The Class System of Catastrophe

Disasters often hit the poor the hardest. It doesn't have to be that way

Though the epicenter of last week's disaster was in the Indian Ocean, the devastating toll was felt worldwide. European tourists apparently numbering in the thousands were drowned alongside the tens of thousands of victims who lived on the coasts of East Asia, South Asia and Africa. A world divided by ethnic and religious disputes suddenly faced its common humanity--and common mortality--in a disaster of shocking geographic reach. At least for the moment, the world has united to aid millions of vulnerable people trying to piece their lives back together in the wake of the devastation.

Yet there is a more subtle...

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