Published in The Times-Picayune
Should freedom and liberty be regulated by central planners in government?
“No way,” say most level-headed Americans. Yet that is exactly the opposite opinion shared by many people of New Orleans, who likely consider themselves conservatives.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s decision to allow the city to rebuild in its pre-storm footprint serves as one of those rare examples where a liberal politician seeking self-preservation, i.e. re-election, actually promoted the most fundamental of traditional conservative values.
I believe allowing residents to rebuild unregulated or steered by central planning government was the ultimate example of the empowering dynamic of personal liberty. It is up to the people now to collectively contemplate a way in which to pay the costs associated with those decisions, not to second-guess the decision itself.
Liberty and freedom are never free, and the people should embrace the minor costs they impose. They are both as vital to our quality of life as the oxygen in the air that we breathe.