In their Nov. 23 Washington Forum commentary, “Too close to the shore,” James D. Fraser, Sarah M. Karpanty and Daniel H. Catlin presented some sensible solutions to the problems caused by Americans’ propensity to build homes too close to the sea. But the simplest solution would be to simply deny, forever, all federal and state assistance to insure or rebuild such homes.
If homebuilders had to insure on the private market and knew, for a certainty, that no taxpayer-funded program would be available to help them rebuild in the event of a storm (or anything else), the problem would be gradually and thoroughly solved. This is one case where the free-market solution would be an especially effective one.
Philip D. Harvey, Cabin John