Some anonymous poster commented either to my having some Second Thoughts about Katrina’s Aftermath or to another person’s reply to those thoughts:
Yes, because lord knows levees are easy to build. It only took the Dutch forty years to finish their project, and all that was at stake for them was half their country. It must be so nice to be a conspiracynik – none of that bothersome “chance” hindering judgement.
Actually we’re talking about four hundred years, at least. You see, the Dutch built leevee after leevee, sometimes succeeding sometimes failing. Each time, though, they took stock in what happened and worked to improve their system. And they never took their levees for granted, as the story of an anonymous boy who stuke his finger in a dike tells us?
We’re talking about a possible case of “benign neglect” here. This would include the Louisiana politicians, since it’s them who gets the money for the dikes and spends it on attempts to improve trade, but surely the Federal Government should have told them what to do with the money.
Besides, there’s a major difference between the Dutch and New Orleans: Both rich and poor Dutch live below sea level, whereas New Orleans is overwhelmingly poor (average earnings: 12,000/year). This might explain why the Dutch continually work at improving their dikes, whereas the people in Louisiana let things ride for so long where they had them and took so long to strengthen the dikes. Maybe now that people are seeing how important the city is (at least the port section), they’ll build the dikes as strong as they should have been working at.
See, I can understand if they didn’t finish the job in time. But not caring enough to work at it — that’s what I reacted to then, and what I’m reacting to now.