Thursday, September 15, 2005

Jalapeno has a good point

"My analysis of Bush being blamed for the Federal response is varied.

Bush has lost all crediblity with the American people save for his ardent supporters and apologists. Personally, I cringe when he opens his mouth, and don't put any faith in anything he has to say about anything at all.

I believe he is a product of our society, and is a symbol of the failure and lost focus of goverment at the federal level, among other things. He is a symbol of our society, and the great divides that exist."

Bush is an American . . . of the worst kind. His response to the hurricane was much like a hyperbolic version of walking on by while the homeless woman on the corner accidentally rolls her shopping cart. Apathy, indifference and a generally accepted notion that the poor are not worth the time, effort or money to help. The poor are invisible to much of our society. There is not a low-income equivalent of "The OC" on television. The stratification of our cities allows upper-middle-class workers to commute past the poorest parts of their own towns, insulated by 12-foot fences along the highway. Poor children go to poor schools, rich children go to rich schools. And the less the haves see of the have-nots, the worse life gets for those who are pushed further and further into poverty. To many who have the means to help, the poor simply do not exist.

On NPR yesterday I heard city planning officials talking about how this must change, how they are planning for eliminating the destructive housing project model and instead, implementing mixed-income housing and schools in neighborhoods home to people who make anywhere from 18,000 to 85,000 per year. I think this is a step in the right direction. Once the poor are no longer in the shadows, once they are neighbors, they can no longer be ignored.


  1. I wonder here if there's something to be said for public transport as a great democratizer. People of all income levels and backgrounds, after all, ride the NYC subway, so that they're cheek by jowl with each other and their needs, even if not talking...

  2. Hey, the poor are poor because of their own laziness and unwillingness to do anything to better their lot. Helping them out just encourages their leeching tendencies. Oh, and Michael Moore is fat. [/wingnut]

  3. Integration is good. Diversity is strength. But those poor brown people are kinda icky...

  4. Great post. Yep, Bush has never had to speak with a poor person. The plight of the poor simply never occurs to him or to the rest of his family.

    A poor version of "The OC"? I like it. Few television shows reveal someone struggling with money. Many movies in the past showed a character running out of cash and having to get creative. We don't see that anymore.

    Also, I have to give propers to San Francisco. I live in an apartment complex with mixed income levels. The owners are required to admit a percentage of residents below a certain income level. They don't promote the fact too much, but it's a great idea.

  5. Thanks for a bit of optimism, I hope these new approaches will do something but I have doubts that much will change. Bush's example provides many with the free pass to continue down the path of destruction, change would only come if a president were willing to shift the paradigm and lead the way. This country is being leeched of all that was once good, such as civic mindedness, cultural advance and social programs. The noble ideas of tending to those in need and working as a community have vanished while the increasing dominance of corporations continues.

    Portrait of Malkin.


  6. I love to here some optimism about this stuff. My fiancee and I are hoping for a new orleans rebuilt on this model, because we'd love to move there (she was born in NOLA). The worst case senario is the whole 9th ward built by KB homes to look like Lowry...