Thursday, September 15, 2005

Life Imitates Art

by Tom Bozzo

Whad'ya know, tax cuts will be the centerpiece of the recovery plan after all. Only they'll be business tax cuts. And some sort of personal recovery account, which I recall from the dawn of the 'ownership society' as part of the brilliant plan to facilitate workers' transitions from one McJob to the next — since even the being that has taken posession of Robert Reich's body says that "[t]there's no returning to the stable jobs and steady wages of the mid-20th century."

Somehow, I think the nuts and bolts of the actual recovery legislation will send me to the bathroom for some dry heaves.
Everything the government does gives me dry heaves. Welcome.

PS. I saw Ann Althouse on campus today, but was too much of a dork to go up and say hi to her and that I read her blog. Plus, since she likely reads your blog, I'm sure she's at least subconsciously associated my name with punk commenter or worse.

I thought I might have seen you in Sentry one time, but figured you were more of a co-op guy. But then again, you did say that you could walk to Brat Fest when it was located there. Occam's razor probably wasn't working well. I'd hate to go up to somebody and say, "you're so-and-so from that blog" and have them say "no. but you must be one of those loser blog readers" - or worse, like have to explain what a blog is.
I wonder if the administration's recovery plans will work as well here as they did in Iraq.
Mark: Depends on the objective function, no? I figured most of the visitors here would have already seen one of the stories to the effect that Rove is in charge of the effort, which is not confidence inspiring.

It did strike me as a little funny that Bush mentioned the role of various departmental inspectors general in the speech. Such oversight as there has been hasn't seemed to have helped much in Iraq.

Bryan: Yeah, I guess we're in the same club, at least some of the time.

You may well have seen me at Sentry, as I do in fact work across the street and occasionally head over there to pick up something for lunch or to fill in random grocery needs for dinner. We'd probably have become co-op people had they moved into Monroe Commons, but actually I have no objections to getting our groceries cheap at Woodman's (with fresh produce from the farmer's markets in season, and fresh meat and fish usually from Whole Foods).

I will contact you separately about getting a beer, but should you see me in the wild in the meanwhile, rest assured I don't bite. Ann probably doesn't, either.
The real question is...why isn't anyone talking about the wiseness of the decision to rebuild?!? How can fiscal conservatives (eh-hem) think spending $200 billion + to rebuild an area bound to get hit again is a good idea? I can understand rebuilding transportation and communication networks (and the whole failure of markets to provide these things, etc.) but beachfront homes, tourism sites and the like? Puh-lease! We've moved entire towns off of the Mississipi flood plain in the midwest - why not on the coast?
Cathy: That's a good point. I noted in a comment on Mark's blog that I thought the speech was remarkably short on exactly that sort of high-level policy vision (other than this homesteading idea, which I can't really evaluate as I have no idea what surplus federal property might be eligible).

There are some major issues to face here (more so for N.O. than some of the other affected gulf coast cities, where rebuilding some stuff back from the shoreline might arguably be less disruptive). Since many of the hardest hit areas were also the poorest, the question becomes if you don't rebuild in those areas, in what ways (distance and/or time) are those people permanently displaced?

It's noted here that the Bushies are preparing large trailer communities for displaced people. If you want to consider some dry heave-inducing prospects, just imagine those becoming permanent (or de facto permanent) as it's decided not to rebuild some swath of the hundreds of thousands of destroyed housing units, and the residents don't have the resources to do so themselves.
Bryan, I would have the exact same response to seeing a blogger in real life!
Cathy: The answer is that Bush is not a fiscal conservative. I don't think it is wise to rebuild New Orleans - at least the areas that are below sea level. Environmentalists should also be pissed, since they have had to 'fix' the route of the Miss. river so it doesn't move further from NO and will likely have to destroy some ecosystems to protect the city better.
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