Friday, March 19, 2010

Saving Cleveland, Part 6

Final episode here is self-explanatory. The city really needs to bring people back into the city--to live. Otherwise, it's a ghost town every evening with the problems that causes. Plus, without critical mass, there's simply not enough work for people and the young folks move on. As I did back in 1967 when the city's decline gathered momentum.

The city is stuck in a time warp, as evidenced by its ritualistic re-election of the clownish Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) as the city's Representative for Life, every year, even when he takes a year off every 4 years to make Quixotic runs at the U.S. Presidency like some kind of latter day socialist Harold Stassen.

Kucinich, in case you're not old enough to remember, was the boy-mayor who presided over Cleveland's muni-bond default and destroyed what was left of the city's business climate in the mid-1970s. (Kucinich's people blame things on the evil bankers, but it's all a self-serving crock.) Kucinich, though, is the kind of person Clevelanders elect time and time again, regarless of the glaring fact that none of the city's politicians-for-life have done a damn thing for the town since the 1950s if then. Time to clean house, throw out the machine Democrats, and try something different.

With a high unemployment rate, much higher than the national average, a stagnant population, a deadly business climate, and unbelieveably high real estate taxes to pay for failing schools and an overpaid bureaucracy, the current crop of pols is part of the problem not part of the solution. Time to get 'em out of the way. But only the voters can do that, and they seem pathologically disinclined to do so. Which is why, in spite of some of the biggest houses for the cheapest prices in the country, I can never retire back to my old home town. It's just too depressing. And until people recognize that their tired voting patterns lie at the core of their perpetual economic problems, it will stay that way. Wish it weren't true but it is.

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