Thursday, September 08, 2005

Please Tell Us Not All Berkeley Economists Are This Bad

J Bradford DeLong takes his clown show to the Financial Times:

Fema’s decision to keep the Red Cross from sending supplies and medical personnel into New Orleans. The Red Cross reports: “We simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders . . . [They say] our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city”?

According to the Red Cross's own website it was state and local officials who prevented them from entering New Orleans, not FEMA:

Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.

The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane.

That is clear enough English, no?

More errors from the not-so-good professor:

James Lee Witt, who was Fema director under President Bill Clinton: “In the 1990s, in planning for a New Orleans nightmare scenario, the federal government figured it would pre-deploy nearby ships with pumps to remove water from the below-sea-level city and have hospital ships nearby. These things need to be planned and prepared for; it just doesn’t look like it was”

Professor DeLong is proud of having served in an administration that would have deliberately placed ships in the path of a hurricane? Apparently so, because he stresses Witt's point:

When hurricanes threaten the Gulf coast, you pre-position hospital and rescue ships offshore. You have a meeting beforehand and ask: “if this truly goes south – much worse than we are expecting – what things will we wish a month from now that we had done today?” In the case of New Orleans, you know that there will be floods so you prepare to drop support from the air.

Well, that is what the navy was able to do by having the USS Bataan trail the hurricane. Immediately after the flooding occurred. Yet, Professor DeLong deleted that information from his blog's comments section when a helpful reader offered it.

No comments: