Let’s face facts: Louisiana is sick and dying

By Robert Mann

Two questions have dogged me lately: If I could go back 18 years, would I raise my children in Louisiana? Would I still view this as a place that would nurture and educate them, offer opportunities for personal and financial growth and help my wife and I imbue in them the values important to us?

When my son and daughter were born, I believed the answer was yes. I had hope. Even three years ago, I still had faith in Louisiana, as I wrotein a column to young people who considered abandoning the state: “Stay here, find like-minded people, organize them, expand your influence, demand change, but don’t give up on this amazing, beautiful place. Its good people — flawed as we might be — are worth your efforts.”

When I wrote that, I believed Louisiana had brighter days. I hoped there was a small flame of desire to recreate something great here. I thought Louisiana’s people wanted to redeem their state.

I was wrong.

Today, I ask only, “Is this as good as it will ever be?” The answer, I believe, is yes. It’s not getting better and could get much worse.

For all its rich and diverse culture and abundant natural resources, Louisiana is the sick man of the United States. We’re an economic basket case and a toxic waste pit of environmental neglect and misconduct.

We are the state most adept at missing opportunities and abusing and wasting our abundant natural resources.

Louisiana is my home in every way and, at 59, I cannot imagine living anywhere else. And yet it’s time to admit this is a place with no visible promise and little hope. To pretend otherwise is to engage in delusional thinking. We must face facts.

I’m not saying everyone should give up and leave. I’m staying and fighting for our future. There is much work to do, and I believe I can make a difference. I suspect most of you feel the same. But if we’re staying, we must be honest about Louisiana’s deplorable condition and bleak future.

Blame our leaders, if you like. But the problem is us. On average, we aspire to mediocrity; we are happy with good enough. We live in a land of plenty but view the world from an attitude of scarcity.

Continue reading on NOLA.com at this link.

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9 Responses to Let’s face facts: Louisiana is sick and dying

  1. Stephen Winham says:

    Utterly and unfortunately completely true.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maurice LaRochelle says:

    Dang! You do know what’s coming as a result of this honest appraisal.

    Like

  3. Eileen Baca says:

    So sad. So true. I’ve screamed it for years. No one cares. Just keep going to the polls and pulling the “R” lever…because they’re so stupidly stupid.

    Like

  4. Edith Herring says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. However, I am surrounded by FOX watchers, church-goers that focus on FOX points to please their congregations and folks that just want to fit in with the majority. I also do not see any leadership – only talk, talk, talk and no plans. But, I will persevere where I am!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Herman Prager III PhD says:

    I’d say no. The state has always been extremely difficult in which to try and work, raise a family, etc. When I lived in Louisiana, and especially when I was working on my PhD at UNO, I always joked (and it wasn’t a joke) that a dissertation needed to be written in political science with the following title: Democracy in Louisiana, An Experiment in Failure. I still would argue it is a valid research topic.

    With every good wish,

    Herman

    ________________________________

    Like

  6. Gayle Joseph says:

    Misinformation and myths seem to get through to and held on by many of our citizens, so they vote contrary to their own best interest. Results are: lower wages, tax credits and exemptions for corporations at the expense of taxpayers, wealthier taxpayers not paying their fair share, corporations exempt or paying less property taxes, environmental concerns ignored, higher education penalized, poverty not addressed, resentment against any program to help the needyest
    among us yet ignoring billions to corporations, accepting sound bites from legislators instead of learning the facts, etc, etc, etc.
    Yes, it is discouraging, but we must continue doing what we can to make a different outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. chandrews1965@gmail.com says:

    I shudder for what my grandchildren will face if they chose to remain in Louisiana. I have had serious conversations with my daughter and son about this very subject.

    Chris

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  8. Mark says:

    We have to change who we elect. We have to have a progressive, not regressive, agenda.

    Like

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