I am so sick of right-wing, know-nothing assholes heartlessly and contemptuously dismissing the residents of Louisiana and, in particular, New Orleans.
These GOP idiots can’t or won’t stop to think — for even a fucking moment — about why the hell people live in a geographic bowl that is below sea-level, so I’m going to spell it out simply and plainly: Economics.
Louisiana has a shitload of oil and is part of a massive waterway system that makes shipping that oil and billions of dollars’ worth of consumer and industrial products cheaper to transport — and therefore cheaper for us to buy.
About the oil:
Louisiana is rich in crude oil and natural gas. Oil and gas deposits are found in abundance both onshore and offshore in State-owned waters… Excluding the Gulf of Mexico [Outer Continental Shelf], Louisiana ranks fourth [or fifth — see below] in crude oil production and is home to about 2 percent of total U.S. oil reserves. Louisiana’s natural gas reserves account for about 5 percent of the U.S. total.
Here’s a few more oil-related facts:
Like Houston, Texas, New Orleans is located in proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, and the many oil rigs lie just offshore. Louisiana ranks fifth in oil production and eighth in reserves in the United States. It is also home to two of the four Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) storage facilities… Other infrastructure includes 17 petroleum refineries with a combined crude oil distillation capacity of nearly 2.8 million barrels per day (450,000 m³/d), the second highest in the nation after Texas. Louisiana has numerous ports including the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), which is capable of receiving ultra large oil tankers. With all of the product to distribute, Louisiana is home to many major pipelines supplying the nation…
Here’s a bit from Wikipedia’s entry about Louisiana’s economy and the state’s other products:
The state’s principal agricultural products include seafood (it is the biggest producer of crawfish in the world, supplying approximately 90%), cotton, soybeans, cattle, sugarcane, poultry and eggs, dairy products, and rice. Industry generates chemical products, petroleum and coal products, food processing and transportation equipment, and paper products…
The Port of South Louisiana, located on the Mississippi between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is the largest volume shipping port in the Western Hemisphere and 4th largest in the world. It is the largest bulk cargo port in the world…
The ICW is a significant portion of the Great loop, a circumnavigation route encircling the Eastern half of the North American continent…
The Intracoastal Waterway has a good deal of commercial activity; barges haul petroleum, petroleum products, foodstuffs, building materials, and manufactured goods… The waterway is also used when the ocean is too rough to travel on.
(All emphasis added.)
The oil doesn’t pump itself, the barges and ships have to be loaded and unloaded, and all of that requires people. And those people need to live near that work. And support industries like retail stores and support systems like power grids and water treatment plants came into being there.
Do you right-wing fuckheads get it now? People live in Louisiana and New Orleans because there is a living to be made, not because they’re stupid.