It looks like we finally know the reason why Republicans are refusing to fund FEMA, the federal agency that responds to natural disasters.
Former Republican Governor Jeb Bush is set to lead a newly formed FOR-PROFIT natural disaster response company. According to the Maritime Executive, Bush’s newly created firm, Old Rhodes Holding LLC, joined forces with O’Brien’s Response Management, a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings, to form a for-profit disaster response company.
“We are pleased to enter into this partnership with one of the leading response organizations in the United States, backed by SEACOR’s global network,” Bush said. “Together we look forward to helping a broader array of organizations and communities become more resilient through preparation, response, communication and recovery.”
Of course, this response team only helps people for a price. Rather than come to the aid of people affected by a natural disaster out of the kindness of their hearts, like FEMA and other organizations do, the response team led by the former Florida Governor will respond to disasters if the price is right. In other words, they’ll profit off of death and destruction.
All of this comes as House Republicans continue their assault against FEMA, an organization that helps people at no charge beyond the taxes paid to the United States Government by the American people. This is all too coincidental to not be connected in some way. If FEMA is non-existent, people, cities, and states would have to hire disaster response companies to come to their aid which is a recipe for fraud, as these companies could hold disaster areas hostage until they get the price they demand. Worse, these response companies could hold individual disaster victims hostage until the company gets the price it wants or ignore helpless victims altogether if they don’t pay the fee. Remember the home in Tennessee a couple years ago that was allowed to burn down by the local for-profit fire house because the residents failed to pay the fee? Well, you can bet that same scenario will play out across the country and on a more sickening scale.
This is precisely why we pay local, state, and federal taxes to fund our emergency services. Private companies only care about their bottom line and thus don’t care about the human lives at risk of dying in the aftermath of disaster. Their first priority would be money and they would fleece the people in their most desperate time of need. It’s a blood profit that each of us should find morally unacceptable.