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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

New Orleans: limits of neo-liberalism « Previous | |Next »
September 4, 2005

Though Hurricane Katrina hit the New Mexic Gulf around August 30th the civil disaster response was very slow, even though it was clear by that Katrina had caused immense damage along the Gulf Coast.

Thousands of Americans are dead or dying because they were too poor or too sick to get out without help--and that help wasn't provided.. Many have yet to receive any help at all. This suggests a lack of both preparation and urgency in the federal government's response.


Kevin Drum over at Washington Monthly's Political Animal says that whilst no:

" could predict that a hurricane the size of Katrina would hit this year, but the slow federal response when it did happen was no accident. It was the result of four years of deliberate Republican policy and budget choices that favor ideology and partisan loyalty at the expense of operational competence. It's the Bush administration in a nutshell."

The Republicans are committed to a limited role for the federal government and downsizing, privatizing, and placing greater reliance on state and local government to provide essential services.
Steve Bell

When the federal government opts out of essential services such as disaster relief, then that leaves the states to take the lead in looking out for their own needs and the private sector helping to rebuild the Mexico Gulf Coast.

Paul Krugman, writing in The New York Times concurs with this argument:

At a fundamental level, I'd argue, our current leaders just aren't serious about some of the essential functions of government. They like waging war, but they don't like providing security, rescuing those in need or spending on preventive measures. And they never, ever ask for shared sacrifice...So America, once famous for its can-do attitude, now has a can't-do government that makes excuses instead of doing its job. And while it makes those excuses, Americans are dying.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:31 PM | | Comments (1)


Comments have been lost. Something has gone wrong as we endeavour to upgrade to MT 3.2 and the MT-blacklist.

The lost comments were along the lines of the inadequacy of the coastal defences: both the region's state authorities and the Federal Government had neglected and the coordinated emergency response just did not happen.

Other comments had mentioned the spin and denial of responsibility by Department of Homeland Security

My comments this morning mentioned the White House spin that is being put out to duck the responsibility on the debacle in New Orleans as it deals with the political crisis arising around them. The spin is putting the blame for the debacle on state and local authorities---on the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans because didn't ask for help quickly enough. And the White House was powerless to act until they did.