It’s the Katrina anniversary, so it’s time once again for my policy pronouncement, which has become a bit more nuanced (personal growth and all that).
I still think we should do more disaster relief as a federal buy out. The federal government becomes the insurer of last resort, but if you take the pay off you are agreeing to sell the property to the federal government, which then reverts it to its natural state. People who don’t want to do that don’t have to take the money. It would be expensive at first, but over time we’d eliminate the worst places from the continuing build / wiped out / bailed out / rebuild cycle.
I thought about this long term, though, and think there should be one more twist. The purchased properties should be put on auction periodically, with a reserve price of whatever the government paid. If no one thinks it’s worth that then it stays federal.
The most interesting post I have seen about the disaster is this one, which claims that
I would say it makes a strong case. I don’t find it hard to believe that there was shoddy work and shoddy maintenance on critical infrastructure in New Orleans, and that post facto everyone involved busted their buns to keep it quiet. And that Old Media completely missed the story. That’s SOP.
As for New Orleans, I gave up on it when they re-elected Roy “Chocolate City” Nagin. The two years after Katrina have proved that regardless of what any one wants, it is not possible for the federal government to fix what’s wrong with New Orleans. Whether the funds never got there, or weren’t spent, or were wasted by corruption, or whatever, the fact remains that the effort was an utter failure and there’s zero evidence it won’t continue to be. The local population spent decades digging themselves in to a hole literally and politically and it’s time to stop digging.