07 January 2014

Not fans of FEMA

NJ Spotlight has posted a profile of the leader of Stop FEMA Now, George Kasimos. The group is described as "an online group of residents opposed to the the new requirements to elevate their homes in accordance with the FEMA flood maps or else pay dramatically higher flood insurance premiums."

Kasimos moved into a lagoon community because he wanted to live close to the water, describing it to NJ Spotlight as living "the American dream." But the storm has changed all of that. While he thinks insurance has gotten too high, he is reported as conceding that people who live in flood-prone areas should pay more for flood insurance than people who don't. It remains unclear how much he thinks that people should pay for flood insurance if they don't need it.

In an area sometimes considered more politically conservative, it will be interesting to see how Stop FEMA Now fares as the call for the government to build protective sand dunes and subsidize insurance, potentially at a rate of tens of thousands of dollars per house per year. Meanwhile, outside groups on the right are upset at the scale of government dependency that flood insurance is creating.

The politics of the shore remain confused/confusing/jumbled/fascinating. Undertones of populism continue to bubble up on both sides of the aisle. We see is sometimes characterized as government-favoring liberals wanting less government support for home owners while some of their more conservative neighbors are suddenly hoping that government can step in to preserve their way of life.

There will be some who will see all of this as competing hypocrisy or self-serving political movements. But whatever it looks like to you, it looks to me like something that is going to remain interesting for quite some time.

No comments: