Jobs create workable sustainable communities

There aren’t enough tax dollars in the city, state or even the federal treasuries to keep buying safe communities. At a cost to the city of millions of dollars, what we are really investing in is propping up the real estate around a major employer and tax base.

This wasn’t necessary in the fifties, because people had jobs that paid a living wage and one income was enough to support a family. However- as the corporate takeover of America, from Congress to City Hall has taken its toll, we now take from the poor, to keep the rich happy. It’s called a plutocracy- and it’s killing our country.

Read the description of this “public/private partnership”

The goal of the Phoenix Project is to return the neighborhood to a working, sustainable community that can stand on its own, supported by affordable housing, safe streets and local businesses.

Along with public-spiritedness comes a healthy dose of self-interest.

Sister Carol doesn’t dispute that, but said it is her hospital’s moral commitment that drives the renewal.

“Our charge as a hospital is to create a healthier community, and that does not just mean physical health. We are the major entity in the neighborhood with 3,200 employees,” said Sister Carol, an 18-year resident of the neighborhood.

via Partnerships improve city’s neighborhoods.

Let’s see, if GM were still building cars in this community- and if the parts were all still made locally, and health insurance weren’t really bankruptcy insurance (thanks to my smart girlfriend for pointing that out on our walk this morning, health insurance today is really protection money to stop you from going bankrupt- not much else- since our premiums exceed what our costs would be for the most part- if we could pay the same price insurance companies pay) we would have people who could still afford their homes, take care of their neighborhood- and not turn to crime to make a living.

Yet, Congress in its infinite wisdom bails out GM and Wall Street, and even local government gets involved in this social engineering experiment- that’s putting our country deeper into debt, without solving the root causes: the gap between the haves and the have nots is at record levels.

A few things I’ve heard lately that make my blood boil.
About 70% of the volume on the New York Stock Exchange is “flash trading” where stocks are held for less than 7 seconds. This is not investing- this is playing with other people’s money with no risk to the traders- but a huge cost to the country.

Even Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, admitted that our financial system has become too complex for one person to understand. Recently I was clearing out drawers and found a note for a home equity line from 1982 and the whole thing was in normal sized type and fit on a standard sheet of legal paper- both sides, in plain English- take a look at the average credit card agreement today for comparison.

And lately, driving past the new Austin Road interchange, which cost $76 million, I wondered what that money would have done for downtown Dayton – which already had all the entrances and exits to support lots of office workers in tall buildings. I look at all those great farm fields being built into sub-divisions of new infrastructure, with new bills to pass on to the public- knowing that nationally we have 108 months worth of housing inventory already and wonder why we’re still building more and out.

If we want to see “sustainable communities” we need to start thinking about “sustainable practices” like increased density of population to share costs of infrastructure better. We need to look at executive pay and corporate profits- to be based on a return for real risk- and to reward creation of jobs for Americans- not the Chinese or the Asian Indians. And it’s time to reform our “health care” to be about keeping people healthy with living wage jobs- without threat of bankruptcy for illness.

Yep- this is a campaign speech. Let’s get out of the corporate welfare business- and reward those who employ Americans with well paying jobs. That’s a model for sustainable communities.

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5 Responses

  1. bobby June 7, 2010 / 2:23 pm
    I had a friend that I would run into at one of Dayton’s more familiar watering holes. Whenever I saw him, I would offer to buy him a drink. He would smile and decline by saying, “No thanks, just give me the money.”…  It is about time that our federal and state governments start doing the same thing. How can anyone  justify Miller Valentine ( Phoenix project) building “affordable” 200k vinyl boxes on Salem Ave.  Market houses on quiet streets in the same neighborhood with character go begging for buyers at less than half this price. Countywide and Citywide development ask the fed and state for the funds to build this housing because the grants are avalible for all sorts of housing, and not because it is needed.  I can’t remeber the last time I heard someone say they looked forward to raising their children on Salem Ave….  Communities shouldn’t be forced into bad policy decisions because of the  government use it or lose it mentality….    

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  2. Greg Hunter June 7, 2010 / 3:29 pm
    And lately, driving past the new Austin Road interchange, which cost $76 million, I wondered what that money would have done for downtown Dayton – which already had all the entrances and exits to support lots of office workers in tall buildings. I look at all those great farm fields being built into sub-divisions of new infrastructure, with new bills to pass on to the public- knowing that nationally we have 108 months worth of housing inventory already and wonder why we’re still building more and out.

    Yes but the “right people” already fleeced downtown and they no longer own the buildings.  Now the “right people” have fleeced south of town.  You will get there David…. The first one will be the hardest, but there are a great deal of “easy calories” out there and just think you can always have hope that the calories you consume will coincide with the deliverance of justice upon those that “painted US into a corner”  The Audacity of Hope!  :)

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  3. jstults June 7, 2010 / 10:14 pm
    There aren’t enough tax dollars in the city…

    Yes, and the discussion of Mr Riordan’s Magical Listening Tour  over on DMM is catching up…

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  4. jstults June 10, 2010 / 4:23 pm
    bobby:

    How can anyone  justify Miller Valentine ( Phoenix project) building “affordable” 200k vinyl boxes on Salem Ave.  Market houses on quiet streets in the same neighborhood with character go begging for buyers at less than half this price. Countywide and Citywide development ask the fed and state for the funds to build this housing because the grants are avalible for all sorts of housing, and not because it is needed.

    We have our federal government to thank:

    Even more baffling to Phil is HUD’s insistence on affordable housing elements in work done with HUD dollars. “There’s 4500 vacant structures in Youngstown. We don’t need restrictions on affordable housing; there’s plenty of it!” On the one hand, our need for affordable, quality housing is the reason that HUD was part of the Great Society program in the first place—we can understand why they care about the issue—but expecting an affordable housing element in a plan for a city that largely focuses on blight removal is borderline Kafkaesque.
    Why Can’t it Work in Youngstown?

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