"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

9.10.2005

Katrina

I haven't posted on Katrina yet, mainly because I've seen so much suffering this summer that I can't watch too much of the coverage. But. Now that FEMA has decided to stop distributing debit cards and instead make direct deposits or send checks to the hurricaine victims, I'm going to say something. HOW OUT OF TOUCH IS THIS ADMINISTRATION WITH REALITY?????? The people who need this money the most -- those who live paycheck-to-paycheck and don't have savings with which to rent a furnished apartment in Houston or buy a new home in Baton Rouge -- very often DON'T HAVE checking and savings accounts. Which means they'll lose at least some percentage of their checks to whomever cashes them, unless someone decides to be nice. Then, they're stuck with $2000 in a very, very insecure form. There's no identity-theft protection for cash. It's scary to carry around that much money (believe me, after a summer in the Congo, I know), and so the temptation will be very strong to spend it quickly on tangible, secure stuff.

The Bush administration has more than once shown its total inability to empathize with the poor. So I guess we shouldn't be surprised.

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