Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

JPKneworleans

What New Orleans Used to Be.

31 posts in this topic

http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/frontpage/ind....xml&coll=1

The referenced link will take you to a front page story from yesterday's Times-Picayune. The article chronicals how far New Orleans has really fallen as a business hub and how it ceded much of its business to Houston.

The article left me both angry and sad. In all honesty, I cannot see New Orleans really turning around for at least a generation, and that assumes that people finally wake up and elect competent leaders. Right now, no one takes us seriously, and I honestly wish I had never developed such an attachment to this city. It would make my life brighter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


What a depressing article. It's very sad to think of the heart of the city's business sector being in terminal decline. I would think that fresh ideas and new leadership in New Orleans and also at the state level might be worth something. It's at least good to see that a few stalwarts are refusing to join the exodus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What a depressing article. It's very sad to think of the heart of the city's business sector being in terminal decline. I would think that fresh ideas and new leadership in New Orleans and also at the state level might be worth something. It's at least good to see that a few stalwarts are refusing to join the exodus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The city certainly ain't what it used to be, 20 years ago or 100 years ago. Just a quick peek into a New Orleans history book can tell you that.

What replaced those lost jobs, at least to a point? Tourism and all that the industry entails. Some great jobs with great pay, but mostly nothing that you could truly live on, at least with a family.

New Orleans now, and possibly into the future, is still a fantastic city to live in...if you have money. If you have money, you can move into a nice house in a nice neighborhood away from the crime, send your kids to Catholic schools to avoid the public schools. You can afford to be a local who can easily enjoy all of the world-renowned restuarants, a night in the Quarter, etc. And you can easily deal with the higher taxes and electrical bills in the city.

But if you don't have money, and you have a family, chances are you'll find youself in a so-so neighborhood that can be safe one week and be loaded with heroin dealers the next. You'll probably have to settle for public schools, and you'll definately be negitavely affected by higher taxes and electrical prices in post-Katrina New Orleans.

That is one of the major problems in New Orleans, and one that affects many cities today, especially cities that have "had better times."

There isn't much of a middle class; it goes:

-Very wealthy

-Wealthy

-Barely making it

-Poverty

Why would people not move to Saint Tammany or Jefferson, where they'll find better schools (much better in Saint Tammany) cheaper housing, less crime, and so on.

Now, on the topic of businesses leaving...

New Orleans over the last 2-3 decades has been "Louisiana in a nutshell" when it comes to business. Crappy leadership, government corruption, a declining business enviornment, a declining or stagnant population, etc. etc. So, businesses go to Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, and so on, and the people go with them. Anyone else notice that everyone in New Orleans has a sibling or a cousin living in Houston, Dallas, or Atlanta? (myself included)

It seems like much of our leadership over the years just doesn't care about businesses leaving and taking jobs/people with them. Nagin included 100% over the last two years.

Now, to something positive...ish.

One thing in New Orleans that has improved, and improved greatly over the past 20-30 years is the Warehouse District. My dad has told me numerous times about how in the early 80's the Warehouse District was nothing but brick buildings slowly crumbling to the ground. Lifeless, dark, and depressing. Today, however, the Warehouse District is filled those same buildings, but they have been restored into condos surrounding all kinds of restaurants, shops, museums, clubs, etc. If there was ever something to be proud of in this city over the past 20-30 years, I would have to say the total overhaul of the Warehouse District has to be near the top.

And JPK, I agree with you, I think it will take at least one generation to truly turn this city around. Just like it only took one generation to put the city at the bottom of a ditch. We need leadership for one thing; just one person in power who is intent on turning this city around will do wonders for New Orleans, and as that happens, the people will begin to follow. I still think that in 10-15 years, New Orleans will be a much better place than it is now, but it will take much longer for people to say "those bad times are behind us."

Just look at major cities like Chicago and NYC; for years and years, even decades, those cities saw major spikes in crime, declining populations, "crappification" of schools, and even in such large cities, job loss. But real leadership and forward thinking turned those cities around. That is what New Orleans needs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing I found galling in the article was that the headline dubbed Houston the "Bigger, Easier." There is nothing easy about life in Houston, in any sense of the word.

Maybe why people want to live in New Orleans is because it's the only city in the country with any sense of irony.

And while a person cannot live on irony alone, reading about these executives trying to hold New Orleans ransom because they don't have personal income tax in Texas induces little more in me than a shoulder-shrug. If income taxes are a reason enough for someone to move somewhere, then they probably didn't like New Orleans anyway. I second Poppy Z Brite's quote from a New York Times article from last year: if people are going to leave, then leave without a Parthian shot--and that goes for business as well.

Yes, we need leadership, yes we need to change the conversations about New Orleans. But we should also be careful for what we wish for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Living in Houston isn't "easy" on many levels. I think the reference was merely in terms of the ease of doing business for the oil companies. The tax situation in Texas is not necessarily a model which Louisiana could afford to adopt, and I'll agree that Louisiana could do great harm to itself in trying to change its tax codes in order to attract business. Louisiana mustn't, as you say, give away the store, but changes will have to be made in the new, fiercely competitive environment of today. I'm not an economist, so ideas aren't exactly flowing forth from me, but I'll reiterate that the leadership and the attitudes of the past will have to change. This isn't the Louisiana of Huey Long or Edwin Edwards where the manna simply bubbled up from the ground or the gulf and provided for everyone. I am disgusted when I contemplate that a state with such astounding natural resources should be in trouble, but there we are. The question is simply what are Louisiana's elected officials going to do about the situation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16. Amoco (first large oil company to close its New Orleans Gulf of Mexico headquarters (I think). Shell is the only one left. Chevron..to some extent.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also wanted to point out that I wouldn't consider Chevron a total loss. Sure, they left the city, but they moved to Covington, keeping over 500 jobs in the metro area. Of course them leaving the city isn't great, but them moving from New Orleans to Saint Tammany is a hell of alot better than them moving from New Orleans to Houston.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Personally I feel that trying to resurrect the Energy sector of the New Orleans Economy is impossible. New Orleans now needs to focus on an emerging BioMedical economy, shipping, manufactoring, and possibly research and technology.

All of those sectors bring in stable high paying jobs.

Unlike tourism these jobs dont depend on how many people visit the city each year or if we get some bad press now and then.

The city needs to start offering incentives for businesses and improve its public healthcare, school system, and fire and saftey department.

Well probally really start seeing a big economic in 2010-2015. That finally when well have RAY NAGIN out of office.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The energy sector will never come back to New Orleans. Houston is where it's at in that industry. When I was living in OKC, several longtime oil companies in OKC and Tulsa were merged or moved to Houston in the late 90s and early 2000's . The same "woe is us" articles were printed in the Daily Oklahoman. There are only 3 large energy firms left in OK now...Williams, Chesapeake, and Devon.

With that in mind, economic development people in this city have to focus on the other industries that can grow in this area. I think they are starting to see that. We need to truly diversify the economy.

The first to focus on is bio-sciences. We had a nascent industry before Katrina, and we have the same tools in place we had before...except for a large teaching hospital. If all goes as planned with the LSU hospital, the bio-sciences corridor can once again begin to grow. I think the Cancer Center announcement will just be the beginning of a growing bio-medical corridor...much like St. Louis. These jobs pay well, and usually don't experience the highs and lows that the energy industry does.

We also need to refocus on what made this city important in the first place. TRADE! We have a fantastic geographic location, 6 major rail lines serving the city, and an unlimited opportunity to grow. However, in order to do that, the port needs to be competetive with our neighbors. This will require a major investement by the government to get a true container port in action. We rule the breakbulk sector...and probably always will as it is far easier to transport steel and grain by barge. However...container trade with China, Japan, and other overseas countries is where all of the growth is.

The last thing we need to do is foster more entrepeneurship in the city. I was glad to see a couple of guys taking a risk in the paper this weekend. If we could make a few changes to the tax structure ( and that does not mean getting rid of the state income tax ), but at least not tax debt and utilities, then this sector of the economy could grow. A homegrown business is usually the best business, as the owners tend to contribute more back to the community. There are many great things about this region compared to other cities....we have mild winters, it's easy to get around the city, homes are comparably cheap, and the nightlife is fantastic. I really do think the schools are getting better, and will only get better as the years go by. I was pretty pleased with the school scores last year considering the circumstances. The main thing to tackle is the crime situation and getting the flood protection system up to the level needed. If we can get those at least somewhat under control...we could definitely see more startups in the metro area.

In my opinion, those are the things that the city and state need to focus on. We will always have the blue collar energy jobs, but it's time to stop wasting energy on energy companies. That chapter is already over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The announcement regarding the Amoco buyout and eventual relocation was nearly 9 years ago to the day. If they had not been bought out by BP, who is to say that they would not have moved of their own accord?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We also need to refocus on what made this city important in the first place. TRADE! We have a fantastic geographic location, 6 major rail lines serving the city, and an unlimited opportunity to grow. However, in order to do that, the port needs to be competetive with our neighbors. This will require a major investement by the government to get a true container port in action. We rule the breakbulk sector...and probably always will as it is far easier to transport steel and grain by barge. However...container trade with China, Japan, and other overseas countries is where all of the growth is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since this is turning into a thread about what New Orleans IS and CAN BE, let me throw this bit of very positive news into the mix:

These two high-flying financial daredevils could have located their technology start-up anywhere, but they've chosen to invest in New Orleans

Article

And I agree with what everyone has said, and will put it all in my words like this...

We lost those energy sector jobs, they're gone. Fine. Now lets look forward and take advantage of what is available to us. That includes investing more money in the port, and investing more time and money into new medical and science industries. It's amazing how many opportunities New Orleans still has to move into the 21st century...lets take advantage of them!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is good news and bad news in New Orleans ....I just feel like the media is not letting the world know the wonderful things about New Orleans. On CNN you here murder here murder there , but you never here major Cancer Center in New Orleans or the 175 medical grads who are gonna stay in New Orleans and help out with the recovery. You never hear about young professionals moving to the city to help out with recovery, you never hear about these people coming in to start their business. The media is so damn biased against New Orleans, you here more good than bad. Anyway....we are now seeing the affects of the Edwards and Morial adminstration, which isn't good. I believe New Orleans will come back better than ever, but we just have to have the right people in office, and it's all up to the residents of this region...the recovery of this city is in our hands. As for crime , don't mean to sound cynical ,but the projects should have never reopened or the section8 units.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As for crime , don't mean to sound cynical ,but the projects should have never reopened or the section8 units.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I agree that the city should heavly invest in the Port Of New Orleans. I've heard of some other poor cities creating low sales tax and investing it into sectors of their economy.

But, back to New Orleans, New Orleans should really establish itself as the manufactoring capital of Louisiana. Renovating the New Orleans Regional Business Park in the East and investing money into the port.

I've read some articals that with all the modular homes being built in the area , that officials are trying to use this as a chance to become home to modular home companies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People say they want change, but can we truly handle it? You already know the answer. Any move made to better New Orleans would be met with strong opposition. While a lot of residents' complaints are valid, they are completely negated when most of them repeatedly vote for the same clowns that have no intention of bettering New Orleans & Louisiana. By a show of e-hands, how many of you voted for people like Eddie Jordan, Kathleen Blanco and Ray Nagin under the assumption that they were looking out for New Orleans residents? Don't front :lol: *raises hand*. The aforementioned people will say and do anything to get the people's vote and once they get into office, they do good for a little bit but then they fall off big-time. Houston, Dallas & Atlanta are pro-business, that's why they are able to bring good-paying jobs. It's all about the $$$, and if bringing a big-time company to your city is going to generate bankrolls then Houston, Dallas and ATL are going to offer the best incentive package to get Fortune 500 level companies to come. I'm very blessed to have a well-paying job in New Orleans, otherwise Derrick would be in Houston or Dallas. Cities like NYC & Chicago went through the same issues as New Orleans: Criminality, severely crippled schools, declining population, corrupt leaders/leadership, etc. What turned those cities around is strong leadership and accountability. We don't hold our leaders accountable like we should. If I was mayor of New Orleans, I would expect to be held accountable for every move I made, good or bad. To use a football analogy, Nagin is the QB and his administration is the coaching staff. While he has made good moves, he's also fumbled on many occasions. As the players (citizens), we gotta say, "This isn't the right play to run, this play will work better for this situation". If you're a franchise player and you drop the ball, you're definitely getting traded. A coach would be fired with the quickness if he has several losing seasons in a row. That's the kind of accountability that our city & state government needs to be held to. If you were born & raised in N.O. like many of us, you get used to the fact that this a city of haves and have-nots. Historically, Uptown has been the richest part of New Orleans and still is to this day. The French Quarter is giving Uptown stiff competition in the real estate market. In a few years, French Quarter may overtake Uptown as the wealthiest part of N.O. Pre-Katrina, the average Uptown home price was $500,000. Post-Katrina, the average has shot up past $700,000. Even in the Uptown ghetto, you could find a home for $250,000 but you would need an AK-47 for survival. Onto the crime situation. Overall crime continues to decline but the violent crime is what's hurting New Orleans. We've come a long way from '94; that was the year when New Orleans was crowned Murder Capital ('93 was the actual year but the rate doubled the following year). The tourism industry was all but dead. The city hit rock bottom. No one would come to N.O. for fear of becoming a statistic. Slain rapper Soulja Slim said it best "If a n**** lived past '94 and he was out there on the block, he was a gangsta" Basically that means if you lived past '94, you were a soldier. So many people were getting their brains blown out left and right. <_<. Just when things were looking up in N.O., the murder rate was coming dangerously close to '94 levels. In '05, 310 was the projected murder count, which would put the murder rate at 65 per 100,000. Katrina comes along and pimpslaps New Orleans into oblivion. Has New Orleans gotten the crime situation under control? Not by a long shot but we're a lot better off than we were in the early 90's. When the population was barely under 200,000, the murder rate was at 96 per 100,000. What U.S. major city has ever had a 90 or above murder rate? Not one. It's hard to pinpoint an exact murder rate because the population continues to grow, but I would guess the rate is between 63.8 and 73.1. 5, 10 or even 15 years from now New Orleans will be a different city. I see N.O. as more wealthy and less poverty-stricken. Is it a good thing? Yes and No. Yes, because poverty breeds crime and if the poverty is drastically reduced, violent crime will follow. No, because many of the poorer residents will be run out of New Orleans due to not being able to afford living here. I'm not talking about the chopper-toting, drug-dealing residents. I'm talking about the law-abiding residents that struggle to make ends meet. Those are the people that could possibly be run out of N.O. The same administrative fools that ran New Orleans into the ground, a different generation will come along and turn New Orleans around. Honestly, the media can go to hell. They want to see New Orleans fall and will take a negative incident and blow it up to extremes. They never report about the good that is going on here, just the bad. They know if they report the good, the ratings will plummet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UptownNewOrleans:

Your points are very valid, VERY valid. I voted for Blanco. I voted for Nagin in the first election. I didn't vote for Eddie Jordan, though. I voted for Dale Atkins, who probably would not have been any better, but who knows? It seems like we can complain as much as we want to do so, but until someone's voice is heard, nothing will change.

The only substantial change thus far was brought about by Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, a group now being derided by some people in this city as a bunch of rich uptown white women who have nothing better to do. They did it, though, and I'm damn proud of them.

How can we keep change going forward? That is the key, and I don't know the answer. I know one thing, it would probably help to have more than a handful of people (some of which are homeless) at each council meeting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I forgot to mention...

One of the reasons I keep saying that New Orleans will be a better, more progressive place in 10-15 years, is because that's when my generation will begin to take the political and business reigns in the city. That may sound a little "too good to be true" but I really think that the New Orleanians that most want change, and are doing the most that they can (to a point) are young professionals and college students.

For example, the people leading the way in this city when it comes to "hurricane-proof homes" are the students from the Tulane School of Architecture. They have already designed, built, and sold affordable homes that are designed to withstand major hurricane winds, and are working on projects related to raising homes above flood levels, and essentially renewing neighborhoods through new architecture.

In the medical/science field, we keep talking about how the bio-science industry is really taking off, and that, along with additions to New Orleans' medical district, could be huge for the future of downtown New Orleans and the city in general. Well, LSU and Tulane are behind much of that, and the medical and science students from those schools will be our future in those fields 5, 10, and 15 years along the line.

And when it comes to studying the levee failures in New Orleans after Katrina, and how to avoid such failures in the future, most of that work is being conducted at UNO with the help of UNO engineering students. Engineering will obviously be something at the top of the "importance list" for a very long time in this city, and having local students work on such important projects such as levee failure analysis and future improvements to our levee system is certainly a positive.

I'd like to hear what you guys think about people/generation that will run this city in the near future. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will say this, the engineering & medical students coming out of Tulane, LSU & UNO are gaining invaluable experience. They're gonna have jobs raining on them like chopper bullets :lol: As far as I'm concerned, my generation is gonna be the one to turn this city around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd like to hear what you guys think about people/generation that will run this city in the near future. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"NOLA has been a very insular city. Outsiders need not apply", it's going to take outsiders to get this city together i.e. Stacy Head , she's not from NOLA. We have to get the Cynthia's out of office, and Juan Lafonta needs to go from the legislature.

New Orleans to do list

1. Get rid of Cynthias and Dale Atkins

2. let Arnie Fielkow take mayor Nagin's place when he decides to make a run for Gov.

3. Jim Letten for district attorney

4.We need to do anything we can to get Chief Richard Pennington to come back

5. Hold a special election for Jeffersons seat

6. Vote Bobby Jindal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been here long enough to vote for any meaningful elections in this state and region, but you can bet my vote will be for a progressive and business minded candidate for the governorship and the legislature. I'm starting to take a harder look at all of the candidates, but haven't made a final decision on that yet. Since I'm a resident of Slidell, I could not vote for the Mayor's race last year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This fall's elections will be a great opportunity for the state and the city. First, Jindal, Boasso, and Georges are all from the NOLA area, and they're all self-made.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.