts in spending.

Democrats and probably most of the American people would not go for those cuts. Meanwhile, raising taxes isn't being considered by the Republicans.

The government does provide a lot of important services, such as health insurance for many who can't afford super high insurance premiums. Governments provide public safety, police, fire, and the large military budget. Affordable housing is provided as well. Basic research in medicine, space exploration and other science is often funded by a small sliver of the budget which helps to keep us abreast with the rest of the world that is moving forward.

Some people think we need to rely more on the private sector, which does some good things, but much private money goes to private yachts, big homes, called McMansions, second homes, political bribes and multi million dollar salaries for playing football.

There we have the dilemma of the budget. We could just pull the plug and let the economy go into a depression. Much of the money, that we thought we had in things like bank accounts and asset values could disappear. These perceived stores of value could plummet.

Perceived stores of value are possibly no more real that some of the tricks proposed, that Biden could do, such as minting a trillion dollar coin and calling it "money," so we can continue to prop things up, rather than the possibility of panic setting in and things crashing.

One possible scenario for the debt ceiling problem is that the impasse will put the US into default and uncharted financial territory. Like the virus, it could cause financial panic and a Wall Street crash. Like in March of 2020, politicians got a bit scared and figured out how to make more money out of thin air; thus paying unemployment to cover the shutdowns that likely saved many lives. Rents were paid for businesses and individuals when restaurants, bars and so forth closed. Money was spend to develop the vaccine and provide hospitalization to the afflicted. Most of us, still alive at least, came out of the pandemic, but now there is worry about some inflation.

We would be better off if Dianne Feinstein aspired to become an elder states person, rather than trying to hang on as a Senator

I think Dianne Feinstein should step down; given the bottleneck that her temporary absence from the Senate Judiciary Committee places in the way of Biden's judicial appointments.

I wonder why she wants to cling to the job in light of all the damage this situation could do? A younger Democrat, in that position, would be better for the big picture. Come to think about it, Biden, himself, is also up there in the years, but he still seems to be functioning okay.

Maybe Feinstein wants to remain in office for personal reasons to keep engaged and active. If I were in her shoes, I would rather be an elder statesperson (used to be called "elder states man) than have the responsibility and stress of high office. An elder statesperson can remain as engaged as they want to be expressing opinions, granting interviews, raising money, writing articles, influencing politics and so forth.

Former Justice Ginsberg should have taken that route also. Maybe Biden should consider that as well, though he seems to be functioning. The ideas and the staff behind public officials is what's most important. Younger people can continue to carry the torch.

My vote is still for Biden if he is the main Democratic candidate as I remind people that it isn't just about one person. Biden has a whole staff behind him that's likely better than what a Trump, or other Republican would assemble. I vote for the issues that Biden is more likely to represent.

Trigger happy gun owners may be more of a problem than even the guns themselves.

I've read that, In most of the world, going to the wrong house is not a deadly risk. But in the United States it can be. It does seem like we are getting trigger happy, wary of strangers and so forth. The proliferation of guns in this society is a big part of the problem as well.

In an ideal world, anger would be a more immoral emotion than eroticism.

In an ideal world, anger and hate would be emotions that tread close to the lines of immorality while eroticism would be more acceptable.

In this world, it's almost the other way around.

Monday, April 24, 2023

First a teacher was hated in Sudan for the misnaming of a Teddy bear. Now a hateful war.

There's a big war of hate happening inside Sudan.

Flashback to 2007 and I remember the controversy about when a teacher, from UK, was arrested and convicted, in Sudan, for insulting Islam by allowing her class of six-year-olds to name a teddy bear "Muhammad."

She was later released back to the UK. Having some memory of that news, I just looked it up in Wiki.

Here in USA, the name "Teddy Bear" was named after our former president Teddy Roosevelt. One could just call then "stuffed bears," I guess. We, in USA, are usually more tolorent.

Some folks might say a president is different than a religious profit, but some hard core fundamentalist Christians, here in USA, nearly consider Donald Trump to be the second coming of Christ.

I don't think much of fundamentalist religions.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Variable rate carbon tax could stabilize oil prices the way the Strategic Oil Reserve does now.

During my college years, in the shadow of the 1973 oil crisis, the US created the Strategic Oil Reserve. Back then, the idea was to have a reserve supply of oil in case we needed to fight a war while overseas oil imports were diminished.

Back then, we were dependent on imported oil for much of our supply. Today, we produce most of our own oil, due to increased domestic production; thus the reserve serves another purpose.

Since my college days, the use of our Strategic Oil Reserve has shifted to other goals; mainly the goal of stabilizing oil prices. When gas prices go up, Biden and other presidents, have dipped into the reserve to lower prices and to save their own political fortunes.

When prices go down, the reserve can be refilled. This practice can make money for the treasury due to the process of buying cheap / selling high.

It is not necessarily a bad strategy, but I also think this price stabilization effect can be done with carbon taxes that would be imposed when oil is too cheap. This would put a floor on oil prices so they are less apt to undercut alternative energy. The tax could be removed or lowered at times when oil prices are high. That temporary tax cut could relieve the shock of sudden price hikes.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

The American people are to blame for the national debt

There is much anxiety about the federal debt. Finger pointing as well. Ultimately, I think it's the American people who can be blamed for the debt. Not wanting to pay higher taxes while still demanding various things, like the military for instance, from government.

Republicans are likely more to blame, but Democrats are not angels either. Republicans refusal to even consider tax increases is a problem. Another problem is the idea that money and wealth is the most important goal in life.

In my personal life, I haven't been that motivated by making more money. I do need enough for survival and comfort as a single person and a bit more to make life interesting, some travel for instance.

On the other hand, I do have a big interest in the workings of the economy on a large scale. Not my personal finance, but learning, from a distance, how business, government and so forth function. I have an interest in how these things can remain viable to create the economy that we are dependent on. I was a geography major, in college and one of my favorite subjects is "Economic Geography."

Another Earth Day

Sometimes I think Earth Day is just another way to appease our guilt and make it look like we are trying to do something to save the livability of the planet.

This year, a friend was thinking of attending a tree planting event, but found that the event, near his neighborhood, was fully booked. Maybe not enough saplings at that location, but other locations, in the city, still had openings. He wanted to walk, rather than drive across town, but he may attend anyway regardless of whether there is a sapling for him to plant.

The events offer instructions on where to park for attending the event.

Years ago, another friend walked into a meeting, I was at, with sapling in hand asking people if they wanted to take one for planting. I took one and then walked to Sehome Hill to plant it myself. There wasn't an event. I don't know if it survived or not. There wasn't an event to show me how to plant it.

Now I can't tell if it survived, or not, as when I look at that area, I just see lots of trees anyway. I forgot exactly where I planted it.

Many more years before that, I remember the first Earth Day while I was in high school. The art teacher led a tree planting event, but a biology teacher thought the trees wouldn't survive on that hillside which was naturally a grassland environment. That event was still a nice memory.

Thursday, April 06, 2023

Driver assist technology could be used to enforce safer driving.

While I tend to feel favorable toward the police, I also understand the argument that "an ounce of prevention," from things like social services, is better than "a pound of cure;" only relying on police.

This same logic can apply to traffic safety as well. Driver assist technology and even self driving technology is becoming more prevalent. I've heard that we can pretty much make the cars enforce things like speed limits, but there is reluctance to do this from automakers and the driving public.

How about having a breathalyzer in all cars so the car doesn't start if the breathalyzer detects alcohol? We've had that technology, since the 1980s, as it is often installed in the cars of folks who have been convicted of drunk driving.

How about having the cars, themselves, enforce speed limits and having the cars refuse to do reckless driving? The human driver could still override these features given certain emergencies or the need for higher speeds in passing and so forth.

This isn't just my idea, I've heard, on the news, that we could do a lot more to make cars safer by just installing technology where the car refuses to do reckless driving. GPS could be used so the car knows the speed limits for each road.

Many of the problems, that cause folks to complain about police, stem from traffic stops. The cars, themselves could do more to enforce public safety.

Strong Towns suggests changing street design to encourage slower and safer driving. Slower style city planning is nice. I would appriciate it being a bicyclist and a pedestrian, but it does take billions of dollars in retrofitting. A quicker solution is to use technology, in the cars themselves, to enforce safer driving.

If better mental health services is seen as the answer, instead of better gun legislation, that can be turned into an argument for universal access to mental healthcare and maybe single payer.

Some Republicans say that guns aren't the problem, the problem is mental health. Maybe that could be turned into an argument for universal access to healthcare. Possibly an argument for single payer.

Ironically, Republicans are not likely to embrace that logic, however.

Today I hear in the news that quite a few people will loose access to healthcare as the pandemic emergency winds down. Some low income folks, in states like Texas, will loose access to Medicaid expansion; states that still refuse Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.

Others, even in states like Washington that has the Medicaid expansion, will likely get confused by the myriad of choices and miss open enrollment periods as some people need to reenroll in various plans as things change after the pandemic.

In some cases, folks will fall through the cracks and loose access to psychiatric medicines that they need as the complex landscape of healthcare finance keeps changing.

Add to this more and more guns in society and you have a recipe for problems.

Biden's new energy standards for mobile homes may only cost pocket change compared to renting a space for a mobile home anyway. Might as well not fret about that.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) is asking the Biden administration to delay new energy standards for mobile homes set to go into effect at the end of next month.

I say, "why bother fretting about this?" It seems like the $750, added purchase cost for a singlewide mobile home to make it more energy efficient, is just pocket change compared to monthly rent for a space at mobile home parks in this (western Washington State) area, at least. I've heard that rent can be around $800 per month just to be in a mobile home park; if one is lucky enough to find a space. That's not counting utilities. One month covers that entire cost difference for the better insulated homes to save lots of money, over time, on heating and cooling.

I assume the cost is only for new mobile homes as existing ones would be grandfathered in, for a while, anyway.

This may be one difference between "blue state" and "red state" thinking as maybe, in South Carolina where Senator Scott is from, rents and property prices are lower. In Bellingham area, rents and property values are high as our blue state economy tends to be booming. That prosperous situation does bring other challenges, however; like rents so high, in our "hoity toity" communities, that they dwarf the cost of things like better insulated windows.

I've never been to South Carolina, but I hear that rents may be more affordable, but that's just a stereotype?

Maybe it's expensive in the Charlston area. I do have a college degree in geography. I hear that, in North Carolina, Ashville rents and property values are through the roof.

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

What if DeSantis were to become president and pardon Trump?

Here's a thought experiment. What would happen if Ron DeSantis became president in 2025 and pardoned Donald Trump? I realize that DeSantis and Trump are rivals, however, for the Republican nomination. They aren't exactly buddy buddy.

On the Trump topic, I haven't said much lately. My reaction to the indictment ranges from "glad that it's proceeding" to a bit of "indifference." Long term issues, such as the economy and climate change, tend to captivate me more.

I've always been, pretty much, a moderate Democrat, myself.

It seems like it's gotten to where ethics are more and more determined by politics. Guilt or innocence, ethical or unethical depends, to a large extent, on who one asks.

Republicans tend to think one way, Democrats another.

Seems like there are a lot of things that Trump has done that would do more than raise the eyebrows of; for instance, evangelical Christians, but these days most Republicans do give him a pass. That's why I ponder the question, "what if DeSantis were to pardon Trump if he were President by 2025."

What if red states were to protect their red friends and prevent them from being sent to blue states for legal proceedings? The United States ununited? So far, that hasn't happened, however.

I often think that when in power, Republicans tend to show more bias toward their own comrades than Democrats do. For instance Senator Al Frankin stepped down, rather quickly, after mild acusations related to the Me Too movement, while, around the same time, Trump could "double down" and still keep his support.

Most likely there was never a totally objective basis for ethics anyway. It just seems like, as time goes on, there is less and less of an illusion of objective ethics.

I still try to hold to my own set of ethics, however. As for society, there still seems to be enough common ground that, for the most part, society still does function.

Thinking more deeply about the basis of ethics.

From observation of human behavior, I tend to think that ethics evolves out of our need to function among one another in this world. Our need to be neighborly and reduce harm or pain to one another. Our need to work together for building the institutions of society that allow us to achieve more than we would as isolated groups or individuals.

I don't rule out a spiritural dimention to life, but seems like our rules, beliefs and ethics are separate from that. Maybe they are inspired, but looking at how humans function, I am skeptical.

There are the laws of physics and there are a lot of open questions about intelligents and spiriturality that I enjoy contemplating.

There is so much that we still don't know so I go at it with a bit of humbleness.

The behaviour of fundamentalist religious people tends to discredit any idea of a divine basis for human morality. At the same time, I haven't thrown out the idea that a divinity exists, it just seems like we (humans) get into trouble when we try to define it in our own terms.

In politics, it seems to me like extreme left, or extreme right, doesn't lead to good governance. Middle ground, with some compromise, works best.

Monday, April 03, 2023

Slowing population growth could benefit the nations where people still want to live. Benefit democratic ideals.

Elon Musk is worried about the population bust with it's potential drag on world economies.

Instead of that, it looks like population is shrinking in places like Russia, where people are trying to get out, but population is still growing in places like Canada, where people are waiting at the borders trying to get in.

If economic growth follows population growth, countries like Canada, with better respect for diversity, will grow. This sorting out of nations could benefit democratic ideals, however worldwide economic growth can still present problems such as climate change.

Electric trolley style mass transit gets around the battery chemicals problem

There is some worry, not just from right wing pundits, but from others that a green energy revolution may be difficult. One big concern is the chemicals needed in batteries for cars and utility power storage; the mining and so forth.

I still think we should migrate more to public transit which can function without batteries. Seattle's trolley bus system, for instance. Electricity fed direct from overhead lines.

More compact city planning, more transit, walking and bicycling is needed.

Electrification is better than fossil fuels, but the transition may not be as easy as some folks think. Heat pumps can save lots of energy for buildings. They are better than regular electric heating, but smaller homes are a virtue as well.

We need to think beyond just sitting back and expecting that battery technology will do it all for us in just the next two decades or so. That's a tall order.

More deaths among medically expensive people, plus more homecare has bolstered the solvency of Medicare

Catch your breath. Medicare is on stronger financial footing than was feared a few years back. The deadline, for it's costs to outstrip revenue, has been pushed back 3 years to 2031.

Trustees anticipate some cost savings for Medicare, thanks to a switch to less-expensive outpatient treatments and because some people, who would have required the most costly care, died prematurely during the pandemic.

That does sound a bit harsh as some of the most costly people have died, but it means a savings for Medicare.

Social Security faces a projected revenue shortfall by 2033, unless raising the tax cap or instituting benefit cuts. Increased taxes have been proposed by Democrats for shoring up both the Medicare and the Social Security systems. Another alternative is less services and / or more deaths.

Link to article that I got this info from. I saw beyond the headlines.

Natural disasters create more stumbling blocks to Republican budget cutting plans

The Republican goal to cut federal spending would be hard to achieve. Seems like every time we turn around, there's another disaster. Recent tornados across the Midwest; a case in point.

More and more money is needed for disaster relief and budget planners don't seem to take that into account. The disasters are often larger than anticipated.

Way back in the days before our government was as large as it is today, communities were more left on their own to repair the damage based on private charity. Many needs would go unmet.