Tuesday, October 11, 2005

What Does it Mean to Rebuild New Orleans?

Great commentary by Stephen Griffin. Read it all.
The public cannot get value for its money unless New Orleans is reconstructed, not rebuilt. But reconstruction cannot occur without addressing what might be called the question of the social. Do you want to spend billions to allow New Orleans to keep Mardi Gras? I don’t mean the colorful parades, but the social exclusiveness that has traditionally operated to the detriment of the city’s commercial prospects. Contrary to Stoner, there are many overlapping reasons why New Orleans cannot participate in the information economy. The Mardi Gras mentality, social exclusivity, not to mention public schools with a dreadful reputation, all stand in the way. If the rest of the U.S. wants things to be different, they must set conditions on the rebuilding of New Orleans. At the moment, conditions having to do with possible corruption are receiving all the attention. But the conditions that matter are those that would change and possibly transform Louisiana politics and society.

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