Monday, May 31, 2010

Drew Carey Entertains City Council

Next Week Carrot Top Unveils a Device that Will Revolutionize Cleveland...
I like Drew Carey, I really do, but to give him a couple of hours before City Council is an insult. It makes us look like we live in a Cow Town. I have a long history with stand up comedy, and Drew Carey was one of the best. I mean, his routine about Cleveland's unofficial motto being "At least it's not Snowing" is hilarious. He also has did a great routine about driving a Yugo among many others. He is no doubt a great comedian, but he is a lousy community leader. In a time in which 29 miners died in West Virginia, 11 oil workers died in the Gulf, and banks destroyed neighborhoods in Cleveland and around the country, how does a person who believes in less government have any credibility?

I watched all the Nick Gillespie/Reason Magazine videos, which contained only a dash of Drew Carey, and felt cheated. Advertising these as Drew Carey videos is like calling Ken Burn's Civil War series the Studs Terkel videos. He was a minor part of the presentation, and these videos had very little value in forwarding civic discussion. I just don't understand how anyone watched them and said, "We need to get this guy to testify before City Council."

They kept bringing up the state of Cleveland sports, and somehow making the connection with the decline of Cleveland. The Browns were perennial contenders in the 1980s, the Indians in the late 1990s, and now the Cavs are regular participants in the playoffs. If this was a valid point all of our teams would be cellar dwellers since the river caught fire. Complaining about high taxes, privatizing schools, and restrictive land use policies are not a solution for anything. They are conservative talking points that have not worked in practice. Our own state has flirted with charter schools and that has resulted in high failure rates among these schools, and for profits making money off of providing education to the next generation. We have had nearly two decades of cutting taxes, and where has that gotten us--two unpaid wars, trillions in debt, and many angry people who are not willing to pay their fair share for living in a democracy. The first combination strip club/pawn shop/payday lender that goes into Gates Mills, Bratenahl, or Avon Lake would be the end of less restrictive land use policies.

I really wanted to hear some good ideas for how to turn around population decline, job losses, and a collapse in the housing market, but was disappointed. There were two good points made during the videos: We wasted millions on playgrounds for the rich with the two stadiums and the arena, and that we need to figure out a way to reduce red tape within government. That being said it is a giant leap to say end the MedMart deal, sell the West Side Market and allow a Walmart to go up where ever they want. We are all-in on the MedMart deal. No matter what we think, we have invested far too much public money to stop this train now. A year after we sell the West Side Market, it will close. It will go the way of every other farmer's market and a Walmart will open in its place. I loved how Gillespie mentioned transparency when talking about how a corporation could run the West Side Market better. I have never thought of WalMart, BP, Exxon, Halliburton, Blackwater, or AIG as especially transparent in their business dealings. This was the most laughable part of the videos. Government can at least be forced to be transparent, but corporations guard their privacy above all else.

I think Michael Symon could offer more help to Cleveland as a local business man than Drew Carey. Libertarian views are great for the classroom discussion at CWRU, but they are impractical and silly in practice. The private sector cannot solve homelessness, poverty, massive job losses, and population declines that currently face the City of Cleveland.

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1 comment:

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