Thomas Sowell: Our hearts automatically go out to the people of Florida, who are being battered by a series of hurricanes in rapid succession. But we have brains as well as hearts — and the time is long overdue to start using them.

Hurricanes come through Florida every year about this time. And, every year, politicians get to parade their compassion by showering the taxpayers’ money on the places that have been struck.

What would happen if they didn’t?

First of all, not as many people would build homes in the path of a well-known disaster that comes around like clockwork virtually every year. Those who did would buy insurance that covers the costs of the risks they choose to take.

That insurance would not be cheap — which would provide yet another reason for people to locate out of harm’s way. The net result would be fewer lives lost and less property damage. Is it not more compassionate to seek this result, even if it would deprive politicians of television time?

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