What happened during hurricane Katrina demonstrated starkly that the fate of poor people is of little concern to the people who run things in America. Flood victims were left to starve, then shot at when they tried to get food, then given a one way ticket to anywhere while developers moved in to grab their land for future vacation condos. This should be a cautionary tale as to what to expect in the event of an economic meltdown that suddenly brings millions of people into the ranks of the poor who never expected to be in that position, and who, without a paycheck, have no means to fend for themselves in a society where money must be paid to somebody for even the most basic needs - water, food, shelter,
Blaming the poverty on personal failures has been all the rage in America since the 1980's, and the myth of self reliance persists in a society where it has been impossible for more than a century - I mean, it's not like you can find a piece of vacant land, build a log cabin, plant some corn, hunt wild game and draw water from the creek - for most people, the only food they've ever seen comes from a grocery store or a restaurant. The captains of industry drove people off the land and into the cities, then into the suburbs. Underwriting this whole process was cheap fossil fuel - now much less cheap and destined to become more expensive. The widening ripples of the rising price of petroleum, the basis of almost everything in this society, means more downsizing, more mergers. fewer jobs, more people with no money to spend who still must live. Based on the events of Katrina, help won't be coming from Washington, . It's time to think about making other arrangements.