Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fixing the Mistake on the Lake

Some new ideas for Saving Cleveland?

I've long been saddened by the grinding, steady decline of my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio. After being gone for a long time, Mrs. W and I have spent a great deal of time up there over the last two years as our parental units passed away one by one. It's pretty shocking, really. For a brief moment in time in the 1920s, Cleveland was right up there with New York, Detroit, and Chicago as one of the major business, industrial, and financial powerhouse cities in the US. Now, it probably has less population than Toledo. Or at least it seems that way.

The city effectively peaked in 1950, as Cleveland's industries revved up for the continuing post-war boom, attracting its last great wave of workers. It's been in decline ever since. The reason why? Increasingly one-party politics (Democrat, of course) and the resulting corruption that comes with it. A level of racial animosity involving both sides that continues to be worse than anything I've ever seen in the supposedly intolerant South. Plus the increasing tyranny of public sector unions. This latter issue is the worst of all in a way. Cleveland is one of those cities with way above average unemployment--and yet public employees, who are, of course, being paid by the public--demand salary raises and threaten strikes while their erstwhile employers are themselves unemployed and not shelling out tax dollars. This kind of arrogance is also seen in the public employee sector in California and elsewhere. It threatens, along with lunacies like Obamacare, to take this country down.

But Cleveland was the original canary in the coal mine, I think. And now, interestingly, the people over at Reason TV, along with Cleveland comic and native Drew Carey, are putting out a series of short online TV programs that promise to offer ways for Cleveland to dig out of its hole. The first in the series has just been posted, and I'm going to bring the series over here. Even though I'm not quite sure where they're going with this, these conservative dudes are already pointed in the right direction.

The first show's only about 5 minutes. Enjoy.

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