In working-class areas here, homes for sale
have begun to move briskly. But in the ritzy Uptown district and other
well-to-do neighborhoods, the picture is bleaker. "New Price" and
"Reduced" signs adjoin grand Victorian homes "” symbols of a struggling
upscale housing market.
They're the lingering effects of Hurricane
Katrina. In coastal Louisiana and Mississippi, a glut of higher-end
homes points to soaring property insurance costs that are pricing many
people out of the market. It also speaks to the legions of doctors and
other professionals who have left the area and have yet to return. The
price of their exodus could be severe: Economic development experts
warn that if these professionals stay away en masse, it could cripple
the region's recovery.
For anyone with a stake in the region's recovery, the loss of
higher-income residents "” and their job skills "” is alarming. The
problem is compounded by the shortage of upper-income buyers willing to
put down stakes to replace those who have left.
So what is the problem? I thought this would make New Orleans a progressive paradise. No rich to get richer and create envy in the working classes. No issues with income distribution. Just a worker's paradise with no capitalist oppressors. Huge portions of the populations dependent on the government and refusing to rebuild until they get government handouts to do so. This sounds like everything Progressives are working for. But...
Doctors, bankers and other professionals are "the backbone of the
community," says William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings
Institution, a Washington think tank. "They're the people who will help
the tax base. If they leave, they are going to be very hard to replace."
Oh, I see. We don't really want them around, but we need milch cows we can tax so we can have handouts for everyone else. It must be a hard tightrope for progressives to walk -- they hate rich people but need them to pay for their schemes.