Cleveland Uber Alles

Untimely Dispatches from the Neighborhood of the Unrepresented & Inarticulate; Anecdotes that Pedal and Coast Through the Boot-Print of 20th Century American Urbanism

Monday, November 21, 2005

Yes, Renita, There is a Santa Clause This morning's 90.3 at 9 on WCPN featured some particularly flaccid gasbagging about the fact that a small circulation, corporate real estate trade publication, Site Selection Magazine, rated our great state #4 in "Business Climate"--a phrase, in this case, that should be read in terms of the definition of corporatism as practiced by Mussolini. The show's host, the usually thoughtful and well-prepared Renita Jablonski, did what she could to put Site Selection's article into context, asking the magazine's rather poorly prepared representative about how the rankings were compiled and asking her panelists and callers what this apparent kudo might say about the economic prospects of Northeast Ohio; soon, however, the conversation devolved into a recitiation of the usual shibboleths regarding economic developmetn in Cleveland and the region's struggle to maintain, if not national status, then simply middle class jobs, here in the post-industrial era: brain drain and the various fetters of unions, taxes, and regulations--all of those things that keep our poor, poor businesspeople shackled, prohibiting them from leading us onward into prosperity. Somewhere after the first half-hour, the very intellectual poverty of our region ought to have became glaringly apparent to concerned listeners, who really are rooting for some kind of resurgence in Cleveladn. Here was one of the city's best radio journalists and a professor from its best university and both of them were incapable of either critiquing the very wisdom of the idea of business climate as Site Selection Magazine would define it (i.e. as a kind of bootlicking sychopantism) or asking a single question as to why Northeast Ohio or any other geographic region would accept, as a criteria for evaluating its quality as a place, measures of how obsequious it is to those who do business there. To his credit, the Case proffessor was overtly enough of a "pro-business conservative" to have the nerve to ask if Northeast Ohio in fact was a drag on the state's overall business climate ranking (i.e. to ask if our city's sound Democratic majority and its roots in organized labor didn't in fact stop the rest of the state from being a proper corporate playground, like Texas, say, where the Bushies have already deregulated and privatized everything to the detriment of the people), but Jablonski, whose job it should have been to ask some tougher questions, simply let this brand of freemarketeering foolishness run its course uninterrogated--as it always does in all our media. The fact is, if you listen carefully to any conversation about the economic wellbeing of our area, the problem is always framed in terms of what we the people owe businesses, of what we, like school girls putting on rouge, need to do to be worthy of their worldly ways. We need to invest in education; we need to cut out red tape; to provide a flexible labor market; to give companies property tax abatements; and so on. Never once does anyone say how these companies ought to be responsible to our region and to us--how they ought to protect our natural resources, pay their fair share of the costs of maintaining our infrastructure, and contribute a portion of their revenues to paying for public services. This, of course, is because we need to promote a pro-business image, and our media, even our publicly funded and publicly supported media, like WCPN, is determined to keep giving business a podium to promote its interests over own, free of charge. If only you'd have jingled some bells and said Ho, ho, ho, Renita.


At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Frances said...

While you can learn a few things regarding real estate for free through the information you can find on the internet, enrolling in a real estate investing school would be a much better idea if you really plan to involve yourself in this particular field.


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