Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Underclass Underwater

There's a lot of teeth-gnashing between the so-called "red" states and "blue" states in America these days, especially over who's to blame for the Hurricane Katrina lack of preparedness and rescue efforts, and it can seem as if this were a natural dividing line in America, but the New Orleans tragedy has made a potentially more disasterous division plain to see.

Long after the city of New Orleans is high and dry -- well, at least dry -- the really distressing division in this country is between the the underclass and the wealthy.

We may come out of this disaster with a better ability to cope with the next disaster, but the overall shamefulness of legislation that entrenches poverty in this country is nothing so easily shored up.

And this deep black hole in the political landscape of our country is not an act of nature -- it's been engineered with great intention. It's been legislated into place and seems intractable.

When you take a look at the Bush administration policies towards making the rich richer (they've done an excellent job of this -- with Cheney as de facto president, why shouldn't they pass laws which favor that oft criticized minority -- oil millionaires -- and make sure they stay on top?!?) and keep the poor poorer (remember the bankruptcy legislation among other punitive underclass lawmaking) we're looking ahead to a future which is even darker than the darkest days of Katrina's aftermath.

After it's all cleaned up, the underclass will still be underwater in this country and the potential for what's left of the middle class, about 112 people last I checked, to slip right into the drink with the poor, means no city in this country is on built on high ground and all are vulnerable to a flood of civil unrest.

Don't forget the pictures -- these hardened, underclass criminals were stealing diapers.