The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

You can be safe, if you've got cash

Sep 26, 2005

Several million people evacuating coastal Texas ahead of Hurricane Rita were trapped for days on the freeways around Houston.

But a few were able to fly out – if they had the money for an airplane ticket.

Any government, concerned with saving as many lives as it could, would have commandeered the planes and opened them up to evacuees with special needs: the elderly, or those too sick to stand a long bus trip.

Instead, this government left the planes in private hands. And those private corporations did what they do best: they jumped at the chance to gouge desperate people for as much cash as they could get.

Prices for flights out of Houston skyrocketed – doubling and tripling in price and even more. Tickets that would have cost $228 a few weeks before were now going for anywhere from $516 – to $1,937 for a Continental flight to Washington DC!

This story was the same as in New Orleans: those with the means got out. Those without were trapped.

And a few corporations made lots of money.