Originally Posted by Godfather
I hate to sink to the level of saying who's governor, but Kathleen Blanco is an incompetent buffoon. And the local leaders in NOLA's suburbs make Ray Nagin look like Rudy Giuliani.
But the sheer magnitude of the disaster is also a factor. New Orleans was not only 80% underwater, but it stayed underwater for a month, and the threat from Rita forced the city to delay re-opening. St. Bernard Parish had a major toxic waste cleanup because one of the refineries ignored basic hurricane precautions. We had to wait for Congress to act on closing the Mississippi RIver Gulf Outlet, one of the worst federal projects in history, before businesses were willing to re-invest in the area. Louisiana would have problems even with competent leadership.
Mississippi isn't doing that well either. We still haven't replaced the Biloxi-Ocean Springs bridge and it took over a year to get a ferry in Bay St. Louis to replace the Bay Bridge. It took a year and a half to pick up downed lightpoles on I-10. And the state did nothing to help local governments that had lost their entire sales and property tax bases.
One other thing to remember, though--LA and MS are small states to begin with and suffered catastrophic damage to their primary economic regions. Florida wouldn't be doing quite so well if Miami took a direct hit, and NC would be in trouble if the Research Triangle took a hit like Katrina (fortunately it's too far inland for that)
Good points. I think my over-all point however, is that Louisiana brought more on themselves then the other states because the state politics and way of doing things is SO Good ol' boy... and it came back to bite them in the butt.