On Volcano Monitoring

A brouhaha has developed concerning Bobby Jindal’s critique of the decision to include funds for volcano monitoring in the recent stimulus package. “Surely,” the critics cry, “we need to monitor volcanoes!” And presumably, government does volcano monitoring best.

Of course, this argument suffers from the fact that the private sector got there before the government did. Perhaps the real problem with the Jindal’s discussion of volcano monitoring was that he did not mention that government–the supposed, efficient, all-purpose guarantor of our safety–failed to get in on the act in time.