The Washington Post had a lengthy piece today on measures various people are proposing to prevent such massive flooding as happened in Galveston with Hurricane Ike or as happened along the East Coast with Hurricane Sandy. (link here).
You know what I liked about the article?
It talked about what cities, states, and regions are contemplating. The article does not include any quotes (that I saw) saying the protective measures are so costly that the Federal gubmnt will have to help out.
There is no reason to ask/require people in Kansas to help pay for these barriers or other measures (just as there is no reason to ask/require New Yorkers to pay to help with tornado relief in Kansas).
If people want to live in nice, low-lying areas near the shore [yes, Galveston is very nice most of the time!] they should be willing to pay the high taxes required to cover the costs of protection; failing that, they should be willing to pay the exorbitantly high insurance premiums (assuming they could even buy flood insurance) to cover their losses.
But when others bear the costs of such mega-project protection schemes, the major economic effect is to subsidize the people who own land (and buildings) in the at-risk areas. The result is to induce more people to live in those areas.
After all, "people respond to incentives."