Merci Beaucoup (pronounced correctly thanks to Obama) to the French; the food is wonderful, but besides imparting fabulous technique and lots of butter to African cuisine, they didn't do much else for Louisiana. (Not that we have either, mind)
Driving through Louisiana, is kind of like driving through the beginning of Omega Man.
The dilapidated parking lots, lack of road signs and/or people able to give directions to "foreigners"
There's the charred sugar-cane stubble, with the petrochemical and fertilizer factories to add an slightly piquant industrial aroma, that successfully detracts from any natural beauty that the countryside might have. The wealth that flows (or used to flow) through New Orleans does not seem to affect it much; though the appearance of living in the 1860's does make it an attractive tourist destination. But why is it stuck? An enormous amount of wealth flows (or used to flow) through New Orleans, perhaps there is the difficulty of resource-rich entities being unable to create sustainable economic growth (in that large amounts of resources go through New Orleans because it is there not because there are necessarily buyers.
France did not have the infrastructure that Britain and later Germany (or Prussia etc.) had, they had a larger population and there was not as much incentive to create labor-saving devices. Is it contagious or something?
Does Louisiana suffer from being ignored? Or is it like Baltimore a place who's time has past, but can't adjust?
Besides the annual manic outburst the state seems to live in perpetual depression. Poverty seems to work like that, depressed people can't be bothered to make to try making themselves happy. It's probably just that it is more difficult to invest in prosperity if you are poor (somewhat obviously.)
The infrastructure can be solved, cultural changes take more time, and can't exactly be legislated (though they do try in California................)
in addition: recognize I must, that word order is often essential in english, "how poverty can invest in prosperity," implies that instead of being a pontificating fool, I actually have suggestions on how to improve the living standards of Louisianans. So I decided to rewrite history, as a result this post is dated wrong.
(by the way, I have no hard feelings after the HOURS spent driving along the left bank of the Mississippi, after not paying $20+ to enter a ramshackle plantation in the middle of NOWHERE, and getting lost because of an AWFUL map----I just feel a particular pity for the people that have to live there.)