Telling and pertinent article from Scott Beyer on the tenth anniversary of Katrina's destruction of New Orleans.
Theroux writes of how one company, wishing to rescue its employees via helicopter, had to finally ask Congressman Bobby Jindal, after finding nobody from FEMA, the FAA or the military to grant permission. Because of rules, non-profits like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army were prevented by the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security from bringing aid, although roads were clear. And perhaps most infamously, people who tried to leave New Orleans by foot were pushed back by law enforcement, since neighboring municipalities didn’t want a barrage of evacuees. So for those hapless souls with flooded houses, the only option was to stay warehoused with 20,000 others in the Superdome, void of basic needs. It took a full week before everyone was evacuated from the stadium.
Everywhere government is more concerned with rules, order and control than with the simplest of humanitarian tasks. There's an assumption - we see this is responses to today's migrant challenges - that non-governmental responses, while well-meant, are essentially problematic unless they are at least directed and ideally commissioned by government.