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View Diary: Realizing Philadelphia's Potential (and the rest of the country too) (38 comments)

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  •  There are a few dynamics going on with Philly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle
    1. It will always be in the shadow of NYC. Owing to the fact Philly lies 90 miles to the south of New York, Philly will never overcome the financial advantage New York has. Even though we have as livable a city in terms of parks, recreation, schools, restaurants and museums, NYC will always be the bastion of the capitalist world. Wall St. still rules.
    1. W.C. Fields' ghost still reigns supreme in the minds of outsiders.
    1. Violence is a way of life in our neighborhoods. This scares any potential employer from setting up shop here.
    1. City wage and business privilege tax. No more needs to be written about how that turns people off.
    1. No one cares - In a recession or depression, it's suvival for every city. No one is going to move to a city that borders on bancruptcy every 8 years.
    1. Too many people listen to Yahoo. Since Philly is now the ugly capitol of the world, who wants to move here and be considered ugly.
    1. We are a bit unfriendly. That is not negative hype. It is the truth. We throw ice balls at Santa, boo our own teams, will run anyone who wears an opposing uniform to a game out on their asses. If you get lost driving through some streets in South Philly and there are cars double parked on a one-way street, good luck not only finding the owner of the car blocking your way, but you may have to fight him to the death for him to move his car once you find him.
    1. Camden is just over the Ben Franklin Bridge

    I love my city. I was born and raised here. But the fact remains Philly is what it is. We were lucky to get Comcast to stay here but too many businesses have pulled out of here. I guess Philly will never be what this metropolis was 30 or 40 years ago when we were the 3rd most populous city next to Chicago and NYC. Now we're lucky if we're 5th or 6th. You can't lose that many people and businesses and expect to be a boon town.

    You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war..... Albert Einstein,

    by tazz on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 10:00:13 AM PST

    •  so what do you think of the propsal (0+ / 0-)

      of the diarist...some of the things may be permanent characteristics of Philly but others like tax policy dont have to be

      •  We have to get rid of the city wage tax (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nightsweat

        no one wants to work here because of it. None of my children live or work here because of it. That is reason number one not to live or work in Philly. On the one hand, there would be no fire, police or any other services here if there was no city wage tax. However, it's like what comes first, the chicken or the egg. If you want to attract people and businesses here, you have to get rid of what keeps them away. Second, you have to have some balls and tell the neighborhood people to fuck off. They have stopped development of the waterfront, stopped the casinos dead in their tracks, and there isn't a home within a mile of where the Foxwoods was going to be, yet they got that crushed because it would impact their ghost of a neighborhood. Finally, you have revitalize the neighborhoods, not just center city.

        You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war..... Albert Einstein,

        by tazz on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 10:21:24 AM PST

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        •  Yes, but the pols aren't pressured... (0+ / 0-)

          to get behind cities like they were in the 60's and 70's.  And now that the suburbs are turning into ghettos, nobody gives a crap about the inner cities.

          "...America can change. Our union can be perfected." President-Elect Barack Obama

          by Jack Dublin on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 10:32:29 AM PST

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          •  p.s. How often did any of the candidates spend... (0+ / 0-)

            in the big cities?  Not much.  

            "...America can change. Our union can be perfected." President-Elect Barack Obama

            by Jack Dublin on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 10:33:01 AM PST

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            •  almost none (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jack Dublin

              but cities are hurting and will end up having to take the lead.

              crises make people eager for and more open to new perspectives.  The world's in crisis mode.

              I am finding some traction in NYC about this style of proposal because the old roads are looking like dead ends to many pols.

              •  One thing that could help is energy problems... (0+ / 0-)

                that could drive people back into the cities.  When gas gets up to $5.00 and stays, a nice rowhouse down the street from the office won't sound so bad.  :)

                "...America can change. Our union can be perfected." President-Elect Barack Obama

                by Jack Dublin on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 10:38:50 AM PST

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    •  I dunno (0+ / 0-)

      Sure sounds a lot like Chicago, c. 1970.

      It can come back.  It should come back.  It might mean doing what Chicago did, though, and concentrate on building up the center city for a few years, even at the expense of the neighborhoods.

      It's ugly, but it produced results.

      We elected the smart guy? How the hell did that happen?

      by nightsweat on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 10:27:11 AM PST

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    •  Comcastic (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stillman, bread and roses

      We got Comcast to stay by giving away the store.  We got BlackRock to locate here by giving away the store.  We got Unisys to locate by giving away the store.  The store shelves are empty!

      If we give the people something, they will come. Cut wage taxes, cut business taxes, transform the property tax from primarily a tax on buildings to a tax on land, the value of which was created by all of us and government investment.
      History shows that.

      I was told 30 years ago that Alphabet City in Manhattan was dead, gone, rotted, a stripped corpse. Now, I can't afford a hummus there anymore.

      Decline is never pre-ordained, I believe.  New York's preeminent position is a surprise to those who remember the bad, bad 1970s.  Philly can still surprise too.  Our location should be an awesome advantage for people and business if we can get our act together taxwise.  

      I agree with your points of caution, but believe in a more positive outcome with enlightened ideas being forced on the powers that be by the community.

      Cheap self-promotion: http://ourcommonwealth.org/...

      Find the Power in the Land

      by Joshua911 on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 10:52:25 AM PST

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      •  Cool website. My family from Port Richmond... (0+ / 0-)

        and other north Philly neighborhoods (Kensington, etc.).  I was born out in west Philly.  Needless to say (and sadly), most of the family (uncles, etc.) have all moved either to Jersey or suburbs.  

        "...America can change. Our union can be perfected." President-Elect Barack Obama

        by Jack Dublin on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 10:58:53 AM PST

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        •  Kensington et. al. (0+ / 0-)

          I was at Kensington High School tonight to protest the library and other service cuts. Lots of angry poor people, being talked down to by a mayor without a prayer of hope...

          Find the Power in the Land

          by Joshua911 on Mon Dec 01, 2008 at 07:26:11 PM PST

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