3 September 2005

Katrina as a long-term crisis

It was reported today that the jobless rate in the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast is expected to spike to 25 percent or higher. This makes me wonder what long-term plans there are for helping the people in the region. News stations have discussed taking people away in buses but I haven't heard yet talk about where these people are going and what's going to happen to them when they get there. Almost a third of the New Orleans population was living under the poverty line. It's hard to imagine them back on their feet in a few weeks after they've been taken to another city.

On a related note, Katherine, at Cut to the Chase, questions whether current government funding will be adequate:

Congress is talking about an emergency $10.5 billion relief package for New Orleans and Mississippi.OK, but does anyone recall the hurricanes - of much less magnitude - that hit Florida not too long before Election 2004? They allocated $14-$20 billion initially and I read somewhere not so long ago that taxpayers actually shelled out about $30 billion in direct costs for photo ops for George Bush and his chubby baby bro, Jeb, handing out water while they blocked search and rescue operations around them.So why does so much more devastation result in so much less funding? Couldn't be the color of the faces, could it? Not just the fact Bush isn't looking to be re-selected now.

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