Friday, July 07, 2006

Laissez faire in the Chocolate City

Planning goes yonder in New Orleans - The Boston Globe:

"But another post-Katrina test has been less discussed, though it's pivotal to New Orleans's future. It's City Hall's decision to minimize government meddling in the recovery and rely instead on the magic of the market to allocate Washington's billions and shape the ``new New Orleans.'

This laissez-faire approach is rooted more deeply in political opportunism than in principled faith in the Bush administration's neoconservative creed. But both traits -- opportunism and neocon yearnings -- are incarnate in New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin. To judge from his recent reelection, they are serving him well just now. Whether the city will be as well served over the long haul is debatable. The post-Katrina recovery didn't start out this way. The best advice, including that delivered by Nagin's hand-picked, blue-ribbon recovery commission and the urban planners working with it, strongly urged the city to actively shape the comeback and, meanwhile, retrench."
. . . . . .
One hopes that New Orleans does better in a post-apocalyptic environment than has Baghdad, where an experiment in laissez-faire governance after the invasion led to looting and the collapse of civil and military order. New Orleans will be different, we hope. The National Guard is back on patrol as crime and looting spiral upward. Perhaps the private sector will come back for a second look as well.

1 comment:

Schroeder said...

Nice find. Laissez faire certainly has the advantage of leaving Nagin blameless for not developing some areas. You'll remember how quickly he retracted elements of the BNOB plan when it led to protests. Then he did nothing. I think that may really be his plan -- to do nothing, and see where the chips fall.

Nice find.