Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Is This Really Growth

While the Big Apple had the highest number of new residents, the Big Easy took first place at the country's fastest-growing city. New Orleans saw an increase of an estimated 23,740 people, an 8.2 precent change that brought the population to 311, 853.

Ten years ago I was real optimistic about most things. I was real optimistic about New Orleans around that time. Every day I would read the Money section of the paper and watch the news for all the new plans and developments that were coming. I just knew we were going to turn the corner at any minute. Usually what would happen is I would wait around for some construction cranes or cement trucks to show up and they never did. I ignored that fact for a long time because I didn’t want to think that the city I saw then was how it would always be. Time has passed and now I am more cynical and pessimistic than I have ever been. Between crime, corruption, and Internet comments I can barely stand to read anything. All I do is shake my head.

Today was a good example of that when I read an article that claimed we are the fastest growing city in America. Maybe I don’t know what that means exactly but it sounds like a title you give to a progressive city that is moving forward and making progress which is attracting scores of new citizens. This is laughable to me. We can’t anyone to agree on how and where to open our public hospital. We just lost our mental health facility after it was vetoed by the governor. There are blocks of empty houses and some of them still have flooded furniture. Our parks and schools are a work in progress and no one knows for sure what is going to happen with them. Our city government can’t even maintain and send emails correctly. I would also like to mention the fact that we lost almost the entire population of the city four years ago. Our population isn't at that level yet and it should be the benchmark. We are not fast growing at all. People are coming home and it is not always in the best circumstance. Giving our situation I think we can claim to be fast growing somewhere around 600, 000 residents. That means we would have gotten all of our old population back plus added 100,000. That would be great because it would mean we had the jobs and schools to make that many people want to move here. That would be awesome and I would pass out from the shock. Maybe the master plan will help this happen. All we have to do now is come up with one.


Premium T. said...
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K. said...

You make your usual great points, Cliff.

I only know what I've read (meaning that I don't live it) about NOLA. From what I can grasp, the biggest problem facing you are interest groups (I'm using the term neutrally) who travel in different worlds and are used to working at cross-purposes when what they must do is pull together. I hope it happens, but like you I have my doubts.

Have you read Dan Baum's Nine Lives?

sussah said...

The news story is an ironic statistical fluke, attributable solely to what happened to us. sp, n.o.

cliff said...

Recall of New Orleans mayor Ray nagin Started by Stacy Head