How Many Millionaires Do You Think Cleveland Has?

Submitted by Roldo on Tue, 08/19/2008 - 14:10.

Boy, the “Cleveland – a Dying City” rating by Forbes Magazine really cranked up the city’s cheerleaders last Sunday, as seen in the editorial page of the Plain Dealer (which years ago for some reason dropped the name Cleveland from its name).

What was most amusing was that it was written by a trio – two of them – Joe Roman of Greater Cleveland Partnership and Dennis Roche, president of Positively Cleveland – draw salaries totaling $703,627 a year (2006 IRS figures). Roman gets $426,271 and Roche gets $303,627, both including benefits. The salary of the third, Thomas Waltermire, CEO of TeamNEO, wasn’t available.

It takes those with a whole lot of money to find Cleveland such easy place to live comfortably.

However, it isn’t the only recent rating that puts Cleveland in the dumps. Anyone with any sense knows this is a city in deep trouble.

 

BizJournal, another publication, just rated the wealthiest cities in the nation.
Cleveland was not among them, though there is plenty of wealth around, as noted below.

It did, however, make the bottom 10 of U. S. cities with populations of 100,000. It came in 7th, followed by Detroit, Buffalo, Erie, PA., and Waco Texas.

The Cleveland cheerleaders’ op-ed brags about some clearly Cleveland assets.
It does gripe me that one point always crows that “Cleveland’s downtown population is at an all-time high, with a residential occupancy rate of 93 percent.” Even as the city's total population continues to deflate.

Downtown to these people IS Cleveland.

Cleveland’s state of being always seems to be graded by how well downtown is doing. There is never a cost factor attached to these claims of advancement. I wonder how much it cost taxpayers – in subsidies, tax abatements, tax incremental financing and other goodies – to attract one household to downtown? You’ll never see a foundation study on that question.

The highly-paid Cleveland op-ed crybabies tried to talk up Cleveland. There’s nothing wrong with that. But before we get to face our problems we have to take a realistic look at our problems. That is something Cleveland “leadership” rarely wants to do.

Another little study that tells too much of Cleveland rates the city high with 53,859 millionaire households. It is from a study by Merrill-Lynch & Capgemini.

That’s a lot of rich people.

In a city with dire poverty problems, that figure really sticks out and you wonder where all that wealth is and why it doesn’t show up in the public spending here where most taxes weigh heavily upon the poorest of its citizens to pay for medical marts and such.

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income not a good measure; being a millionaire is not much

I'm reading a book by Felix Dennis, a rare book on getting rich written by somebody who has actually done it, and not by writing books about how to get rich for consumption by the yearning masses.

 

Felix points out that the lowest rung of "rich" would entail having assets of $2-4 million, and being at that point one of the "comfortably poor." It certainly takes a bit more than a million of assets to distinguish yourself these days. Felix pegs the garden-variety rich as having a net worth of $30-80 million.

 

You have to remember, too, that these guys in the Cleveland nonprofits, the erstwhile cheerleaders, may have nice salaries, but they have no ownership in anything they're working on; they're not building equity for themselves--and, as it turns out, probably not for others, either.

 

Rah, rah, rah. Why are we paying cheerleaders, anyway?