Apparently 31 per cent of Americans think New Orleans should not be rebuilt after this horrifying disaster ends.

What a strange question for pollsters to be asking.

Apparently, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, expressed doubts about the practicality of rebuilding the city — before quickly backtracking.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said in a statement, “While I disagree strongly with Speaker Hastert’s comments regarding the city of New Orleans, he raises a debate that we can address at some time in the future. Right now, however, we have important work to do”

Of course, there won’t be any debate at any point in the future. As Matthew Yglesias decide explains, the decision about rebuilding is not up to Hastert, Landrieu or American public opinion to decide on this matter. Lots of individuals’ personal choices about whether or not to return their labour or capital to that part of the world will collectively decide whether New Orleans will be “rebuilt”.

Yglesias suspects the oil and tourism industries will return, but many young professionals and property-owners will relocate before the waters recede.