Marines and Warships Deployed Off Florida’s Coast
America’s history of providing relief following natural disasters is deplorable. Disaster capitalism, not aid for ordinary people, is the usual response.
The scheme is always the same, exploiting natural disasters for profit, including corporate handouts, no-bid contracts, regulatory freedom, relaxed labor laws, and tax breaks for business – homeowners without proper natural disaster insurance out of luck.
Storm or otherwise ravaged areas are prime opportunities for upscale development, including luxury high-rises, five-star resort hotels, high-end shopping areas, and more for wealthy residents and the tourism industry – a government-permitted corporate coup made possible by mother nature.
Devastated areas of Houston and surroundings, along with similar damage and destruction in Florida are opportunities for exploitive profit-making, relished by unfettered capitalism given free reign, aided by federal, state and local government at the expense of ordinary people in affected areas.
They suffer from damage and destruction losses, along with lack of public aid, reserved for privileged interests.
In his book Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman explained how it works, saying:
“(O)nly a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When a crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around…our basic function (is) to develop alternatives to existing policies (and be ready to roll them out when the) impossible becomes politically inevitable.”
Friedman believed government’s sole function is “protect(ing) our freedom from (outside) enemies (and) our fellow-citizens. (It’s to) preserve law and order (as well as) enforce private contracts, (safeguard private property and) foster competitive markets.”
Everything else in public hands he called socialism, blasphemy for him, claiming markets work best unfettered of rules, regulations, onerous taxes, trade barriers, “entrenched interests” and human interference.
He believed anything government does business does better so let it. Ideas about democracy, social justice, and caring societies interfere with free-wheeling capitalism.
Public wealth should be in private hands, he advocated, profit accumulation unrestrained, corporate taxes abolished, and social services curtailed or ended.
He won a Nobel prize in economics for advocating a world unfit to live in – except for its privileged class.
Devastated Houston and Florida area residents can expect to face disaster capitalism in action, maybe militarized.
Trump deployed around 1,000 combat marines and naval warships off Florida’s coast, including the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier – ostensibly to provide relief for disaster victims.
Other military forces are on standby if needed, Trump’s real mission likely intends serving and protecting privileged interests, including his West Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago estate, at the expense of ordinary Floridians on their own to cope with Hurricane Irma and its aftermath.
It’s how things always work in America – neoliberal harshness prioritized over social justice.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
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