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Sep 6, 2005

Is anyone else embarrassed? I am so embarrassed and ashamed of our country right now. I can't help but feel like we just let all of our skeletons clatter out of the closet. We always hear how wonderful New Orleans is. Everyone sort of knew it was a poor town, but I doubt many people outside of the US had any clue. We act like we are "all that," for lack of a better phrase. We dole out contributions to other countries like candy, but we can't even keep our own citizens above the poverty line. It is shameful. I am so upset that we let these people down. But when I really start to think about it, I think we have been letting them down for years now, with a welfare system that doesn't teach them to survive--doesn't give them the resources to help themselves, but rather keeps them trapped in a cycle that makes them wait to be rescued because they have no other recourse. It's hidious that we have allowed this system to become so enveloping. And it's just as hidious that the government wasn't there for a group of people who were taught to rely on it.

I hope this event not only shakes up our sense of security and preparedness, but also our view of the welfare system and what it produces. The majority of the people left behind in the hurricane were undoubtedly on welfare assistance of some sort and I can't help but feel as though they have received so many hand outs, so much help, that they simply assumed the government would help again because they had not been taught to have any other resources. We let them down in so many ways. I can only hope this event makes us rethink how we help the poor. And reminds us just how dependent they are on us.
posted by Ty @ 9/06/2005
At 7:40 PM, September 06, 2005, Blogger Lady Mac said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7:52 PM, September 06, 2005, Blogger Lady Mac said...

Ok. Let's look at "poverty" in the US...many people at the poverty level choose to stay there. Many like the government assistance that allows them to not work, have many children and live that way for the rest of their life. That's not to say that everyone at that level does, just the majority.
New Orleans was a 'welfare' city to begin with. That is a fact.
"We" didn't let them down.
"We" can't get to everyone! JMHO...

At 7:58 PM, September 06, 2005, Blogger Daddy Mac said...

I wouldn't say I was embarrassed by the government's actions. It IS disappointing that these people haven't been weaned off gov't assistance. Cut it off after a certain length of time and these people are more inclined to work to eat and provide for your family. Being poor can and should be a temporary situation, not a way of life for these people.

This was a massive, massive disaster. These people, by not abiding by their elected officials warnings (their gov't), stayed behind and made this disaster much worse! I too hope this opens some eyes on some things that aren't right with our system.

At 12:59 AM, September 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Rach,
How are you? I thought that I would check out your blog, and I hope that you don't mind my response to your opinions.
I can't agree with your comments more surrounding our flawed welfare system.
I can't agree more with Daddy Mac in a sense that there should definitely be finite time limits set for government assistance, and after that people should be cut loose from the government nipple. The money saved from the countless cases of those who abuse the welfare system should be thrown back into the mix to create jobs, provide child care, and raise the minimum wage. This action would empower those who want to make a better life for themselves and their families, thus allowing them to grow independent of government support. Hopefully this would help minimize catastrophes such as Katrina.

On another note, the press is really focusing on the fact that those who stayed in New Orleans did so because of financial ineptitude, but what they are failing to focus on is the "Cry Wolf" factor. Having talked to a couple of people from New Orleans, I have consistently heard that the constant threat of hurricanes played a huge factor in the decision of many to stay.
Do you know how many times during the last twenty years Florida,
Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and even Texas have received hurricane warnings in the last fifty years? Too many to count.

My Grandfather, Aunt, and Uncle who are all very well off refused to leave Brevard County, Florida when Ivan hit...

Just wanted to leave you some food for thought...

On one last note, there is a silver lining in this whole catastrophe. Many people, such as yourself, are showing are showing what it means to be a socially responsible American through the massive outpouring of kindness, charity, donations and volunteering.

Time to go to bed.

- Jeff G.


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