Tourism Workers May Have Few Options

By Jeff Thomas

COVID 19 has forever changed our lives.  Some changes are required – social distancing, frequent 30 second handwashing, masks for vulnerable people.  Others might require a fight, testing old battle lines.  People’s lives and livelihoods are at stake.  Race, class and economics all collide in this test of the tourist economy in New Orleans and ultimately our state.

New Orleans is the economic engine of the state of Louisiana.  For every dollar NOLA sends to Baton Rouge, she receives 54 cents back. And every other parish in Louisiana gets some of the .46 New Orleans tourism dollars. In fact, the entire state budget is balanced every two years on money generated in New Orleans.  Consequently, every Louisiana resident benefits from the tourism money generated in the Big Easy.

Local and national businesses employ thousands of low wage workers who often toil two jobs in hotels, restaurants, and bars in and around the French Quarter.  This grimy underbelly girds the industry with hundreds of millions of tax dollars. The state relies upon this money.  Conventions and big events are the other legs of the tourism stool in NOLA.  These three sectors comprise the business structure that employ the taken for granted front-line workers, who help host and entertain our tourists.

Confronted with an uncertain future, the entire tourism industry and our state’s budget face incredible disruption.  Many experts predict tourism will not rebound until next year.  And when it does, no one is sure how many people will be willing to travel to a hotspot like New Orleans was during this pandemic.  The entire restaurant business must change. So, not only will our low wage tourism workers be possibly without income, the entire state budget must grapple with dramatic shortfalls. 

Remarkably against this backdrop, front-line tourism workers may demand living wages.  The unemployment income provided by the federal government has boosted the income of our tourism workers to living wage levels.  And the risk of contracting the virus from travelers adds new levels of risk.  Will we have jets flying overhead to honor these brave souls or will the business leaders try to dismiss or diminish the heroic acts of those serving food and drinks in the French Quarter? 

And how does the rest of the state react to the decreased tax revenue from the city?  Increasing the state minimum wage might be tough.  Will New Orleans area legislators even get another chance to change state law to permit just NOLA to mandate a living wage?  Will business leaders claim that businesses are faced with lower than ever income and seek to cut costs not increase them?  What happens when unemployment runs out?

COVID19 has affected us all.  But the state economy may get the biggest jolt.

One thought on “State Budget, Tourism Industry Face Uncertain Future”
  1. Who Prepared???
    LBRC- Rote is not proof or belief!!! What is “Rote”?
    a. : the use of memory usually with little intelligence 2 : mechanical or unthinking routine or repetition <a joyless sense of order, a commercial hustle/Webster/We watched years back, so- called "Rappers" on stage saying "We thank (g)od? These were some of the most Filthy and Vile musical linguist on Planet Earth!!! Egregious is when most praised their (g)od of "Infamy, Filth" and (f)ame as though one in the same with "The 1", The Most High. Some are so warped and distorted aka "Given over to their own reprobate minds…", 'Dat they have totally bought into their own deceit! The "Heard/ Herd", the "Goats" of Scripture! Equally "Egregious" are the modern day Epicureans and Stoics of "Mars Hill", 2020 version!!!1. The Filthy Bicycle and Turkey giveaway deception artist 'luv to be seen of men! Don't get it twisted, giving is good with pure intent! Pure intent does not seek "Recognition for recognition's sake"! Pure intent is a blessing of "The Act in itself on both sides" like "The Good Samaritan"!!! Let's extrapolate out of The Parable about "Talents" (Matthew 25:28), a. The Most High Provided "Talents" to servants, like those following Hurricane Katrina in NOLA! Pre and Post there were and still are "Food Lines"! Let's interpolate!!! In Matthew 25, who is charged wicked by The Most High? Ans. The servant who never progressed despite what Christ "Gave" them to prosper! In NOLA and elsewhere, "Food Lines" are longer than ever, Pre or Post Katrina! Despite what was wrenched grudgingly from the enemy, the Slothful and Lazy are just like the one who buried his talents, even worst wasted them foolishly!!! He told you and showed you each day, another storm was on the Horizon! Proverbs admonished us- "A Fool sees a storm on the Horizon and does nothing, the Wise see it then "Prepare"!

    b. If Christ charged the man who "Hid" his talents "Wicked and Slothful"? What would He say in 2020, when the same who He Provided talents not only hid and more egregious lost them and is now in a "Food Line" begging bread or other? WICKED AND SLOTHFUL??? Again- Don't get this twisted, He was never willing 'Dat any should perish, but "Fools temp The Most High"!!!
    2. Next up- Remember The Stoics and Epicureans? These were "The Serious People", similar to those in Krugman's new book! In 2020?
    a. Lots relish being perceived so- called "Intellectual"! We always say- "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle 'em with BS"!!! What did the Stoics say about "God" aka 'dem and others? They praised all including self! The last Plaque they dedicated on Mars Hill was to "The Unknown (g)od", in case they missed one!!! In 2020, there are Stoics, Epicureans! Don't get this twisted either!!! Yes!!! Greater is "He" that is in "you", only if you are of Him! If you never had Him or if He left because "you" defiled Him with your "False Flatteries, Deceit, Lies, Theft and yada…? Listen up!!! He is gone or you never had "Him" (Maybe Deceptive Satan?) to begin with!!! Some falsely (r)epent and because they are believed of silly men and women, 'Simps, they deceive them and themselves!!!
    b. Does eating a fish make you one? He said "Eat of Me", not Satan and his Deceptions!!! Now try breathing under water without Gills, though you ate some! We won't argue, He said- "To some it is given and to others…, aka "Throwing Pearls into a Hog Pen…"!!! Read all of Matthew 25-25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:/end/btw- Once He asked- "How long shall I suffer you…"? We think we know? Ans. Not very long now…,
    Peace and Obedience, Abba Father..
    .btw- What is Spiritual Rote? Ans. The act of flattering with your lips lacking "Spiritual Substance" aka 2020 Stoics, Epicureans, Politicos, Apostate Preachers, TV/Radio Rote Deception Artist, Fools yada…

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