How Natural Disasters Make the Rich Richer and the Poor Even Poorer
St. Martin's Press
On Sale: August 11, 2015
Hardcover / e-Book
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Non-Fiction Political | Non-Fiction
Natural disasters don't matter for the reasons we think they do. They generally don't kill a huge number of
people. Most years more people kill themselves than are killed by Nature's tantrums. And using standard
measures like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) it is difficult to show that disasters significantly interrupt the
It's what happens after the disasters that really matters-when the media has lost interest and the last
volunteer has handed out a final blanket, and people are left to repair their lives. What happens is a stark
expression of how unjustly unequal our world has become. The elite make out well-whether they belong to
an open market capitalist democracy or a closed authoritarian socialist state. In Myanmar-a country ruled
by a xenophobic military junta-the generals and their cronies declared areas where rice farms were
destroyed by Cyclone Nargis as blighted and simply took the land. In New Orleans the city was re-shaped
and gentrified post Katrina, making it almost impossible for many of its poorest, mostly black citizens to
In The Disaster Profiteers, John Mutter argues that when no one is looking, disasters become a means by
which the elite prosper at the expense of the poor. As the specter of increasingly frequent and destructive
natural disasters looms in our future, this book will ignite an essential conversation about what we can do
now to create a safer, more just world for us all.
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