Sunday, October 23, 2005

Ponzi Scheme - FEMA Style

Haulers Low in Katrina Cash Food Chain - AP

LAUREL, Miss. - Midway through his first day as a bit player in the Hurricane Katrina cleanup, Tracy House began wondering whether his piece of the pie wasn't just another guy's leftovers.

"Are you pulling someone else's trailer?" jibed a fellow truck owner, eyeing the out-of-state caboose House had towed into the lot of the local Burger King. "Man, you can go down there and get your own contract!"

It hasn't been nearly that simple. More than seven weeks after Katrina ripped this region apart, there's plenty of money to be made clearing piles of twisted tree limbs, uprooted trunks and splintered wallboard.

But the ones claiming most of the profit, House and others like him say, aren't those working as sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-contractors.....

...Laborers, meanwhile, have pitched tents alongside the dump trucks and knuckle-boom loaders crowding the median of Orleans Avenue. Some sleep behind the wheels of their vehicles.

They pay $5 to take a shower in a trailer brought in by the prime contractor. A catering tent, which served free meals in the first weeks of the cleanup, charges $7 for breakfast, $9 for lunch and $12 for dinner (continued...)

-Not sure why this is news (you may then also ask why I am writing about this)? People expect to get screwed by the governement and large businesses. No? Don't people complain about this all the time? What I find newsworth is that people never learn (despite repeated screwings). You know what the problem is, these people never took an ethics course when they were in school :)

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