Thursday, August 13, 2009

'Fastest Dying Cities' Meet for a Lively Talk -

'Fastest Dying Cities' Meet for a Lively Talk - "They met at the Dayton Convention Center last weekend to swap ideas about how to halt the long skid that's turned cities like Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo, N.Y., into shorthand for dystopia.

The city representatives lunched on $6 sloppy Joes and commiserated through Power Point strategy sessions: Lure back former residents, entice entrepreneurs and artists, convert blighted pockets into parkland.

What emerged was a sense of desperation over the difficulty of rebounding from both real problems -- declining populations, dwindling tax bases -- and perceived woes."

Good luck. Luring bohemians and building more parks for the gangs to hang out in wouldn't be on my top five list for these cities. But that's the mindset that has driven these cities into the ground. They don't get the nature of their own situation. People don't particularly want to live in rust belt cities that have crime, horrible public schools, and a declining job base. What these cities need more than anything else is to restore some sense of safety, order, and civility on their streets. Then somebody will dare to open a business that isn't a drug dealership. They could tell the teachers' unions to take a hike and start cleaning up the public schools. Put the kids in uniforms, get serious about discipline, kick out the gang bangers and thugs, and teach to increase standardized test performance on reading and math.

I could go on, but the middle class families that formed the core of these cities in years past has been deserting them for a long time, and now there doesn't seem to be much support for any of the policies that would make the cities livable again. All the solutions involve real estate developers, business proprietors, people who don't want to be taxed to death, people who hate the idea of living on government assistance, parents who want their kids to be successful as individuals in a competitive economy, and other people Nancy Pelosi would probably call villains. Here is a parody that says it all.

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