Mayor Ray Nagin instructed all public safety officers "to compel the evacuation of all persons ... regardless of whether such persons are on private property or do not desire to leave," according to a written statement from his office.
The order did not apply to people in Algiers on the West Bank side of Orleans Parish.
The Algiers Point area sits on higher ground and probably could get restored to livable conditions a lot faster than most of New Orleans.
A realist might think that the much more law abiding middle and upper class in Algiers are being allowed to stay to defend their property against looters. Could the decision be made on such practical grounds? Or does Nagin's decision reflect the power of the upper class?
The people deliberating about evacuations ought to pause and think hard before ordering the evacuations of the middle and upper classes. If poor folks get sent to another state then that removes liabilities from the state's balance sheet. But if middle and upper classes are told to uproot they might leave the state and take their future tax paying revenue streams with them.
Kennedy said state tax revenues likely would take a hit from the storm. About $40 billion of the state’s $125 billion in total personal income tax revenue comes from the metropolitan New Orleans area, and the state will also lose tax revenue on lost income and spending.
A small slice (about $2.5 billion) of that $40 billion a year of income tax revenue from the New Orleans area could easily have built levees that would have prevented the flood of New Orleans.
Think of the middle and upper class refugees headed out of state as lost revenue sources. Think of lower classes headed out of state as lost liabilities and avoided future crimes. If the more affluent living on higher grounds are allowed to stay then the city and state will benefit in the long run. Perhaps a lower population New Orleans will have a higher average per capita income and lower crime rate a year from now as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2005 September 09 03:50 PM Politics Money|