Handling Crisis In August of 2005 the world witnessed Hurricane Katrina pummel New Orleans and its surrounding areas with torrential downpour, mass flooding and unprecedented devastation. The question is why weren’t we prepared? Hurricane Katrina provided two very important lessons in crisis management preparation. First, ensure that your primary decision makers are receiving as much information from the field as possible and that nothing is being filtered. Second, ensure trust between your resources, public or private, to deliver what they have promised. Private entities especially must maintain communication with government partners, especially at a local level, to maintain emergency management capabilities. My personal opinion in addressing which form of economic system is best equipped to handle a large scale crisis truthfully depends on the place in which it occurs. Was the devastation from Hurricane Katrina avoidable? Yes. We had the technology used to ensure that levees were maintained and prepared to withstand the expected flooding. Plenty of money had been funded to FEMA and the DHS to minimize the effects of the hurricane. Why wasn’t it avoided? “Hurricane Katrina: A Nation Still Unprepared,” the Committee on Homeland Security and Governemntal Affaris (2006) “Long-term warnings went unheeded and government officials neglected their duties to prepare for a forewarned catastrophe; Government officials took insufficient actions or made poor decisions in the days immediately before and after landfall; Systems on which officials relied on to support their response efforts failed; and Government officials at all levels failed to provide effective leadership.” (p. 8)
I relate this to the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, a lack of structure and communication. Had the appropriate channels been made to connect first responders with officials making decisions a capitalist government would have been more than equipped to handle the situation.
Underdeveloped Countries and a Socialist Government Earthquakes only kill if we let them. Regardless of the severity of an earthquake, if our buildings were properly built in the first place, then the vast majority of people would survive. “National Disaster Political Earthquake” Socialism Today Magazine (2005) “Underdeveloped countries are rubble in waiting.” (p. 3) The unavoidable pressure to make and save money affects what does, or more importantly, does not happen. Inferior materials and construction methods are often used in accordance with market forces, with poor people getting poorly built homes.
While seismologists don’t know when or where earthquakes might strike, they can identify areas of general risk. If Haiti had a socialist society, residents in danger would have had far greater freedoms in terms of moving out of unsafe areas. Under capitalism the financial losses from writing off unsafe homes, shifting businesses to workers new location and adapting to that new regions infrastructure would be immediately shutdown. In areas like California and Japan, architects have designed buildings on massive rubber shock absorbers or computerized counterbalancing systems that identify and counteract shock waves.
In a capitalist society, would you ever expect to see these same technologies used on multi-story dwellings in poverty stricken areas for residents on public aid? Socialism in Haiti would have established genuine social equality, based on democratic control over the economy and…