This Space for Rent

Every cloud has a silver lining

And for the faux-"libertarian"s, that silver lining is that they can blame hurricane Katrina on trolleycars!

The, um, "logic" here is that if the government had given a car (and, presumably, paid the insurance, service, and fuel bills for those car) to every poor person in New Orleans instead of paying for those icky streetcars that New Orleans operates, then nobody would been left in the city when the levees failed and the city flooded.

Oookay. Just think about this for a while. Think about the yearly cost of the 50,000 or so cars that you'd need for the citizens who didn't have them (and it would be considerably more than 50,000 cars; when I lived in New Orleans, we had an elderly sedan that still cost several thousand dollars a year to maintain; if the Feds had come along and said "free cars, gas, insurance, and service for people who use mass transit!", that sedan would have been tipped into a bayou faster than you could say Jack Robinson. The military contractors who somehow manage to get all of the big civil engineering projects in the USA have managed to convert cheap little trolley lines to a moneybag, but US$100 million (50,000 cars @ $2000 a year for insurance+gas+service) a year for government cars pretty rapidly becomes real money, even to the blinkered "Car spending good!" so-called libertarians who infest the United States. And the US600 million to buy those cars in the first place might draw some unwelcome attention by those members of the press who are far enough back in the soma line so they don't get their rations regularly.

And people wonder why I point and laugh at libertarians.

(link to the libertoonian article via By The Bayou)