Rebuild New Orleans, Or Just Hand Out Checks?
Here's a radical take on the Hurricane Katrina question of whether government should rebuild New Orleans. In the current issue of The Economists' Voice Edward Glaeser asks whether the residents would be better off with $200,000 in their pockets than to have $200 billion spent on infrastructure. "Shouldn't we be insuring the people, not the place? New Orleans has been declining and its people mired in poverty for decades; its port and pipelines cannot employ a large city, and $200 billion is unlikely to change that," says the teaser.
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