Katrina Logic

September 5, 2007


Two years later, and the disaster of Katrina is still an awful mess. Money's been squandered, in some cases stolen, and people are still homeless. Why can't the government deal with these problems? Because they don't want to.

The lack of progress in recovering from the devastation of Katrina says a lot less about the failure of government than about the effect of leadership on government. Much of the money has been spent and just as much more money is needed to repair the damage and still, all most folks have gotten is a mouthful of empty promises.

In order to understand why this is so, you have to understand the people who are in charge and their attitude toward government. The current powers that be are Capitalist Neo conservatives. There wasn't a private world. They use government, when they're in power, to make the government ineffective. Here is how it works:

More private control of resources for private profit More public control of resources for public good
More concentration of wealth More even distribution of wealth
Greater disparity between rich and poor Less difference between rich and poor
Less public involvement in government More public involvement in government
Government responsible to powerful elite Government responsible to entire electorate
Serves the needs of the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the people Serves the needs of the common people at the expense of the wealthy and powerful
Power taken away from government - less regulation Power taken by government - more regulation

It's really quite simple: if you're one of the owners/proprietors, you want a private world, a pay-as-you-go world where you can do anything and the only limitation is the amount of money you have. If you're an ordinary person, you want a public world where you get services like good roads, schools, sanitation, healthcare, and so forth provided by a strong and effective government.

It is very important not to confuse those who want less government with those who want a less effective government. The Bush administration, for example, has increased the size, cost, and complexity of government substantially, while at the same time reducing its effectiveness substantially. They have used their control of government to channel funding away from public programs that ran at a break-even basis to assist people who need services, and into for-profit programs that earn them and their friends huge amounts of money. This is not less government, this is less effective government.

Today we have a crisis in education, public health, public safety, planetary ecology, social security, and transportation. We have all these (public) crises at the same time that we have the highest corporate (private) profits in the history of mankind. This is not an accident. This is the result of deliberate, calculated planning by wealthy and powerful Capitalists who have been seeking to embrace and extend their control over everything since their temporary reversals of the first half of the 20th century.

The trouble is that when they win, we all lose. We all lose not only in the sense of a lower standard of living or shorter expectation of longevity, but we lose as a species: their victory ensures not only the enslavement of mankind, but the destruction of mankind. We only have one planet and the short-sighted, for-profit mentality that rules private property Capitalist perspective is incapable of sacrificing today for the good of future generations. When everything is used up, spoiled, poisoned, or devastated, nobody is going to give us a second chance. Game over.

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