The "Banana Republic" syndrome

Posted by Your Words December 29, 2006 04:58

G.M. Davis of Metairie, LA, writes:

First, my senario. My wife & I w/2 children are paying a premium to rent a house in Metairie while we try to repair our flooded Westbank home (thank you Mr. Parish President). My 85 year old mother is living in a FEMA trailer parked on my brother's lawn in Algiers. It's not as nice as the 2400 s.f. 2 story home in East N.O. that she and my late father worked so many years to pay for. And Mom says that she prays every day that she'll be able to go back to her home and won't die while living in a FEMA box.

I can imagine that a lot of the W.W. II generation will probably do just that, spend their last days in a FEMA trailer after a life of hard work and sacrifices to build a home for themselves and their family after returning from the war. It is this generation that the government should have written checks to immediately after the storm and assisted in every way possible to get them back into their homes with furnishings, clothing etc. A lot of what they lost, the photographs, collectables and other memorabilia will never be replaced, but we should give them back their homes.

Now, as for my reference to the "Banana Republic". It's a title that's been used numerous times before in relation to the operation and governing of the State of Louisiana. The reference is insulting, but I have to question the rationale of those who have made the inference. Could possibly this be the only State that would pay a third party contractor as an "administrator" almost 10 percent of the gross amount the Feds are allocating for the people of the state to rebuild their lives? And why does it seem that our politicians selected the most inept applicant they could find? Will we learn a year or two down the road about concessions and kickbacks made by the company to acquire the contract from the state? I am suprised that the state didn't first allocate a billion dollars or so to contract for a couple of "studies" on how to distribute the federal money.

In any event, my calculation of the $759 million +/- being paid to the "administrator" takes $50,000 each away from about 15,000 Louisiana applicants for Road Home money. And what about other federal programs and money that we're being left out of because our state and local politicians haven't put in the proper requests. And it seems that we have recieved a disproportionate amount of recent Federal funding in comparison to the State of Mississippi because they drafted better rebuilding plans and spending proposals.

I also have to question our Federal government. Besides their inabilty to react to our catasrophe initailly, what's with their hesitance and limitations to assist us now? Why is our Federal government willing give more aid, support and money to foreign countries and other interests than to the State of Louisiana for assistance? And exactly how many homes could be rebuilt with the money proposed for the "Great Wall of Mexico"? And do you think the Fed's could put a few of their "save the trees" or "save the whooping crane" programs on hold for just 1 year and divert those funds to the good people of Louisiana? Hell, our lives have been "put on hold" for year and a half. And saving the people and lifestyles of this region from extinction should surely be as important!

I apologize for the wandering of this piece, but I think disillusion and depression are taking their toll.