President Obama’s hometown of Chicago shows much the same pattern, according to a recent survey by Crain’s Chicago Business. Conditions have improved for a relative handful of neighborhoods close to the highly globalized central businesses. But for many neighborhoods things have not improved, and in some cases have deteriorated. Even before the recession there were fewer jobs than in 1989 and fewer opportunities for the middle class, many of whom—including more than 100,000 African-Americans—have left the city over the past decade.I worked for a multinational (with headquarters in Switzerland) at their Chicago facility in the late 1980s. Their main data-center was in Chicago and we bought a lot of supplies, and paper, and PCs. We justified moving to the suburbs just based on the tax savings. Difference in sales tax, slightly more than 1%, Chicago had a head-tax (cost per employee), etc. etc. It didn't help that even then it was expensive and slow to get any electrical work done. And we were all happy because we ended up working in a safer neighborhood.
I can't imagine why anybody would want to work, let alone live, in that city anymore. It used to be a great place. Now it's a mess.
The mayor, in his rush to get more income, raised the parking rates to something obscene - several dollars per hour. Of course the result is people who can avoid it are not parking at meters even if they have to walk blocks to avoid it. They also avoid areas with meters, which hurts business, which drives even more jobs away, which will cause Mayor Daley to look for even more income. He will keep digging that hole, because it is all he knows how to do, even though continually doing the same thing and expecting a different result is one sign of madness.
Of course Chicago isn't alone, just a city I am (or was) very familiar with. But all cities are struggling with similar problems. The basic problem is good-jobs. They just aren't in the cities anymore.
Green-oriented policies are often hostile to “carbon intensive” industries such as manufacturing, warehousing, or construction that employ middle-income workers. Green policies implicitly tilt towards industries such as media, entertainment, and finance that employ the best-situated social classes.Of course while your "de-developing" all those jobs out of existence, it will be a little hard on the workers of America.
Indeed, some climate change enthusiasts, such as The Guardian’s George Monbiot, see their cause in quasi-religious terms. In Monbiot’s words, he is waging “a battle to redefine humanity.” In his view, we must terminate the economic “age of heroism,” supplanting the “expanders” with anti-growth “restrainers.”
This is not just the latest edition of British “loony Left” thinking. President Obama’s own science advisor, John Holdren, long has embraced the notion of what he calls “de-development” of Western economies to a lower level of affluence.
And when did getting rid of jobs become a good thing? I thought the Left was all down on sending jobs overseas. (If you de-develop the US, somebody somewhere is going to make the stuff we used to make.)
The factory in Chicago my tech-skills supported packed up and moved out some time ago. The space couldn't be given away, given the age of the buildings, the deteriorating neighborhood and the taxes, so it belongs to the City and is a school or something similar last I heard. 1200 jobs ranging from entry-level to skilled gone from the city, without anything put in its place. But I am sure whatever is there now has a smaller carbon footprint. (No trucks coming and going, no manufacturing, etc. etc. etc.)
If US Steel suddenly wanted to reopen the South Chicago steel-mills (South Works), there would be an outcry about putting that big a polluter in the neighborhoods of the poor. Of course before the mills closed, those neighborhoods weren't poor. There was a lot of pollution however. And we can discuss the reasons those mills were shut at length if you want to, but that isn't the point. Those jobs left the city and were never replaced with anything. Part of the South Works has been made into a park. I'm sure it's very nice, and employs less than 1% of the people the mills did.