Programs for the poor are poor programs. And they are made poorer when they fail, and when they are needed most. Natural disasters like blizzards, earthquakes, and hurricanes drive reform and the allocation of resources, leading to improvements in public safety. The tragic but ordinary deaths of people in situations in which people are likely to die don’t usually change policy. When someone dies in an ambulance, that death is not generally followed by an investigation into the qualifications of E.M.T.s.
Jill Lepore, “Baby Doe”, The New Yorker (1 February 2016), 48.