Monday, June 14, 2010

How Come We So Broke?

Here's two articles: one from 2008, and one from this past weekend. Both make the case for Louisiana's importance to the national economy. With all that oil and seafood money being made, why do our roads, education and health systems rank so low? Oh yeah, and now there's a giant underwater oil spew threatening the whole thing.

Here's James Carville's essay from yesterday, (complete with an admission that he didn't get it done for Louisiana when his candidate was in office for 8 years). Thanks for the heads-up Saundra!
Then the oil companies dredged canals in the marshlands in an attempt to grow an industry which now provides the country with more than 30 percent of its domestic oil and natural gas. Saltwater intrusion is killing the marsh. These marshlands provide jobs for tens of thousands of fisherman in an industry that provides over 30 percent of this country's domestic seafood supply. Canals were also dredged for shipping. Five of the nation's top 15 ports are located in South Louisiana. So in essence, we are the gateway of commerce to much of the lower 48 states. Add that to the fact that we have not seen a single penny of royalties for oil produced more than six miles off our coast. We assume all of the risk, produce seafood and oil and gas, with none of the reward. Royalties totaling $165 billion have gone to the federal treasury when they could go to help repair this pressing issue.

And here is an article by Georgianne Nienaber, from two years ago, that shows the situation was bad even before the the BP disaster.

The human sketch is surprising, sad, and begs many questions that the candidates should answer, noting Louisiana's importance to the US economy and how the local population supports an infrastructure that impacts the rest of the country. Consider the fact that Louisiana is ranked number 42 in per capita income in the United States, and 19.2 percent of Louisiana's population lives below the poverty line, and the reasons why someone should care about Louisiana become more compelling.

Photo by Ray Devlin

1 comment:

  1. It's nothing new:

    "And it is here under this oak where Evangeline waited for her lover, Gabriel, who never came. This oak is an immortal spot, made so by Longfellow's poem, but Evangeline is not the only one who has waited here in disappointment.

    Where are the schools that you have waited for your children to have, that have never come?

    Where are the roads and the highways that you send your money to build, that are no nearer now than ever before?

    Where are the institutions to care for the sick and disabled?

    Evangeline wept bitter tears in her disappointment, but it lasted through only one lifetime. Your tears in this country, around this oak, have lasted for generations. Give me the chance to dry the eyes of those who still weep here."

    Huey Long, 1928