Americans, in case you did not hear today on CNN, the NAACP is asking that victims of Hurricane Katrina receive the SAME compensation as the families of 9/11 victims-a cool one million dollars EACH in order to rebuild their lives! As one wise TV viewer wrote in to CNN, if victims of Hurricane Katrina get financial compensation, than all victims of natural disasters in the recent past and in to the future, must receive the same compensation. After all, he notes, victims of Hurricane Andrew did not receive air help for three whole days so were probably worse off. Once more, the accounts of the middle class will be chosen as the means to shovel over hard-earned, honest wages to a population which the government has decided it will not just aid, but offer long-term finanacial assistance.
Practically, it is important to consider the implications of comparing Hurricane Katrina to the 9/11 attacks on New York City. Let us compare the two events:
*First of all, both are unmistakably tragic events and the plight of the victims of each is one of devastating loss
*The attacks of 9/11 obliderated thousands of lives in a matter of seconds while the death toll following the hurricane has reached into the thousands over a number of days, mostly due to lack of medical attention in “swamped” hospitals and obviously, drowning.
*I procede with caution to suggest the difference that the victims of 9/11 were hardworking, middle/upper-middle class professionals, not loitering around the city, while the majority of the Katrina victims were lower-middle class, often African Americans and likely often welfare recipients who maybe have not really seen too many days of hard work in their lives. Therefore, a million dollars of unearned money would surely be misused and abused by these people, gone within a short time.
Do I think the hundreds of thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims need help and practical provisions to get them through life both now and in the fore seeable future? Of coarse! BUT, it is not the responsibility of the government or the right thereof to decide that the middle class, tax payers dollars will go towards a million dollar survival payoff times a million people potentially needing this aid. It is the responsibility of a community such as a church or business community, to look out for the needs of others and band together to make sure that needy members of that community are being taken care of. If we take away this responsibility and give it to the government, we are ultimately showing a lack of concern as to where our money is going and wise stewardship of it so that we are putting it where it will most count. Was it a bad precedent to give compensation to victims of 9/11? Perhaps in some ways it was but at the same time I can understand the thinking of many as the majority of people left behind after the attacks were women. Wives-many of whome had little career training in a professional field-and thus when they were left widowed in the blinking of an eye, were in vital need of financial assistance to get back on their feet in their new tasks as bread winners. A million dollars does seem accessive to me though any way the situation is considered.
If the NAACP gets its way, I can not imagine how this country will not be in bankrupsy with in a matter of time. After all, hurricane season comes every year and so does Tornado and earth quake season. To compound matters, terrorist attacks are always an imminent threat to this country since 9/11. It will be interesting to see what the government decides on this matter. One thing is for sure, if victims do receive this possible hefty sum of money, I am going to sneak off to Louisiana and try to claim some for myself!( ;
-Population Data Center(Louisiana)