Friday, September 23, 2005

Katrina Exposes Bankrupt Conservative Policies

If you think Bush is suffering now from the Katrina, wait until September 2008, when New Orleans and the Mississippi Coast still lies fallow, vacant, dead. While the inept preparation for and response to Katrina exposed fisal conservatism and bureacracy as barriers to saving lives, it is appearing the rebuilding will expose something much larger: The bankruptcy of the free-market approach to community building. Consider:

+++The day after Katrina hit, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began issuing housing vouchers to survivors. Two days later Bush officials had a meeting with HUD, and a couple hours later HUD STOPPED issuing vouchers. HUD officials had to lie and say that the housing problem will be solved by FEMA's trailors park ghettos.

+++Instead of opening up Government health insurance to (many injured) without insurance, Bush said that the few, already overburdaned and underfunded emergency hospitals that accept the uninsured have to take the burden of meeting the immense needs. Even in disaster the Government enforces the two Americas.

+++Case in point, US taxpayers are will be paying 10k a year for displaced relatively privliged children to continue going to private schools. God forbid they had to "sacrifice" to be in a public school.

+++Even worse, Bush has placed a $25,000 limit on all evacued families, including ALL benefits (housing, health, food, etc). Meanwhile WE'RE cutting checks for $250,000 for each ISRAELI settler who "evacuated" Gaza.

+++Even worse, we can house an estimated 100,000 people resettle in dry, safe communties right now in vacant housing. At least 23,000 New Orleans area units in dry areas were vacant BEFORE Katrina, never mind the thousands of deserted homes. But taking use of them to house people in relatively well-off, high-ground areas would accomplish everything we should want in a recovery: integration, opportunity, a quick back to normalcy... and the landlords shouldn't complain.

+++Bush's two redevlopment policy appears to be expanding the underwhelming Empowerment Zones (EZs) and tax credits. A marked failure in America's inner cities, EZ's are of ZERO help to small businesses, who aren't big enough to qualify. Tax Credits for people who OWN property, which can be built upon, if you get non-profit support is the other stupid proposal. Both show a commitment to broke ideology over people.

+++We all know he's stripped livable wages for the workers who rebuild and completely put aside environmental concerns (i'm not saying we didn't need to make hard choices).

+++We know he's not concerned with finding out what really went wrong. We know who will profit in the end, we know who will get screwed.

+++We know those without insurance will likely not be able to afford housing in the new Big Easy. We know those can rebuild will maximize profit and capitalize on the inbalance of supply and demand, leaving the poor out.

+++The every man for himself ideology has no business in the 21st Century.


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