Two articles in yesterday's WSJ (both sub req) on the earthquake in China make similiar comparisons:
China Earthquake Exposes A Widening Wealth Gap:
Natural disasters often wreak their worst havoc on the disadvantaged, people who tend to live in subpar housing. This was the case with Hurricane Katrina in the U.S.
Poverty in China and Poverty in the United States? Sure, seems like a valid comparison.
Xinhua Goes Beyond Propaganda :
The political stakes in reporting on Monday's quake and its aftermath--or on other natural disasters, such as the snowstorms earlier this year that brought transportation in much of the country to a standstill--are high. Protests and demonstrations are still considered taboo for the Chinese news media, which are all ultimately under the government's control. Yet natural disasters can be politically sensitive as well. Even a minor lapse in Beijing's response could erode the government's mandate with the masses, harming it as 2005's Hurricane Katrina did the Bush administration in the U.S.
Comparing the Bush adminstration with the Chinese Communist dictarship? Again, seems like a very apt comparison.
Well, expect for the fact that if the Chinese government's response to the earthquake erodes its "mandate with the masses" the result is likely to be some sort of violent revolution not a drop in their approval ratings or a defeat for the party in mid-term elections.
Geting serious about China for a second, if you're looking for a way to lend a hand to the survivors of Monday's quake, I would recommend dropping some dough into World Vision's Emergency Aid jar. They are one of the most effective and efficient relief agencies and they already have resources on the ground in China.