In the New York Times, David Brooks has an eye opening commentary on how to fix New Orleans. Link: Katrina’s Silver Lining – New York Times. In his words, "Katrina was a natural disaster that interrupted a social disaster." The basic outline is
1. "Nothing should be like it was before"
In those cultural zones, many people dropped out of high school, so it seemed normal to drop out of high school. Many teenage girls had babies, so it seemed normal to become a teenage mother. It was hard for men to get stable jobs, so it was not abnormal for them to commit crimes and hop from one relationship to another. Many people lacked marketable social skills, so it was hard for young people to learn these skills from parents, neighbors and peers.
2. There is a need to "Culturally Integrate"
The only chance we have to break the cycle of poverty is to integrate people who lack middle-class skills into neighborhoods with people who possess these skills and who insist on certain standards of behavior.
So, my hope is that we have moved past the blame game and have rapidly moved towards real constructive discussions as to how to fix the problem.