Wednesday, September 27, 2006


"Entrepreneurs discern human needs and act upon them"

From Mises:

Even more inspiring has been the explosion of interest in Katrina Cottages… The Katrina Cottage effort is producing an expanding family of designs for appealing, storm-worthy houses that compromise nothing but square footage in the effort to create homes worthy of long-term roles in neighborhood redevelopment. The first designs for Katrina Cottages came out of efforts to create design alternatives for FEMA trailers. The plans (website not yet up) immediately captured the imaginations of citizens and building industry leaders. Now Katrina Cottages are claiming a broadening niche in the private-sector housing market and creating more alternatives for Mississippi home shoppers.

Lowe's has just announced plans to offer four Katrina Cottage designs as kits to property owners in the storm zone. Home Front, in Florida, is offering a growing list of models as panelized cottages. And the New Urban Guild has certified several manufactured housing companies to produce Katrina Cottages likely to set new standards for manufactured housing.

Excellent link.

It's sad to think recovery efforts might be much farther along if the threat of price controls didn't loom over entrepreneurs heads. In a free society without price signals, it will take longer for resources to get to where they are needed most.
I think what's especially interesting is that most of the new "Katrina Cottages" don't meet federal standards for low-income housing (or something like that) because the rooms are too small and have doors in the wrong places. What nonsense!

Government should just get out of the way and let recovery happen.
Apart from government subsidies, what incentive does anyone have to move back to New Orleans?
Some people place a great value on the culture of the place. Great, build a theme park.
Some people are stuck there... okay, let someone who cares go and help them. They might help them move somewhere else.
Some will want to take advantage of the natural resources available in the area. Let them invest their own money, or take on speculators.
Some people at this point will want to move there because of the cheap (correctly valued) land. Let them assume the risk and responsibility for their decisions.
What if everybody else wants the people from New Orleans to stay in New Orleans and leave the rest of us alone. Don't compete with us for housing, jobs, or educational opportunities, etc. Let us pay them to go back and rebuild.
The final scenario most closely resembles the meddling protectionist behavior of the state evidenced by their actions.

Why must NO be rebuilt? Why must I pay for it?
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