2005 September 09 Friday
Algiers Exempted From New Orleans Evacuation Order

The more affluent of Algiers do not have to leave as yet.

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

Daveg said at September 9, 2005 6:39 PM:

Intentional or not, the consequences of this mass relocation of the poor of New Orleans, both in New Orleans and the relocation areas, will be fasinating to observe over time.

Will NO be a completely different city when all is said and done?


FriendltFire said at September 9, 2005 10:03 PM:

Randell maybe you could blogg about the "enviromental" impact of the hurrican, as very little information is comming out about this issue.

Already several areas of NO has been declared "biohazard" areas.
Truely fightening

FriendlyFire said at September 9, 2005 10:08 PM:

Has it occurred that many of those hiding or refusing to leave are also "illegal immigrants"
AFAIK the US had supended its 72hr idenitifcation before deportation laws.

up to 20,000 illegals could still be in NO hiding from authorities

Marvin said at September 10, 2005 8:00 AM:

The problem of a permanent underclass that burrows its way into a city's permanent economic infrastructure and refuses to budge, is a problem that cities from Hamburg to Sydney to Detroit must face. New Orleans experienced a catastrophe which forced most of the permanent underclass to leave their multi-generational roots behind and do something that a lot of us have done many times--move. There is something about moving and leaving things behind that leads to a change of perspective, and sometimes a change of attitude. Many of the members of the permanent underclass never considered themselves capable of moving, of leaving. That was a huge obstacle in their minds. Now that that particular obstacle is behind them, what other mental obstacles can they surmount?

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