Democracy Now! is broadcasting under power outage conditions as they, and much of New York City, are without electricity after Superstorm Sandy pounded the East Coast. They continue their coverage of Sandy by looking at how it has impacted an economically divided New York City, especially in Manhattan, where the the richest fifth make 40 times more money than the poorest fifth. Inequality in Manhattan rivals parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Amy Goodman is joined in New York City by Reuters journalist David Rohde, whose new article for The Atlantic is "The Hideous Inequality Exposed by Hurricane Sandy." Rohde writes: "Those with a car could flee. Those with wealth could move into a hotel. Those with steady jobs could decline to come into work. But the city’s cooks, doormen, maintenance men, taxi drivers and maids left their loved ones at home." Rohde is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a former reporter for the New York Times.
Indeed, where else is the great divide between the "haves" and the "have-nots" more evident than in New York City? In the financial district -- Wall Street -- Goldman Sachs, and other financial institutions light up the night sky, while elsewhere in the city people need food, water, and wait for power for lights as the nights grow ever colder. But, the stock market... it's business as usual.
David Rohde explains what he's experiencing in NYC:
"There were two different maids I remember talking to that were still sort of walking through this hotel. It just seemed absurd, actually. The power had gone out in the hotel the night before, yet this one maid came in and sort of changed our sheets. And I just sort of felt—just felt ridiculous. I asked her about her family. She said that she had been in touch with them in Queens."
"There was a garage attendant I talked to nearby. He had not talked to his family at all since the storm struck. He was an immigrant, said most of his family is in another country. And I said, "But do you have any relative here?" And he said that he did have a sister in New Jersey, but he hadn’t been able to speak with her at all since the storm broke. He—I honestly let him make a call on my cellphone; he left a message for her. But what struck me was I asked him, "What did you do? How did you get through this storm?" And he had just stayed at this garage where he works, right near Union Square. And he said that throughout the storm, he just had slept in his car."
Full transcript is available here.