Making money from misery

Yes!Weekly’s Jordan Green offers an eye-popping article about government-backed profiteering that occured, and is still occuring, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  Here’s the last paragraph…

“…When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast it did more than expose poverty, environmental fragility and compromised infrastructure; it laid bare a national system of political patronage that enriched a handful of powerful corporations and deepened the despair of those on society’s margins.”

In a companion piece, Green outlines several investigations of companies who apparently took advantage of the region’s misery and our cronyism infested government.

The whole expose’ is excellent journalism.  For that matter, the whole of Yes!Weekly is a good read this week as it is almost every week.

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4 Comments

  1. Brenda Bowers
    Posted August 31, 2006 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    David, There is nothing new in companies taking advantage of disasters to steal a few bucks. If you read much of the Civil War they were plentiful in both the North and the South. In fact if I remember correctly it was a company from here in North Carolina who provided cardboard boots for the Southern troops before Gettysburg and that’s why Lee was hoping to find a shoe factory. And yes, it is all about cronyism and who kicks back enough to get the contract. It is sad, it is bad, but certainly not invented by the present administration. The perpetrators should be caught and prosecuted. An excellent place to start would be in New Orleans itself where graft and criminal behavior squandered federal tax dollars sent long before Katrina to fortify the levees and prepare the city for the disaster that happened. BB

  2. Posted August 31, 2006 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Agreed Brenda….

    The art of the disaster/wartime swindle has been around along time. That doesn’t make the current lot any less deservant of being strung up by their thumbs..

  3. Posted September 1, 2006 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    The failures after Katrina ranged from the individual to the institutional. And yes, corruption, greed and thievery have long been parts of Louisiana politics. But in this instance it looks like the federal government put more effort into securing these sweetheart crony contracts than it did on the rescue efforts. Shameful.
    Also Hogg, thanks for the compliments. Glad someone’s noticed. Stop by some time and I’ll hook you up with a T-shirt.

  4. Posted September 1, 2006 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I notice it quite often, Brian… I just fail to mention it as often as I should. You guys are doing a lot of things right.