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Natural and unnatural disaster

By Owen Paine on Monday January 1, 2007 01:49 PM

In the black neighborhoods of New Orleans "the liberty-loving outlaw spirit of Jean Lafitte lives!" -- or so sez my friend The Baron, former chairman of united real estate agents of America, and self-described "slumlords' ghoul turned tenants' avenging angel."

He sent along these links:



... on the landlord economics behind the ongoing ploy to "cleanse" the Big Easy -- in this instance, by demolishing around 20k units in "the old projects" for wish sandwich replacements.

His comments and clipouts:

Third law of avarice: there's always more money in removal. Thus the Counterpunch piece:

"Lafitte could be repaired for $20 million, even completely overhauled for $85 million, while the estimate for demolition and rebuilding many fewer units will cost over $100 million."
There are three other projects targeted besides Lafitte, so multiply these numbers times four to arrive at a rough sense of the full sweep of this planned privateering venture. And notice this lovely "socio-political" by-product, from the Times piece:
"The way they were constructed, it's not law-enforcement friendly," said Lt. Bruce Adams... "All those entrances and exits. The fact that it's so condensed is causing the problem... with all the vacancies... you didn't know what was up the stairwell."
Behold the fingers of a royal rip in progress, Jaybo!

P.S. -- I must say, even for the Baron, this e-mail ended on a curiously tangential note: after a not surprising hyperbolic turn toward self-glorification -- "If it comes to a showdown, Jaybo, rest assured I'll be down there. I'll go back and fight, right along side my brothers and sisters" -- one wonders why he adds this: "Mark my words, if the cops attack in force I'll be the last Georgist standing! Death to all ground rent! Baratarian liberty for one and for all!"

Channeling the ole buccaneer himself?

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