Many people have written via Twitter or email to ask if I am okay, and the short answer is yes.
Unlike many in New York City, I and my family emerged unscathed. There was a lot of wind and rain, but no damage to body or property.
Many people, including good friends, did suffer terribly. One lives in a neighborhood that was devastated by a terrible fire. Others experienced flood damage.
And the city remains crippled.
The mass transit system is out of commission, so people can’t get to work and children–in this city so dependent on school choice–can’t get to school.
Most Americans depend on private transportation and find it hard to imagine a city where public transportation is critical to the life of the city.
This Forbes blogger explains here how she can’t get to work and her son can’t get to school. Without the subways, people are simply unable to reach their destinations.
Mayor Bloomberg has done a great job as a leader and an explainer during these past few days.
But several people have written to me to complain that the Mayor’s policy of free-market choice for middle schools and high schools has made it impossible for students to get to school when so many depend on the subways to take them on journeys of 45 minutes to an hour from home.
New Yorkers are incredibly resilient and we will get through these trying times, as we got through the horrific aftermath of 9/11 and through various blackouts.
Events like these reinforce our sense of mutual interdependence and our need for a strong and effective government. We live in an age when some extremists want to gut government services, want to strangle the government and reduce it to impotence. I invite them to live in New York City during a blackout or a hurricane and rethink their rugged individualism. Individualism helps to survive, but government is necessary to bring individuals together as a community and support those in trouble.