DOING DAMAGE BY DOING WHAT ISN'T NEEDED

Submitted by Roldo on Tue, 01/05/2010 - 13:28.

After a conversation about Cleveland’s past and present problems a friend asked me the other night – what about solutions. Do you have any solutions? It is a question I’ve been asked before.

 

No, I don’t have any solutions. I’m not looking for solutions. I don’t believe it’s my job to come up with such answers. I have one answer: We have to stop doing what we’re doing. Then we can concentrate on our problems. Then there would be time, resources and energy to deal with our real problems.

 

But so much energy and so many resources are expended on tasks that are not only necessary but are damaging to our communities.

 

Our leaders want to build too much of what we don’t need, that conflicts with what we already have and damages community that is already viable.

 

Forest City Enterprises Al Ratner once bragged to me about how many federal subsidies he has been able to get for projects all over the U. S.

 

This Brooklyn project is soaked in subsidies, not unusual for these unnecessary projects. This one, as others, includes a new arena for a Ratner family professional sports team.

 

Isn’t it wonderful that all over the nation we are spending billions of dollars to provide work places for multi-millionaire owners and millionaire sports players while so many ordinary people have no access to a paying job?

 

Washington Post columnist George Will tackles just that problem in a recent column and it has a link to Cleveland. He is talking about the Ratner project in Brooklyn, N. Y. Here’s is how he starts and I’ll provide a link to the column after this excerpt:

 

By George Will

 

On Aug. 27, 1776, British forces routed George Washington's novice army in the Battle of Brooklyn, which was fought in fields and woods where today the battle of Prospect Heights is being fought. Americans' liberty is again under assault, but this time by overbearing American governments.

The fight involves an especially egregious example of today's eminent domain racket. The issue is a form of government theft that the Supreme Court encouraged with its worst decision of the past decade -- one that probably will be radically revised in this one.

The Atlantic Yards site, where 10 subway lines and one railway line converge, is the center of the bustling Prospect Heights neighborhood of mostly small businesses and middle-class residences. Its energy and gentrification are reasons why 22 acres of this area -- the World Trade Center site is only 16 acres -- are coveted by Bruce Ratner, a politically connected developer collaborating with the avaricious city and state governments.

To seize the acres for Ratners's use, government must claim that the area -- which is desirable because it is vibrant -- is "blighted." The cognitive dissonance would embarrass Ratner and his collaborating politicians, had their cupidity not extinguished their sense of the absurd.

 

Here is the link to the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/01/AR2010010101367.html

 

It’s a damned shame that all over the nation grasping developers help destroy communities, impoverish citizens and walk away with unearned millions of dollars.

 

Until we stop today’s marauders we have no chance to make livable communities.

 

The Ratners have been one of the major exploiters of Cleveland and part of the reason this city has declined so in the last 40 years.

 

 

 

 

 

( categories: )