The View From 1776
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Slaves to the Welfare State
New Orleanians born and bred in the welfare-state seem honestly to believe that they are not required to do anything to help themselves.
A large number of people, most of whom apparently are residents of New Orleans, have favored me with four-letter-word denunciations of The god That Failed New Orleans.
A common allegation was that I had written that New Orleans deserved its fate. No one, however, cited specifics, for good reason: I wrote nothing to that effect.
And do they want the levees to break? I guess it depends if you are (as a New Orleans blogger commented to a brain-dead Repug at the link) “a fuckmook” who believes New Orleans deserved it (and there are, sadly, many more like this)...??My thought is that they ... don’t care. We’re the last major city port at the mouth of the largest river system in the United States, and they don’t give a rat’s ass. We have some of the best food, culture, history and characters to be found, and are unique unto ourselves in this world, but they pretty much summed it up with Dennis Hastert’s comment: “It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed.”
In other words, New Orleanians don’t need to exert themselves rebuilding the city. They’re entitled to have the taxpayers of the nation do it for them, because New Orleans has all sorts of things that cater to sensual appetites.
No emailer advanced a single argument to counter the specific points I made, which were that New Orleans, a once great commercial city, had become after 1927 mired in hedonism and dependence upon the welfare state.
New Orleans rejected the God that led settlers in New England to take personal responsibility for their actions and to found public education, industry, and the progenitor of the Constitution of the United States. Instead, New Orleans on balance after 1927 turned to worshipping the welfare state, looking to the atheistic materialism of socialism for its salvation.
That point is irrefutable if one compares the record of New Orleans after the mid-1950s with those of Houston, Dallas, Mobile, Memphis, Atlanta, and Tampa. Moreover, whenever New Orleans has made real economic progress, it’s generally been under the impetus of outsiders who came to the city.
National Bank of Commerce knocked the moribund Whitney National Bank off its first-place ranking only after a banker from Dallas came in to assume the CEO’s position.
One of the city’s premier real estate developments, One Canal Place, was conceived and built by Joe Canizaro, who came from Mississippi.
Even the famed Superdome was not financed and erected by local interests. After New Orleans’s investment banking firm Howard, Weil, Labouisse & Fredericks tried several times unsuccessfully to raise the necessary funds, Mills Lane, the CEO of Atlanta’s Citizens & Southern National Bank, assembled a consortium of banks across the south to float the necessary bonds.
Obviously not everyone in New Orleans is a slave to the welfare state. But on balance its residents have drifted since 1927 into the entitlements mentality: abandonment of personal responsibility and individual initiative.
The socialist welfare state is a form of slavery, or more accurately, a sort of neo-feudalism in which the individual has no rights independent of the figurative