Thursday, September 01, 2005

You Know Your City Government is Corrupt When...

...the firemen and police are looting along with the other low-life thugs. Maybe NOLA should just be left to waste away? I hate to say it because I really do love the city, the music and the food. It is really a shame. Tyler Cowen, at Marginal Revolution, compares NOLA to post-war and disaster-stricken Japan and weighs the likelihood that NOLA will be rebuilt in the same manner. Here is his conclusion:

Postwar Japan offered healthier institutions than what came before, so the motives for rebuilding cities were obvious. Plus much of Japan was destroyed, so there was less reason to reallocate resources elsewhere in the country. Post-1995 Kobe is the more relevant case for optimism, or try post-1905 San Francisco. But New Orleans has, for a long time, had subpar urban government compared to the rest of the United States. And the city has been declining in relative status for 150 years. If we are starting urban decisions over again from scratch, why reinvest in a lower quality legal environment?

I am inclined to agree. What is the point of rebuilding in a city with this history? I am willing to bet that a large percentage of the New Orleans productive class will simply collect their insurance checks and cruise.


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