Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mistake On the Lake Continues to Play Out

Wonk recently returned from another trip to his ancestral home, Cleveland, Ohio, "The Best Location in the Nation," that decaying Rust Belt town that was once, for a brief shining moment (in the 1920s), the nation's Second City before Chicago grabbed that moniker more or less permanently.

Today, like Detroit, Cleveland is largely a burnt-out husk of its former industrial glory. Entire neighborhoods emptied overnight over the past 2 years as wave after wave of foreclosures hit homeowners with marginal incomes and ridiculous interest-only or 2/28 mortgages they never understood and never should have signed. Cleveland's thuggish underclass then finished the job by stripping each foreclosed house of anything of value, turning huge blocks of the city into the kind of thing you see in apocalyptic films like "Mad Max." Guess that's "progressive" politics in action. Except now there's nothing left to redistribute.

As if Cleveland hasn't already sunk far enough into the primeval slime, Clevelanders have demonstrated their almost suicidal fear and self-loathing by electing and re-electing, time after time as their U.S. Representative, none other than Denny Kucinich, Cleveland's own Boy Blunder. Obviously bored by the hometown crowd, he's spent more time in recent years traveling across the U.S. and foreign nations alike, badmouthing his country and promoting his never-ending Harold Stassen-like quest for a Presidency that will never be his, since even most Ohioans know he's an idiot. Except in Cleveland which will probably re-elect this certifiable moron and Marxist darling who, apparently, still has deep psychological problems with any authority other than his own.

The primary problem with cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Toledo, et. al. is the refusal of the general population to recognize that the Democrats they ritually put into office year after year are old-fashioned 1930s machine pols who raise taxes on Joe Sixpack to enrich themselves and their cronies while letting their once bright cities rot out from under them. Sort of the Saddam or Mugabe effect in slo-mo. Cleveland's politicians in particular, aided and abetted by The Plain Dealer, arguably America's worst newspaper after the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, routinely trash businesses, and now banks as Enemies of the People. And then they and their constituents scratch their heads wondering where all the jobs went. Gosh, I don't know.

Until folks up in northern Ohio learn a little bit more about the laws of cause and effect, they're doomed to residing permanently at the bottom of the American economic barrel. Why people do this to themselves has always been beyond me, but there you go. It's why I never moved back.

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