The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, December 12, 2005

A look at progress in New Orleans (Updated)

Or lack of same. UK's Observer takes a look at what's happening with various homes and businesses around the city. And it's a bleak picture indeed. The way things are going, it looks like New New Orleans may well look like the conservative post-Katrina vision of the city. A glorified strip mall with the city's black population drastically reduced. Bring the whole family, listen to some Kenny G, and enjoy the new Bayou Burger at Friday's.

Population of New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina: 500,000

Present population: 60-70,000

Black population pre-Katrina: 65 per cent; post-Katrina it is predicted by the US Secretary for Housing and Urban Development to be 35-40 per cent

Concentration of poverty pre-Katrina: 18.4 per cent, making it the second highest concentration in a US metropolitan area. For African-Americans, the rate pre-Katrina was 35 per cent

UPDATE: An op-ed in Sunday's NY Times provides further evidence that the GOP simply doeesn't give a shit about New Orleans.

The price tag for protection against a Category 5 hurricane, which would involve not just stronger and higher levees but also new drainage canals and environmental restoration, would very likely run to well over $32 billion. That is a lot of money. But that starting point represents just 1.2 percent of this year's estimated $2.6 trillion in federal spending, which actually overstates the case, since the cost would be spread over many years. And it is barely one-third the cost of the $95 billion in tax cuts passed just last week by the House of Representatives.

Total allocations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terror have topped $300 billion. All that money has been appropriated as the cost of protecting the nation from terrorist attacks. But what was the worst possible case we fought to prevent?

Losing a major American city.