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Rational Public Policy Goal of Penn's Post-Katrina
Conference on Risk and Disasters
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“We’re talking about many lost lives and billions and billions in property damage,” said Adler. “Spending a couple million to do this makes sense.”

Adler was one of more than 20 scholars and public policy officials who gathered on Capitol Hill 100 days after Katrina to explore lessons learned. In addition to risk assessment, they offered a gumbo of opinions on rebuilding the Gulf, the public and private sectors' role in that undertaking, and the future of New Orleans.

A number of intriguing proposals were offered at the conference, which was co-sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania. Robert P. Hartwig, senior vice president and chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, said the whole country should not have to bear the burden of putting New Orleans back together. He suggested levying a hotel tax on guests to pay for improvements to the infrastructure. “Local officials need to take greater responsibility for the costs to accrue the benefits (of tourism),” he said.

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