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View Full Version : Should New Orleans Be Rebuilt - Spectrum of Opinions; Want To Add Your Voice???


tennisbum79
Sep 26th, 2005, 06:49 PM
Since Katrina hit New Orleans the country has been divided between those who want to rebuild and those who don't.

Is it time for this forum to tackle this issue??

Reasons given on each side have merits.

Proponents:

Of course the majority of people want to rebuild N.O., for what it primarily represents to the country: cultural heritage of jazz, French culture and easy going life style where all social echelons of the society enjoy the big easy. Those who live there, for obvious reason, advocate the rebuilding. It is their home. Then there is the historian and cultural custodian of the country, in particular the southern gold coast. There are the economists, who have come to the conclusion with deep reservation I might add, that the oil production and port are too important not to rebuild New Orleans.

Srill, there is another group, in majority not from New Orleans, who want to preserve the culture of New Orleans for their own enjoyment. Their critics think this reason is selfish, self-serving and highly patronizing of NO as a third world tourist spot where rich westerners go to unwind (with all the implication of the expression). Outside the petroleum industry, New Orleans is largely dependent on a service economy, cattle and fishery. All of these sectors, given their very nature, fluctuate very often and are also seasonal.



Opponents:



The argument here is generally short, but equally compelling and very sobering. Folks arguing this point stay clear of any emotional attachment to New Orleans and/or, social enginering redressing the inequity of old New Orleans or patritotic sloganering. Theirs is simply economical. It is risk a versus benefits.
It is the unforgiving, dry, actuarial approach of probalitiy and statitiscs, where the result of the numbers are the sole deterministic factor of what course of action to take.
They argue, it is simply not in the best interest of the state of LA and the country as a whole to undertake such a gigantic effort whose economic returns are very uncertain if not negative, and likely to push the country further in depth. Those who take this position do not pretend to come from a place where culture or history has much weight in their argument. It is purely economical.

Some, more familiar with Louisiana politics, further argues that, because endemic corruption in all level of state government, the rebuilding effort is unlikely to bear fruit, even under the best of circumstances.




There have been a number of articles already written on this topic.


Slate magazine, a liberal leaning publication, is against.

http://slate.msn.com/?id=2125810&nav=tap1/ (http://slate.msn.com/?id=2125810&nav=tap1/)



Surprisingly enough Thomas Sowell, a conservative economist is for rebuilding.

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/ts20050906.shtml (http://www.townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/ts20050906.shtml)



Micahel Barone conservative supply-sider, is for it, but argues that it will not be the same New Orleans.

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/michaelbarone/mb20050905.shtml



I am not aware if The Weekly Standards, The National Review, The Nation and The New Republic have taken an editorial position.

tennisbum79
Sep 26th, 2005, 08:27 PM
Doeas anyone knows if any prominent think tank (right, center, or left) has put out a position paper yet?

Normally the Heritage Foundation, The Cato Institute or AEI would have done so by now.

tennisbum79
Sep 26th, 2005, 11:10 PM
bump

thrust
Sep 27th, 2005, 12:04 AM
As long as the corrupt idiotic leaders in Louisiana are not given the money to be sent.

tennisbum79
Sep 27th, 2005, 12:12 AM
As long as the corrupt idiotic leaders in Louisiana are not given the money to be sent.

That is the one proverbial conflict of state right vs the Federal goverment.
Although the LA goverment has not yet spoken on this issue, the Missisipi governor, the republican Haley Barbour and former RNC chairman has. He is resisting any effort that will give the federal goverment the primary role in the rebuilding effort.

~ The Leopard ~
Sep 27th, 2005, 01:33 AM
Of course it should be. Those economic arguments against are very short-sighted.

tennisbum79
Sep 27th, 2005, 06:08 AM
Most reporters on the ground do not share the can-do spirit of the few residents, who, amid the rubbles and debris, are very optimisitic about the speed of the rebuilding effort.

tennisbum79
Sep 28th, 2005, 03:33 AM
Come on you guys. This is in the news now....

wta_zuperfann
Sep 28th, 2005, 03:56 AM
It's time to put the Reaganomics mysticism to work: they said that by giving corporate welfare to the wealthy, it would "trickle down" to the poor eventually. Well, we've had 25 years of Reaganomics since 1980 and the poor have not gotten one cent from the wealthy as of yet. But :devil: Bush :devil: has given the wealthy at least $ 3 trillion dollars before interest/dividends accumulations. Therefore, it's time for them to trickle down that money into the segments of society that need it the most.

Of course, we all know that David Stockman (the architect of Reaganomics) admitted that it was all welfare for the wealthy and that only they would benefit from this ideological nonsense. Therefore, no tax dollars are needed to rebuild New Orleans. Private dollars are all that are needed and :devil: Bushshit :devil: has seen to it that they have plenty.

Scotso
Sep 28th, 2005, 02:55 PM
Of course it should be. Those economic arguments against are very short-sighted.

Why?

The entire country is going to have to foot the bill for rebuilding New Orleans and for all this. I question the logic of rebuilding a city where this is very likely to happen again. Isn't there some sense in avoiding the same mistake twice? Building a city below sea level in a hurricane alley lacks any kind of reason.

If they want to rebuild the city, that's fine... but those people need to be aware of the risk they are taking, and the people as a whole should not be responsible for bailing them out financially if this happens again. This time, I don't mind it, but if they go back to the same place and lightning strikes again, they should be on their own.

tennisbum79
Sep 28th, 2005, 03:10 PM
Why?

The entire country is going to have to foot the bill for rebuilding New Orleans and for all this. I question the logic of rebuilding a city where this is very likely to happen again. Isn't there some sense in avoiding the same mistake twice? Building a city below sea level in a hurricane alley lacks any kind of reason.

If they want to rebuild the city, that's fine... but those people need to be aware of the risk they are taking, and the people as a whole should not be responsible for bailing them out financially if this happens again. This time, I don't mind it, but if they go back to the same place and lightning strikes again, they should be on their own.

As a compromise between your position and those advocating rebuilding at any cost, a third position as emerged. It agues that the city should be rebuilt at different location, where the land has better natural protection: above sea level and little further from the water for example.

This compromise is not without questions. Chief among them are:

Is it possible to find such a place near New Orleans?
Because it would probably be a brand new city with all new logistics associated with a modern city(new sewage, water system, street, cultural and civic centers, public spaces, etc), it might cost even more

Scotso
Sep 29th, 2005, 10:24 AM
That's not really a compromise, that's my plan :p Rebuilding New Orleans means building it again, like it was. If they build a new city, it's a new city, no matter what they call it.

tennisbum79
Sep 29th, 2005, 01:18 PM
That's not really a compromise, that's my plan :p Rebuilding New Orleans means building it again, like it was. If they build a new city, it's a new city, no matter what they call it.

Are you saying what I described as a compromise solution (building the city at a new location) is also your position?

From your previous post, it is clear you are against rebuilding the city
I also failed to see (in your post) where you endorsed building a new city or what I called a compromise betwwen the 2 extreme positons: pro or against rebuilding.

Scotso
Sep 29th, 2005, 05:28 PM
Rebuilding the city = building it in the same place.

That is what I am against.

Scotso
Sep 29th, 2005, 05:28 PM
You can't "rebuild" the city in a different place, because it was never built there to begin with.

tennisbum79
Sep 29th, 2005, 06:03 PM
Rebuilding the city = building it in the same place.

That is what I am against.

Ok, thank you for the clarification.
So you are for building a new city, the option I described as a compromise between rebuilding and not building at all.

Scotso
Sep 29th, 2005, 10:51 PM
Sure, why not.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

~ The Leopard ~
Sep 30th, 2005, 12:10 AM
I don't know the practicalities of building it in a different place. It will at least have to be built differently.

Question is what are the economic consequences of just leaving those people without a city, scattered wherever they are now? It seems to me that that could have all sorts of disastrous economic effects down the track as networks of people are destroyed, skills are lost, cultural icons of long-term economic significance are lost, etc. Conversely, major rebuilding often has a lot of surprisingly good economic effects in boosting employment in an area, etc, etc, if it's handled well. That's why I say that just not rebuilding is short-sighted.

Sure, if there's an option of relocating it at some reasonable distance, rather than just not rebuilding at all and leaving all the displaced people without their city etc, I'm open to the arguments about that.

Scotso
Sep 30th, 2005, 01:48 AM
I would say that putting up with having them in cities that aren't destroyed would be easier than rebuilding an entire city.

But I don't think that's what they should do.

gentenaire
Oct 29th, 2005, 07:30 PM
What do you do with all the people who owned land in NO, who owned property? If you say the city shouldn't be rebuilt, all those people basically lose everything! How on earth are they supposed to start afresh, buy new property, when they're probably still paying off loans for their NO property?
Also, quite a few houses around NO sustained only minor damage. I don't see why these people should be forced out.

A large part of the Netherlands lies below sea level. It's all a matter of knowing what the risks are and taking precautions. The levees in NO were built to sustain only a category 3 storm. If they hadn't broken, NO would have come out fine. NO can be rebuilt as it was, only with higher levees and a better pump system. They could also try to build dams like the Dutch did, which can regulate the water level. When a storm approaches, the dam closes and all inland water stays at a low level so all that land there can't be flooded, the levees don't get a lot of pressure from the water as it is kept low. They could try something similar to ensure the level in the lake next to NO (forgot the name) stays low when there's a storm approaching.

disposablehero
Oct 30th, 2005, 08:48 AM
I think the simple answer is yes, it should be rebuilt but in a moderately altered form. Three things need to be done with absolute certainty:

#1: Higher stronger levees

#2: Rock solid evacuation procedures

#3: Quite frankly it is necessary to change some of the geography of New Orleans. Fatally vulnerable areas like St Bernards Parish and the 9th ward need less people and less property. Here is where you have to get a little mean, by the perception of some. (Keep in mind that probably any of 3 levels of government have the right to forcibly permamantly evict people from these areas) For people living in the most vulnerable areas, particulary those 2, there needs to be 1 of 2 agreements signed.
Either:

1-the person or family unit accepts a voluntary buyout of the value of the land plus structures that had been on it, perhaps even with a bonus of 5%, and moves to wherever they may please provided it is away from those areas.

2-the person or family unit indicates a desire to stay and is informed they must sign an agreement giving the city the right to move them onto an equivalant parcel of land up to 880 yards(one half mile) from there old property. If such an agreement is not signed then the family would not be eligible for disaster relief on the value of structures. A tough pill to swallow, but fairly reasonable and sensible I think. Here is the reasoning. suppose you have an 8 block by 8 block area with 1280 residential lots on it. now if only 400 owners choose option B, they could all grouped together on the fringes of the area, and the remaining large area turned into for example a golf course. A golf course or two would be perfect for these areas in my opinion. perhaps an existing golf course on higher ground could be replaced and used fior residential. When a hurricane comes through and a golf course is flooded, what do you do? Throw down some new sod and you are ready to go. no lives lost, no massive property damage.

In short, less housing in extreme-risk areas.

controlfreak
Oct 30th, 2005, 09:20 AM
The entire country is going to have to foot the bill for rebuilding New Orleans and for all this. I question the logic of rebuilding a city where this is very likely to happen again. Isn't there some sense in avoiding the same mistake twice? Building a city below sea level in a hurricane alley lacks any kind of reason.

If they want to rebuild the city, that's fine... but those people need to be aware of the risk they are taking, and the people as a whole should not be responsible for bailing them out financially if this happens again. This time, I don't mind it, but if they go back to the same place and lightning strikes again, they should be on their own.

I agree with your logic but your politics are somewhat extremist!

Personally I think there is a strong case for both rebuilding and not rebuilding. However I see it as highly likely that New Orleans will be rebuilt in the same location, given the world's usual prevalence of sentimentality over logic. In this case, I would like to see it built on a foundation of the most sophisticated anti-flood technology we have available. Whether this means dams, levees, high volume pump systems, or a complete geophysical restructuring whereby huge amounts of land are added to raise the level of the entire site above sea level... I have no idea. Holland might have a pretty good system set up but how many tropical storms have hit there in the past 200 years? New New Orleans is going to need some serious technology on its side if it's going to last through the global warming age until we have invented floating cloud cities.