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Opinion

Opinion

Letter: ‘Everness’

July 17, 2013

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To the editor:

This newspaper recently reported that the Lawrence area has fewer jobs than in the year 2000.

Mount Oread and KU have long given Lawrence a steady anchor and sense of “everness” or an enduring notion of stability and permanence.

In his book “Deep Economy,” author Bill McKibben urges us to localize our food, transportation and energy markets around our local population centers. Lawrence and Douglas County are very well located to address an increasing demand for locally grown organic foods.

Lawrence is perfect for a multitude of cottage industries, art and open competition in a now globalized economy, a desirable place with good quality of life and available educational systems.

Why no jobs?

Have we not been following the advice of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and City Hall since 1980? The only visible growth is sprawl, so this must not be working, correct?

Why do we not have an across-the-board living wage requirement in Lawrence? Yet tax increment funding has been handed out to hotel employers with large numbers of temp workers? Many of these hotel staff have no medical benefits and must rely on Health Care Access while their employer received subsidies, Why?

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

City hall, elected officials and local profiteers are draining OUR pocketbooks and raising OUR taxes. How do we subsidize local profiteers? --- pick up the cost of more criminal activity as Lawrence grows. / --- building new and wider roads such as the SLT. / --- building schools on the fringe. / --- extending sewer and water lines to not necessary development. / --- extending emergency services to the fringe. / --- direct pay-outs to developers. / --- For example in Lawrence downtown two more 9th and New Hampshire structures looking at more and quite healthy multi-million tax $$$$ “donations if you will”. . http://www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/report00/intro.asp

--- "Free Lunch: How Local Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Taxpayer Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)." This reveals how local government subsidies and new regulations have quietly funneled money from the local poor and the local middle class to the rich politically connected. Bill Moyers http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01182008/transcript.html

--- David Cay Johnson – What exactly is TIF? http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

jhawkinsf 1 year, 5 months ago

If memory serves, the letter writer's first sentence is incorrect. The article he references said there were fewer private sector jobs, not fewer total jobs. There is a huge difference.

tomatogrower 1 year, 5 months ago

Why don't you address the issues he raises? Developers have bought out many buildings downtown. I know a person who is holding out selling to them, and they offer some huge amounts of money. They have artificially raised the value of property by over paying for these properties. That means they charge huge amounts for rent. So only chains and big business can afford the rent, instead of real, small, and locally owned businesses. Much of this money goes to the corporations, not to local owners. Many restaurants are making it downtown, but that means that downtown becomes more of an entertainment district rather than a retail district. Even the sidewalk sale isn't as interesting as it used to be, corporations aren't going to mark things down as much. Yes, the people of Lawrence deserve this, because they vote in the Chamber's candidates or worse, they don't vote at all, but just because he left out 1 word in his first sentence, doesn't negate the rest of the letter.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 5 months ago

Left out one word, as in tomato non grower?

There are many in this forum, yourself included, who complain when proposed private sector jobs don't pay enough, don't include health care, don't provide benefits, etc., and then complain when private sector jobs aren't created. Please, Mr./Ms. tomato non grower, create a private sector job that includes health care and benefits. If, by chance you do create one, then create another. If by some long stretch of the imagination you've already created many, then create many more. Create until every person in the city has one of these fine jobs.

Or you can complain and then complain some more. Either way.

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