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Cronyism meets urban liberalism

In an article for the political magazine The New Republic, Joel Kothkin and David Friedman argue that while "President Bush's inept response to the Katrina disaster" has clearly shown the "shortcomings of Bush-style conservatism", […] "contemporary urban liberalism has to take its share of the blame”. Poor city and state policies catering to the urban cultural elite only, in his opinion, has made New Orleans the "economically polarized city" that it is.

In his New York Times column "All the president’s friends", Paul Krugman gives quite a few examples of what he calls the "FEMA syndrome": leading political personnel being rather picked for their loyalty to the Bush administration than for their expertise, ranging from the Food and Drug Administration to the Environmental Protection Agency. "Katrina should serve as a wakeup call," he urges, revealing to the public that many government agencies have fallen victim to cronyism.


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David on :

Well, I read the Kotkin/Friedman piece and was not very impressed. Why is promotion of tourism part of "urban liberalism"? The poverty we see in New Orleans is part of a national structural problem in the national economy. The fact that the hotel workers in New Orleans cannot earn a living wage is the result of the "war on labor" waged by Republicans since the early 1980s.

Insert-Name-Here on :

sir, I don't understand your point. President Bush did not invent the political spoils system of appointments that follows election. Nor is there any requirment that the appointee be qualified in any way for the job. This deficiency in our system is somewhat mitigated by the so-called professional civil service. Every president has, and is entitled to, make political appointments for a wide range of public position of trust. Thousands of them. I must have missed your analysis of cronyism in the New Orleans and Louisianna governments.

Joe on :

"Nor is there any requirment that the appointee be qualified in any way for the job." Doesn't this make you angry? Cronyism should not be accepted in NO, Wash DC or anywhere else . It's a desease many third world countries suffer from. There was less cronyism under Bush senior and Clinton.

Felix Deutsch on :

>Why is promotion of tourism part of "urban liberalism"? Easy: "urban liberalism" is Kristian Konservative Kode for "gay niggers" or any other of those evil people hurting Murka by allowing titflashing and assorted Mardi-Gras debauchery.

Felix Deutsch on :

That "The New Republican" (sic!) will always find a way to lash out at so called liberals is nothing new, but it's surprising that they are able to sink even lower depths. "Cultural urban elite"? What sort of David Brooksian pseudo-sociologist bullshit is that? How about plain old economic disparity?

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