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Thread: Article: lost drive to rebuild after tragedies ?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003

    Article: lost drive to rebuild after tragedies ?

    From USA TODAY print Friday Feb. 10

    Second headline:
    Nation usually quick to rebound, but confusion slowing process in New Orleans, at Ground Zero

    That was the attitude in Chicago in 1871. And in Galveston, Texas, after the hurricane of 1900; in San Francisco after the earthquake of 1906; at Pearl Harbor after the sneak attack in 1941.

    It's the American attitude: We always spring up off the mat, always rebuild bigger and better.

    At least until now. In New York City, where terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center, and in New Orleans, where Katrina flooded most of the city, Americans are arguing over how, when and even whether to rebuild.

    The qualities we associate with recovery from disaster — urgency, unity, determination, imagination — have been eclipsed by indecision, delay and dissension.

    To some, it's a disturbing change. “Great nations rebuild,” says Douglas Brinkley, a historian at New Orleans' Tulane University. He blames the dithering in Lower Manhattan and his own city on a failure of political leadership.

    “If we had the will in 1947 to rebuild the capitals of Europe, why don't we have the will in 2006 to rebuild the capital city of the Mississippi (River)?” he asks. “Most Americans are oblivious to what's happening, because no one is standing in the bully pulpit to tell them.”

    Why does America seem to rebuild and rebound differently today than it has in the past?
    Is this a sad state of what we have become ?

  2. #2
    I may sound like a broken record but the extent of government intervention has increased monstrously since these old disasters wreaked so much destruction. The WTC reconstruction has been a tragedy of bureaucratic obstruction and architectural corruption. Nothing of the original plan remains, and that plan was only chosen because it was the least awful of a group made up by self-selected architectural geniuses.

    Things haven't been better on the Gulf coast. I made a thread about the ridiculous Mississippi DOT, but you probably haven't heard of other obstructionist FEMA requirements like demanding that new houses be built on stilts several stories high (the government protecting you from storm surges). New Orleans has been engulfed by its own incompetent leadership putting the right to return to one's home in limbo. Absolutely no reconstruction can take place in such an environment.

    People think that regulation provides value, but what it really does is prevent action.

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