APPEL: On Rebounding From The Oil Collapse And Economic Shutdown

Think about this very carefully, this morning the price of oil dipped to around $10 a barrel, Twitter was filled with announcements of food bank locations, and Louisiana’s Governor said that he would not allow Louisiana to return to normal until a vaccine was available for all, maybe sometime in 2021. The economy is dead, state and local revenues have collapsed, and the politics of making the President look bad rules the land.

Folks, we are in a helluva mess. The governor’s solution is a Task Force to restart the economy stacked with political allies, bureaucrats, and a scattering of friendly business types to add legitimacy. A Task Force designed to accede to the governor’s philosophy and to give him cover to lead to who knows where. And with the aid of a media that is all too willing to ignore reality in favor of protecting liberal ideals, the people hear no voice of reason.

The Legislature knows what is going on. They have created a competing Task Force that not only will plan a reopening strategy, but also will also face the reality of the post-Corona world that we have been forced into. Not that the Edwards’ Louisiana was really doing much, just recently the Wall Street Journal came out with its rankings of the economic well-being of states and as no surprise Louisiana was last.

So, we have a governor whose policies had left us in last place, trying to restart an economy under those very same policies. And we have a Legislature that has finally achieved a legitimate Republican majority and that refuses to be led down the road to perdition that the governor has chosen. If it were not so serious, I would say that it is going to be fun to watch.

In any case my belief is that the governor’s Task Force’s report will be suspect, and the Legislative Task Force will actually create a legitimate long-term strategy for Louisiana in the post-Corona 21st century. In order to do so I suggest that aside from an orderly reopening of our economy, it must also address the fundamental reasons that Louisiana always ranks near last in the metrics of government success. Further, their work must start with a vision, not of falling back onto what we were, but moving aggressively to what we want to be.

I have often written of a simple vision that I believe in.

  • We should reduce poverty by 25% in ten years
  • We should reverse the out-migration of our people within five years

To that I would add a couple of codicils.

  • We should see a 25% growth of state GDP within ten years
  • We should see a growth of CPI adjusted wages by 5% per year starting in three years

The numbers are not the point, the bottom line is due to the twin Corona and energy disasters we have hit or are approaching rock bottom. We must take advantage of that to abandon the Louisiana of John Bel Edwards and adopt a pro-growth, pro-Louisiana strategy with which to make the remaining 21st century the Louisiana Years.

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