Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Stating the obvious

My column today focuses on what Katrina showed the world about Louisiana. It begins:

Thanks to Katrina, the world now knows a great deal about Louisiana’s troubled public policy environment. The issues are easily summarized: poverty and ineffective government. These issues raise many questions, but the most important one isn’t where was FEMA or where was the state response or who was at fault. The critical question is whether Louisiana will learn from this natural and man-made disaster. Katrina’s not responsible for Louisiana’s poverty problem or its tradition of ineffective government. Katrina simply revealed a massive socio-economic disaster that’s been festering for years.
It concludes:
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and yet expecting different results. The money to repair damage wrought by nature is already pouring in. But the challenge for Louisiana will be to ensure that those funds aren’t used to reconstruct the failed status quo by the very people who were responsible for its perpetuation in the first place.