Who wins?

I'm not going to get deeply into this right now, since I really need to get work done today and if I start posting links and comments, I'll never stop. But this one comment I can't resist.

You can learn a lot about the real power structures of a country by analyzing who always makes money, even in a disaster. It's nothing about conspiracies. It's nothing about fault or blame. It's an observation about what having power means. Having power means being safe. It means having the infrastructure with which to do contingency planning, the connections to ensure that you have your inside track on whatever wealth there is to be had out of a situation, the riches to be diversified and able to recover from disasters that the people who don't have power cannot easily recover from.

Many large corporations are being generous with the contributions during this catastrophe, and the news media makes a lot of that. On one hand, I don't underestimate the value of those contributions, and I'm quite certain that the individual people working for those corporations are volunteering out of the goodness of their hearts and in many cases are real heroes. On the other hand, it's perfectly legitimate, while thanking them for that contribution, to note the percentage of their free cash that those donations actually represent.

In the long run, lots and lots of people in the Gulf Coast region are going to face catastrophic damage to their finances, their lives, their families, and their possessions. The major stockholders and senior management of Wal-Mart won't. I'm not saying they should; ideally, no one should. But this is the very definition of power versus powerlessness.

Posted: 2005-09-02 16:34 — Why no comments?

Last spun 2013-07-01 from thread modified 2013-01-04