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Even so, there's little evidence to support the idea that the primary obstacle to rebuilding the Gulf Coast is a lack of federal funding. The problems go much deeper than that. So far, the federal bureaucracy hasn't been able to spend the piles of money that have already been allocated, much less spend them wisely. Governments at all levels have failed to clearly articulate the rules of the game for rebuilding. And the state and federal governments are getting into the business of absentee slumlordship. More funding will only bring more of the same.
Tomorrow: Myth number two: New Orleans and "the Gulf Coast" are the same thing.
Daniel Rothschild is the associate director of the Global Prosperity Initiative at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The Mercatus Center is conducting a five-year study of the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.