People often denounce the profit motive as harsh and unfeeling. Only volunteer or government offered aid is supposedly offered with the sincere desire to help. But, as the wildfires in California serve to demonstrate, regardless of the intention, private “aid” is far more effective in actually helping people.
The insurer AIG has been spending its own money to protect the homes it covers. More than that, according to this report by ABC news, AIG actually sends people out to assess the risk of fire to homes pre-fire season, and protects those deemed to be high-risk with a flame retardant that can prevent fire damage for an entire season! For AIG, the cost is worth it in an attempt to prevent bigger losses down the line. These are the practices that allow AIG to stay in business and earn a profit—and we, the policy holders, are the beneficiaries of their greedy motives.
Uncle Sam is not similarly motivated. The government has no shareholders and will not go out of business because of its disastrous practices and inefficiencies. Therefore they are content to simply meet each tragedy as it occurs, ultimately costing more money—not to mention the loss of life.
The more property that is owned by private stakeholders, the better it is for everyone. AIG
As Hans noted earlier, lands that are publicly owned, such as parks and forests, are neglected, growing wild with the dry brush that begs only for a little spark to become a raging fire.
The more personal stake people have in property, and the more they are motivated by profit, the less we will see tragic and preventable loss.