Tuesday, February 28, 2006

ok i will

So today being "fat tuesday" I guess I can eat all I want.I feel for the people of New Orleans...and have mixed feelings about celebrating Mardi Gras. I guess they must keep on keeping on,and yet I think the money could be spent on more important things...like homes. Perhaps the added attention will get things done and the added revenue will help. what do you think?


AnneD said...

Susan, I know what you mean about all that money. But sometimes, lifting a people's (and a city's) spirits is ... priceless. I think this might be one of those times.

susan said...

i am of two minds on this one...and hopefully it will attract more attention to them and the needs. ss

LMK said...

It might seem a bit incongruous to celebrate Mardi Gras this year, but that celebration so defines New Orleans and is vital to the spirit of the region. To the extent that it attracts visitors and their spending, it was crucial that it be held, even in the modified scale that occurred this year. Tourism spending is the backbone of that great city's economy, and without it, and renowned celebrations like Mardi Gras, the future there will remain very dim indeed. The locals (and those of us involved in the tourism industry) know that.

If you can't visit there anytime soon, consider supporting (or renewing your support of) the recovery and rebuilding efforts via one of the many worthy organizations at work there.

Better yet, do both.

susan said...

thanks....i agree with you and appreciate the info.

DC Mike said...

Susan - I agree with you a 100% - the money spent on the New Orleans Mardi Gras could have been used on more important things, like homes or cleaning up the mess.

A return to a "normal" life is what will lift the affected population sprits – not a parade. They need stability and a purpose. What you saw on TV was a parade sponsored by entities trying to recover for lost revenues and a "wish" to a return to the status-quo prior to the storms.

Let us not forget that life was not necessarily a bowl of cherries for most of the population in the area. Let's face it – the majority of the affected population was and is more than likely still living below or right on the poverty line. I bet you that the majority of "tourist" dollars, in the past were not being reinvested in the local community.

So, I ask you, is the 2006 Mardi Gras celebration intended to make the affected population feel better or to make the rest of us "feel" better? The parade funds would have better served the community if they were invested in offering jobs to members of the affected population to clean up the city, block-by-block (reminiscent of the WPA projects).

LMK said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LMK said...

While I appreciate your perspective dc mike, I would observe further that tourism also IS about jobs. It employs people locally in large numbers, and while I'm not familiar with the specifics of the tax structure in that city, I'll bet it generates back to the city both sales and "bed" tax revenues.

If there's a substantial disconnect between the tax revenues that flow in and the effective delivery of essential programs and services back to its residents, then there are problems in New Orleans that are far bigger than the clean up and rebuilding of that city.

Tourism isn't necessarily going to make low-income workers in the industry wealthy, but it certainly is going to help ensure that there is an on-going demand for jobs to be created/re-created, and that the revenues generated are driven by "new" money flowing into the area (from outside the region and the state).

Tourism is an export product, and New Orleans has precious little else to "sell" in the economic marketplace right now. Tourism is its "lemonade" and it's more crucial to city's economy and to its residents than to its tourists.

Rather than suggesting that New Orleans limit the use of its resources solely to re-employing people to help with the clean-up, I submit that that the city would be even better served if it keeps the "lemonade stand" open for business while that clean-up occurs.

The beauty of Mardi Gras this year also was that it served dual purposes - while keeping the intrinsic spirit of the city alive, it also afforded a golden opportunity to keep the fickle, fading spotlight of public (and media) attention re-focused on New Orleans, and let us all know that the recovery is nowhere near over, and the need for help and support continues...and likely will do so for years to come.

DC Mike said...

I concede that the Parade was important to keep the spot light on the plight of New Orleans.

I have little faith "trickle-down" economics.

On a side note - it appears the President was fully briefed by Secretary Brown on the storm intensity and potential for havoc. The White House has little to no creditability left.