More on Recovery in Louisiana since H. Katrina

The advantage of writing a blog is that I have great literary license. Here goes a review of three different pieces on recovery in LA from Hurricane Katrina: two items are recently- issued research articles and one is a movie review.

(1) Recovery or Resilience Along the Gulf Coast. Public Manager magazine, Sept. 2010. See pages 24-49 for a set of articles about H. Katrina Recovery, mostly written by well-known public administration academics. The most unusual article — very bold and direct – is the article (p.38) titled The Ethinomics of  Leaking Louisiana. It describes aspects of the local culture and the endemic corruption that have interfered with an efficient and effective recovery.

(2) In the current issue of Public Administration Review ( Sept./Oct 2010) is an article titled Retrospectives and Prospectives on Hurricane Katrina: Five Years and Counting, and the authors are Louise Comfort, Thomas Birkland, Beverly Cigler, and Earthea Nance.  I am in agreement with some and disagreement with other parts of this article, but it is worth reading. It is only available to subscribers, so I cannot provide a copy here without violating the copyright. (Contact me offline if you have trouble obtaining it.)

(3) A recent  New Yorker magazine, August 30, has a review of Spike Lee’s new movie about New Orleans five years after Katrine: the article is “Unnatural Disasters” and the title of the movie is “If God is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise.”  The reviewer concludes:

Over all, you’re left thinking that New Orleans is a city that goes in circles, with its own rules and mysteries and unyielding contradictions, none of them plumbable by outsiders. You finish watching “If God Is Willing” not knowing where New Orleans, for better or worse, will never be the same or will be the same as it always was.

My take from all of this is we must learn to do a better job on recovery in this country and soon – we need to do it smarter, faster, and cheaper than we did in NOLA.  Otherwise, the future looks bleak.