It is a cruel irony that a lead singer with the name Katrina and a back-up band called the Waves performed a pop song in the 1980s with bright lyrics and happy beat. Many years later, a natural disaster bearing the same name, backed by a surge of seawater, consumed the city of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, America and the rest of the world witnessed the desperate side of the world's wealthiest nation. Many people, who had neither time nor resources to escape the storm's surge, and the destruction that followed, became first-hand witnesses to America's failure to adequately address its poverty problem. The world was shocked to see Americans displaced and immobilized. Chilling reports of the disintegration of the community with rampant plundering and lawlessness punctuated media broadcasts. The ravages of death and deprivation were graphically depicted even as relief providers scrambled to address the massive needs of the displaced and injured. The failed infrastructure and lack of services to help the unfortunates who remained behind to weather the storm resurrected the national debate on poverty-who is responsible for giving willing Americans the tools to remove themselves from poverty to become contributing members of society?

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