I would like to comment on a recent Popular Mechanics article: Debunking the Myths of Katrina. This article is a must read for anyone interested in the topic of New Orleans reconstruction. While the amount of raw facts is impressive, the general tone of the article is more concerning. The argument of the article is set up so as to use raw empirics as refutation against alleged myths concerning the government’s inadequate response, meteorological reality, and environmental engineering. Factual data concerning Katrina needs to be presented and understood, this leads me to say that this article is a good one. My reservation is only in regards to the language of the argument to assert magnitudes of appropriateness to issues of economic rather than technological efficiency.
An exciting piece of news; I have recently been contracted as a graduate research fellow for the Mercatus Center. I’ll be going to New Orleans from April 1st through 8th to work directly with Emily Chamlee-Wright on gathering field research. The project is investigating questions surrounding pre-Katrina civic organization, organizational resilience during Katrina, and post-Katrina reconstruction (see Pete Boettke’s introductions to the project 1 and 2).