|The Early Days of a Better Nation|
Saturday, September 03, 2005
I'm belatedly posting some comments on my previous post. I apologise for the belatedness, because these correspondents were ahead of the curve.
Erudite American Marxist Jim Farmelant wrote, back on Wednesday 31 August:
I think we are seeing in the Gulf states, especially Louisiana, the results of some massive incompetence, starting from the Federal level (read Bush Administration) down to the state and local levels. The Bush Administration had taken away Federal funds that had been slated to pay for New Orleans disaster funds and used them pay for the Iraq war and for tax cuts. As a result, New Orleans was not able to get its levees in shape to withstand a major storm of the sort just experienced. Louisiana has found itself shorthanded in terms of manpower in its National Guard, since so much of the Louisiana National Guard is, you guessed it, over in Iraq. Indeed, even much of the equipment that the National Guard uses in flood relief is over in Iraq, just in case that country should suffer a flood.
British SF fan Alison wrote, the same day:
Lots of things about the US become easier to understand if you consider it as a very rich third world country... Not just now, but generally. Like enormously high and rising inequity (including reducing real-terms median income over the last 30 years!), lack of adequate healthcare, housing, education for the poor, and a belief that richer states have no responsibility to improve the living conditions of poorer ones, diversion of national wealth into warfare rather than welfare. That sort of thing.
Today, David Moles wrote:
This part of America didn't just fall off and drop into the Third World; it was left there, a long time ago. (One of our great national shames, though
Of course, this sort of thing doesn't happen in at least one actual Third World country.
Star blogging coverage (practical as well as argumentative) can be found at Making Light. China Mieville has done some sterling online investigative journalism at Lenin's Tomb (as has the tomb's titular inhabitant).