In America, tragedy doesn’t count unless it happens to rich New Yorkers. Think Oklahoma City vs. New York, think Kiribati, the Maldives and Seychelles vs. New York, think New Orleans vs. New York, think Port-Au-Prince vs. New York, think Detroit vs. New York; are you as sick of whining rich New Yorkers as I am?
[Hurrican Sandy] victims who remain in their damaged homes, often without heat, electricity or running water, clutch knives against the threat of gangs that prowl at night through the wreckage.
This storm—amid freakish weather patterns such storms will become routine—resulted in at least $71.3 billion in property damage in New York and New Jersey. Many of the 305,000 houses in New York destroyed by Sandy will never be rebuilt. New York City says it will have to spend $800 million just to repair its roads. And that is only the start. The next hurricane season will most likely descend on the Eastern Seaboard with even greater destructive fury. A couple of more hurricanes like this one and whole sections of the coast will become uninhabitable.
This is the new America. It is an America where economic and environmental catastrophes converge to trigger systems breakdown and collapse. It is an America divided between corporate predators and their prey. It is an America that, as things unravel, increasingly sacrifices its own.
New York is not the center of the world, damn it!