RUSH: I am just seeing my first pictures of Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi, on MSNBC. It looks like the whole place has just been bombed. Mr. Snerdley says looks like Hurricane Andrew. It looks like a giant wrecking ball went through whatever we’re watching out there. Whether it’s Biloxi or Gulfport, it’s just mind-boggling. Cape Coral, Florida, Cody, hello, and welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. How you doing, sir?
CALLER: I just have a quick question. Do you think that the latest ruling by the Supreme Court concerning eminent domain is going to have any kind of effect on the reconstruction process down there?
RUSH: How do you mean?
CALLER: I mean a lot of times it was justified based upon, you know, urban areas or areas that aren’t really that pleasing to the eye or might be kind of run down we’ll justifiably allow the state or a local municipality to let another developer come in and do it. Now these places in New Orleans and Mississippi are completely flooded and devastated. It might be an attractive way for new developers to come in and start lobbying for ways to get some really nice waterfront property.
RUSH: Well, you know, I understand why you’d ask the question. As I think about it, I think it’s way too premature. One thing that does seem likely — and this is just a guess — but with so much destruction, you can’t imagine things being rebuilt as they were.
RUSH: You just can’t. I mean, they’re not going to rebuild broken-down areas of town as broken-down areas of town.
CALLER: Right, sure.
RUSH: So it’ll be interesting to see. I don’t know if so much eminent domain will come into play. It could, but I think it really is going to focus on what I was talking about yesterday, when the rebuilding process begins, there will be a lot of thought that’s going to be put into it. “Okay, we had this. We had that. Do we really need to rebuild this, and do we need to rebuild it where it was?” There’s also going to be — you wait and see the new code restrictions that are going to go into effect on whatever is rebuilt, so that they withstand a storm like this in the future. I think it’s likely that the physical appearance and the physical makeup of these communities will be drastically altered by the rebuilding process. I mean, it would be unusual to expect that everything would be rebuilt as it was. Even people who are going to stay and rebuild their homes, who have lost them totally, they’re probably going to build something different. How much property they’re going to claim and try to build on and what deals are going to be made. Some people aren’t going to want to stay, is what happens in situations like this.
So there’s a lot to be ironed out, but they’re not even near that stage yet. They’re still in search-and-rescue efforts going on. They don’t know how many people are alive and trapped in places and can’t get out. They don’t know how many more people who have perished that have to be discovered. But when the rebuilding process begins, it will be an opportunity to rethink things and correct mistakes that existed in previous building decisions, such as location and style and type. I mean, things are going to look much different and it’s only natural to conclude that they would, but whether or not eminent domain comes into play, especially in the sense that you mean it from Kelo, the government going and basically telling, “Okay, you used to live here. You don’t anymore; we’re going to sell your property to this guy.” It’s way too soon to suggest that any of that is going to happen. All you hope for is that when that process begins that fairness and justice are present with every decision being made, as to the effect on individuals and businesses, as they try to put their lives back together.
This is going to be massive, though. It’s going to be massive, and while there may be some people are saying there’s going to be an interruption, perhaps slowdown in the economy because of this. For example, Delta Airlines is the number one feeder for New Orleans. They’re not going to be able to fly. There are two airports in New Orleans, and they’re both under water. Those airports aren’t going to be open for a while. When they reopen, you know, Delta is on the verge of bankruptcy, they’ve been threatening it and talking about it, and the bankruptcy laws change in October, and so if they’re going to do it, people expect them to do it before October — I think it’s October 17th the law goes into effect — I’m not sure but I think it’s around there, so you might have them say, “Look, I mean makes no sense for us here. Look at how many flights have been canceled here simply because they can’t get in and out of New Orleans.” New Orleans is a feeder or a hub for other regional cities around there. So that’s going to have an economic impact.
As a result of that… The I-10 causeway across Lake Ponchartrain is destroyed. It’s gone. An interstate highway, I-10, See you later.” So the immediate concern is going to be getting first of all everybody out of there until the worst is over, and then getting people back in, and then, you know, all of the goods and services necessary to support a city, regardless how large or small. That infrastructure is going to have to be rebuilt, and it will be done in a makeshift way at first. But my point is this: We’re all seeing these pictures on TV. For all this talk in the press about, “Do we have enough National Guard? Bush sent so many National Guard to Iraq. Do we have enough?” Two things: it infuriated me and it made me sick to listen to this last night, because this is the United States of America, and it’s going to be more than just the National Guard that rally around here. You’re going to have charitable donations reach an all-time high. You’re going to have people that are going to go down there when the coast and clear and they’re able to get in to help with the rebuilding efforts. It’s going to be a major beehive of economic activity, putting all of this back together, because it must be. There will continue to be a New Orleans, and there will continue to be a Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi. There will continue to be Mobile, Alabama. These places are going to continue to exist. They’re going to have to be rebuilt to one degree or another, and you’re going to have entrepreneurs from all over this country, and good-hearted, good citizens from all over this country heading down there.
And they’re going to do it for two reasons. They’re going to do it from the goodness of their heart and they’re going to do it for the entrepreneurial reasons — and nobody ought to resent that. This cannot be rebuilt for free. It cannot be rebuilt at discount, although there will be some of that, and there’s going to be gouging along the way as there always is in circumstances like this. But that’s not going to be the norm. It’s going to be awhile before this happens, but mark my words, the effort here to put everything back together down there, and it’s going to take years, is going to be a miraculous, illustrative example of the greatness of this country, and the willingness when there’s a disaster here, we all link arms and hands and go down and help one way or the other. This is going to be a national effort to rebuild this part of the country, and as such, economic activity will be stimulated, and ultimately while the bad memories and the horrors will never be erased and forgotten, there will be positives, and there will be smiles, and there will be happiness at the end of this, as there always is in circumstances like this.