Fat Steve's Blatherings

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Two Thoughts, and a Thought Experiment

        One of the reasons I haven't blogged much the last few days is my disgust over the Katrina commentary.  Hundreds of people are dead, and partisans are trying to use those deaths for political advantage.  I find it shameful and disgusting.

        I do have a thought to offer.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a good deal of competence in flood prevention.  They proposed to protect New Orleans from a category 5 storm.  How?  Well, first, they'd study things for a few years, to be sure their plans were right, and then they'd build the necessary levees, etc.  Building time estimate?  THIRTY YEARS.

        So, if you want to blame someone for the disaster, let Bush and Brown and Nagin and Blanco alone, and turn your fire on Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter, along with the contemporary mayors, governors, congresscritters, and state legislators.  Because the project to protect NOLA would have had to start back then.

        The fundamental reason the New Orleans tragedy happened was because of the city's geography.  The principal secondary reason was because the political process was unwilling to make a tough choice: spend a lot of money to save New Orleans, or accept that sooner or later it would be destroyed, and decide what to do when that happened.

        And now, a thought experiment.  Are you in favor of rebuilding New Orleans?  Do you want to see more flood control projects?  Think we ought to be able to move relief supplies in faster in the event of an emergency  Fine, lets talk spending.  Go through the budget of the United States, and divide the spending into three parts: 1) the things you think we ought to spend more on; 2) the things you believe we're spending the right amount on; 3) the things you judge we're spending too much on.

        Now, figure out what you think it would cost to rebuild flood protect NOLA, set up the infrastructure for rapid relief delivery, and make other improvements.  Sum it all up.  Now, cut spending from the items in category one to fund half the total needed, in category two to pay the third, and in category three to cover one sixth the total.  Are you ready to endorse these cuts to pay for NOLA?

        If not, I submit you're not really serious about you said you wanted.



  • I agree with you and even more than that I am tired of the overkill on the event. Even though the newsmedia may no notice, the world is continuing to move on.

    By Blogger Ralph, at 9:05 AM  

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