1.18.2010

Katrina and Haiti

An odd nonsequitur on the HuffPo:
Author Naomi Klein reported that within 24 hours of the earthquake, the influential right-wing think tank the Heritage Foundation was already seeking to use the disaster as an attempt at further privatization of the country's economy. The Heritage Foundation released similar recommendations in the days after Katrina, calling for "solutions" such as school vouchers.


Our Katrina experience has taught us to be suspicious of the Red Cross and other large and bureaucratic aid agencies that function without and means of community accountability. In New Orleans, we've seen literally tens of billions of dollars in aid pledged in the years since Katrina, but only a small fraction of that has made it to those most in need.
It seems like one lesson from Katrina would be a desire to not rely on the government, and that nongovernmental organizations tend to do a better job of things -- which seems like it might suggest an argument for, rather than against, school vouchers, which would still allow schools to be controlled by the community itself. But I wasn't there for Katrina, and I have never been to Haiti, so maybe I'm wrong.