Guided Reading Questions for Economy Matters

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Discussion Questions for Economy Matters article "New Orleans, 10 Years after Katrina"

  • How was New Orleans' population affected by Hurricane Katrina? According to recent population statistics, is the population rebounding?
  • How has the population's composition changed since Katrina? What groups have increased their representation among New Orleans' residents?
  • How does the GDP of New Orleans today compare with its level at the time of the hurricane? Does this surprise you?
  • Why does Michael Hecht, CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc., call disasters "cash flow positive" events? What are some examples he gives?
  • What are the "twin engines" that powered New Orleans' economy for decades? What new industries are contributing to the city's growth? In what area is New Orleans the nation's growth leader?
  • What does Hecht mean when he says that New Orleans is now known as a "master of disaster"? What are two examples where New Orleans has been able to share its expertise?
  • How has the diversification of New Orleans' economy affected household income and the area's unemployment rate? Is New Orleans growing in terms of the number of businesses established? Could there be a connection between these trends?
  • What changes in the education system of New Orleans are contributing to its post-Katrina success story?
  • How have changes in the criminal justice system saved the city money? How does the crime rate of a city affect its ability to grow economically?
  • Hecht says that that the governor and the community are working on one of the largest challenges still remaining for the city. What is that challenge? Why does Hecht say that you "want to get people into homeownership"?
  • Hecht was a witness to both 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. How does he say that the losses of these disasters can best be honored? How does Forbes magazine describe New Orleans' success?

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