Another sporting shock doctrine:
"No city has been through more than New Orleans," said Rita Benson LeBlanc, a part owner of the New Orleans Saints. "This is just a true testament to what an entire community can do."
Pasquarelli added, "Playing host to a Super Bowl should address some of the city's lingering problems." By "lingering problems" he must mean sky-high poverty and unemployment. Much has been made about the city's comeback, on the basis of healthy employment numbers (relative to the rest of the country) and a mini-construction boom buoyed by post-Katrina reconstruction.
But many New Orleans residents still feel compelled to celebrate any infusion of business, particularly the business of unlimited expense accounts and debauchery the Super Bowl inevitably brings with it. This is because the poverty in the city is still persistent. In March, the metro area lost jobs for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. And New Orleans, with some families still living in federal trailers and others still trying to return, remains the murder capital of the United States.
This is because the city has become profoundly dependent on its service economy since 2005.
This is also because the Obama administration has to date done nothing to help the Gulf Coast despite his repeated assurances to do otherwise. A look at politifact.com shows a depressing litany of broken promises straight from Obama's mouth on everything from strengthening the levees to rebuilding hospitals and schools.
As New Orleans resident and commentator Harry Shearer wrote:
“The farther we get into this administration, the clearer it becomes that New Orleans is now enjoying its second consecutive federal administration which, far from offering to fix what it broke, far from offering a hand of support, is merely offering one finger.”
This is why, in the absence of alternatives, the Super Bowl money train looks all the more seductive.