Saturday, September 17, 2005

Say it ain't so, Joe 

It's painful, isn't it - nails-on-the-blackboard painful.
Just about every news story you will read about New Orleans recovery over the next two years could already be written.
Like this one: Money Earmarked for Evacuation Redirected -- oh, who would not have guessed?
And this one: FEMA, Slow to the Rescue, Now Stumbles in Aid Effort -- so now, no one can get through to FEMA to apply for help.
Here's what will happen next:
The FEMA applications for help will be delayed for months and months, both because applications will just be lost outright and because every non-perfect application will be "returned to sender" and get lost in the mail.
Then, whenever people actually do get their cheques, there will be such serious shortages of repair goods that people won't be able to repair their homes before winter. ie -- lumber, electrical wire, flooring, windows. Predictably, there will be calls to get more Canadian softwood lumber by dropping the tarrifs, which the US lumbermen will resist with every fiber of their being
Undoubtedly, there will be a huge land-grad in New Orleans, with developers pushing the city, state and federal governments to assert "eminent domain" over vast areas of property to prevent a lot of low-income housing from being rebuilt. Every level of government will try to get in on the action.
Finally, there will be a perfect storm of shoddy home-repair outfits stealing people's money left and right.
And for every single one of these happenings, someone in the Bush administration will say "Gee, we never expected THIS to happen! We don't have any plans to deal with it."

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