As I was busy raking out storm drains rather than doing any professional work this morning in the aftermath of a somewhat-worse-than-normal rainstorm, with my phone quivering out emergency flood-warning messages about Baton Rouge every few minutes, an idea popped into my head that I can’t seem to shake.
Which is that maybe one reason the Democrat Party won’t shut up about global warming – er, “climate change” – despite not a whole lot of evidence it’s actually happening and zero evidence that any of their predictive computer models have actually been right so far is that climate change is a good excuse for failing to provide basic infrastructure. We saw an example of this last year in New Orleans, when the former head of the Sewerage and Water Board blamed climate change for his agency’s failure to stop that city from flooding in a rainstorm similar to the one which hit Baton Rouge today. Nobody much bought his line, largely because everybody knew the storm drains were clogged because they hadn’t been cleaned in decades and because everybody knew about the dilapidated physical plants of the S&WB’s pumping stations – something they’d received $2 billion from FEMA to upgrade after Katrina and that money was almost completely wasted and/or stolen.
But if it’s climate change then it’s bigger than a poor bureaucrat or politician can fix, you know.
The excuse-making is part and parcel of American governance, particularly on the local level, in this day and age. And voters, who take basic infrastructure for granted and aren’t conversant in the art and science underlying it anymore, don’t demand it.
Which is one reason why you’ve got drainage issues in Baton Rouge far worse than you should, particularly for a city-parish government which runs through a staggering billion dollars a year.
Another take on this comes via Facebook. A friend of mine, Anthony Oster, posted this…
I’m just going to say this once Baton Rouge.
This is what happens when you put pet projects like a ridiculous library system and attempting to attract businesses to a dead part of town, ahead of more important issues such as roads and infrastructure.
Yes, our libraries are amazing. Yes, there is a societal need to bring equality to this city.
But seriously, what is it worth of we can’t go through a thunderstorm without the entire area going underwater?
You want it to change, start voting in people who put basic infrastructure first, and pet projects second. There’s no excuse for our libraries to to have more funding than emergency response units when we can’t handle 5 inches of rain without drowning in the streets…
Exactly right, and just what I’m talking about.
Baton Rouge has a library system that’s the envy of the modern world. That’s kind of like holding the Guinness record for putting the most straws up your nose. You’re where you are because you’ve misused your resources and done something others wouldn’t have thought to do.
The money spent on having a massive, overfunded library system is completely misspent when you can’t drain your streets and your traffic situation is apocalyptic every day. We see this up and down our property tax bill – funds dedicated to dubious purposes or clearly overspent on their intended use while the unsexy things local government is constructed to do go starving.
It can’t continue, this happy-face socialism. You can’t give out candy all day and have no vegetables to offer. This is how every city run by Democrats has plunged into decline. It’s why there are trash piles and typhus in Los Angeles and human feces covering the streets of San Francisco, and why Detroit is an urban hellscape populated more by feral cats than feral people.
New Orleans and Baton Rouge are quite far down this road. There is no u-turn in sight. You’ll want to clean your own storm drains if you don’t want to flood – because the city isn’t coming for that anytime soon.