Little v. Big Disasters
Tables and racks full of clothing. This picture is an emblemto me of what we are facing today. The floundering economy is leaving familiesscrambling for basic necessities like food and shelter. In my town when we wereleft with a few handfuls of people in dire need, that picture was just thebeginning of the response.
The clothing poured in and was set out in the gymnasium of achurch that was a little over a block away from the smoldering remains of thehotel that was home to about 16 people. March 5th was the day that Isaw the better part of people that I'd forgotten about for at least a while.
It made me ask myself why there have been so many complaintsabout the concept of the government stepping in to save various businesses. Theapproach so far has been imperfect – like A.I.G. – but objecting to the entireprocess of bailing out our economy seems a bit mean-hearted when it isconsidered as disaster relief instead.
People who could ill-afford it stepped up and gave to firevictims here for one reason – it was the right thing to do. We've been livingso long in a culture of greed and avarice; it is refreshing to see that sort ofcharity – even if it is from those who have the least to give. I am not sayingthat the people of my town are poor, but when compared with those who haveplaced us in the current economic peril, they are. There are no billionaireshere, but the people here have enough sense to realize when they need to give.
The call now, for those who have been hoarding moneyat the expense of many, is to stand up and take responsibility for your actions.We are beyond the point where making money for the top one or two percent ofthe nation is the goal. Wall Street needs to realize that it owes Main Street –and Capitol Hill needs to make the laws to enforce the payment of those debts.It's a simplistic statement, and will undoubtedly take mountains of paper andweeks of debate to make it happen. It is unfortunate that all those businessmenand politicians can't seem to get a simple concept – you don't stand by andwatch people suffer in the wake of a disaster. You help.