Hurricane Harvey And the Foundation To A More Resilient Society

Like most Americans this week, I’ve been reading and watching the coverage of Hurricane Harvey, as Houston and large swaths of Texas cope with the tragic deaths, destruction, and the massive rebuilding efforts that will soon be underway.

As pictures of devastated families and videos of harrowing rescues flash in front my eyes, I keep thinking of these two words: “Economic Resilience”.

We can pray and donate money to those affected, and cheer the heroic efforts of our fellow Americans and first responders, but how might we fundamentally build a more resilient society when we know such terrible events can and will occur?

We must recognize that we all pay far more in the long run when we have neighbors and family that literally can’t afford to seek safety and shelter. When nearly 4/5 of workers say they’re living paycheck to paycheck, nearly any unexpected life event can be enough to knock people into a state of poverty, a state that’s increasingly hard to escape from.

When you are suffering through some of the worst moments in your life, you shouldn’t also be worrying about how you’ll be able to afford food and shelter that day, or what hoops you’ll need to go through to hopefully, maybe, get some reimbursement months or years later.

The “I” in UBI often refers to Income, but I believe that it’s also Universal Basic Insurance: A policy that dignifies everyone to basic financial security and dignity, never more important than during the toughest and most tragic moments in one’s life.

Let’s start building a more resilient society, ensuring that everyone will always have a foundation upon which to start recovering and rebuilding from, no matter what life throws our way.

Larry Cohen