Those images [of post-Katrina New Orleans] shocked the world because, even if most of us had resigned ourselves to the daily inequalities of who has access to health care and whose schools have decent equipment, there was still a widespread assumption that disasters were supposed to be different. It was taken for granted that the state—at least in a rich country—would come to the aid of the people during a cataclysmic event. The images from New Orleans showed that this general belief—that disasters are a kind of time-out for cutthroat capitalism, when we all pull together and the state switches into higher gear—had already been abandoned, and with no public debate.

Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism