As someone who has lived near the city of Cleveland most of her life, I found myself in agreement with a recent article by Kevin D. Williamson at National Review Online entitled, Who Lost the Cities? As Jesse Jackson talks about "a national crisis of urban abandonment and repression," Williamson asks the question, who is responsible for this crisis in cities such as Newark, Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland? Williamson's conclusion? "The more progressive the city, the worse a place it is to be poor and/or black." While this might be provable by a simple look at political offices and economic statistics, I'm sure that diehard progressives will deny to their last breath that there is any causality between a city's politics and the living conditions of its poor. But isn't that just a ringing endorsement for Williamson's counter-argument, that individuals, families and private businesses should be free to act outside of regulated government influences? If, for example, the public school district in your system is failing not only to teach children, but to provide even a safe environment for them to learn, and this has been going on for decades, why think electing a new superintendent will magically solve the problem? Especially when that superintendent will be paid a couple of hundred thousand dollars or so a year in salary, and can easily move on elsewhere in a few years, while residents are stuck with the same schools? If you are a parent, who do you think you can best trust to make sure your child receives at least an adequate education, you, or some bureaucrats who are consistently not held accountable? Politicians have offered many fixes for urban woes, and I'm going to write about some of Cleveland's proposed solutions. I will simply state here that while downtown Cleveland and its neighbor, University Circle, may have some very lovely areas, the overall environment of the city of Cleveland has not changed... yet. You may want to give the government a chance. You may want to search for direct solutions for your family and yourself to improve your personal situation as much as possible on your own. It's not like politicians' promises have never failed before.
Update: this post was edited to better clarify my points, and to change when I will next post about this.