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Do you think Lawrence’s economy relies too heavily on its retail market?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on May 1, 2007

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Photo of Carey Berger

“No, I don’t. I think there are a number of small- to medium-size businesses that are sort of behind the scenes. I think it’s a pretty good mix.”

Photo of Racheal Major

“I’ve only lived here a year, but I think people are very protective of the downtown retail market. But I think a lot of smaller communities value that because they want to keep people’s money here and not lose it to bigger cities.”

Photo of Travis Hare

“I don’t think it does. I think those things are important to any economy, especially in Lawrence where we value local business so much.”

Photo of Jennifer Marrs

“Yes. I think they’re too focused on retail downtown.”

Comments

jonas 8 years, 4 months ago

Or. . . . go to Kansas City or Topeka! Why would those jobs come here when there are two major metropolitan centers on either side of us?

paladin 8 years, 4 months ago

Uh...Yeah. Here an purtinear ever where else, too. An all a that depends on credit cards. Ta buy all a the crap from China. This here country don't make nothin nomore. No economy that don't make nothin's got much of a solid foundation or no future. We're in a real pickle. Take a farm wife out here in the county whos husband grows corn. When she goes ta make a pan a cornbread for her man's dinner she goes ta the pantry an gets down the box a cornmeal and fixes ta start a makin some cornbread an that there cornmeal comes from China from corn that was growed in that very farmer's field? An the bowl she's a mixin it up in an the pan she's a bakin it in an well could be the oven, too. Unfrickinbelievable. An I here tell that China holds the paper on all a the country's credit cards. We done run up a great big tab by now. China'll own the US one day ifin it don't already. All for people ta be able ta buy cheap China crap at the Wal-mart sos they think they're better off than they really are and sos the economy looks better than it is. We're in a serious pickle folks.

paladin 8 years, 4 months ago

Its Mayday, comrades. Glorybe. That fella Karl Marx said that our way will eat itself up from the insides out. Look around an watch er a happinin. We all on a slipperyslide down toward destruction. Ifin ya caint stand up fer what's right over money, yer sunk.

Ceallach 8 years, 4 months ago

I agree with Jennifer, too focused on downtown retail. Truthfully, I've never seen the logic in supporting downtown businesses . . . at all costs. Costs being the deal breaker. I know that just voicing opposition to downtown is like violating a holy shrine, but, the majority of downtown shops are over priced. This is not a new problem in Lawrence. The love affair with "downtown" has been going on for years, yet it remains way too one sided for me. If downtown merchants love the locals so much shouldn't they at least attempt to compete with larger stores.

btw, that doesn't include the Sidewalk Bazaar "bargains," when merchants haul in crap by the truckload to throw out on tables thereby expressing their appreciation of Lawrence. I know this because a member of my family worked for Lawrence Freight Lines for many years.

okjhok 8 years, 4 months ago

I don't think most of the responders understood the question. It doesn't ask where the retail is, or if it is reasonably priced. The question is if Lawrence relies too heavily on this retail. Should the community focus more elsewhere?

ms_canada 8 years, 4 months ago

4th grade - a recall election, according to wikipedia, seems to be for an individual member of parliament, a vote of no confidence is for the entire govenment. Ok, here is a very brief outline of our parliament. We have 382 electoral districts in the country (constituencies) and each has one representative. At this time the 382 represent 4 different political parties. Conservative, Liberal, New Democratic and Bloc Quebecois. The party with the largest number of Members of Parliament elected forms the government. The party with the second largest number of M.P.s as we call them, forms Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. When the number of M.P.s forming the government is less than the total of the other parties, it is called an minority government. When that is the situation, if the govenment introduces an unpopular bill in Parliament, the other parties may defeat that bill, called a no confidence vote, and the government may be forced to resign and call another election. That may sound ludicrous to some, but it works here except that sometimes we spend a lot of money on elections. It does not happen very often. I think probably because the government senses the will of the people and does not bring in the unpopular bill. That is very brief just to explain my other comment above

sgtwolverine 8 years, 4 months ago

4th: yes, it is possible, but it is not what one could consider a safe assumption. When a person claims the title Canadian, the safest assumption would be that the person lives in Canada -- if an assumption must be made.

And I'm not sure anyone else needs a justification to frequent an American board and comment on the American system of government, just as we really don't need justification to frequent foreign boards and comment on foreign systems of government.

I reacted to your somewhat unpleasant response because I've shared this forum with ms_c for a while now, and I haven't known her to be unpleasant and inflammatory. So your slightly caustic answer was not something I liked to see. But I do not wish to add to that sort of tone, and I hope I have not done so. I would just like to see more cautious, civil responses to make sure the original statement wasn't misunderstood.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 4 months ago

Economy? What economy? Up here in Michigan, we don't have one these days.

Ceallach 8 years, 4 months ago

okjhok: we seldom let the question of the day dictate where the thread goes :)

sunflower_sue 8 years, 4 months ago

The economy has to rely on something, and since people always seem to need more crap, retail doesn't seem to be hurting. We can't get better businesses when Bangalore is more attractive to he/shes like ExPat.

sunflower_sue 8 years, 4 months ago

Tell us what it is and we'll let you know if we "observed" it.

sunflower_sue 8 years, 4 months ago

Hmmm...just looked it up and it seems that Hitler committed suicide on Walpurgisnacht.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 4 months ago

Today is the birthday of Calmity Jane and Glenn Ford. It's a good day to celebrate.

Ceallach 8 years, 4 months ago

Today is my oldest granddaughter's birthday, therefore I celebrate. Although, any day that Hitler would pick to commit suicide is certainly worth celebrating.

Linda Aikins 8 years, 4 months ago

Hey - we can't see the total number of responses anymore!

Calamity Jane! I think I was her in a previous life. Only her real name was Calamity Gootsie. FYI. But Happy Birthday to her/me anyway!

Linda Aikins 8 years, 4 months ago

Thanks TOB!

R_I, yep. I used to do maypoles in my cowgirl outfit and my six-shooters. Good times.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 4 months ago

"...Calamity Gootsie..." I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read that.

kneejerkreaction 8 years, 4 months ago

Who comes up with these questions for the LJW? What city DOESN'T rely on it's retail economy? If you're asking, "does Lawrence need to attract more businesses", the answer is a resounding 'yes'. But what city would answer either question, 'no'?!

ms_canada 8 years, 4 months ago

I remember some great May Day celebrations when I was a kid. Maypole and all. rides on the fair grounds, etc. I also remember a May Day in Madrid, Spain when there were demonstrations by the workers (they do that in Europe) and the police were firing rubber bullets and hubby and I got caught on the street with no store to duck into. All closed for the day. Luckily the bullets missed us and we made it back to the hotel and did not poke our noses out until the next morning. And not following the question of the day, I was just reading where Bush has again vetoed the bill. I somehow had always believed that the US was a democracy and am very shocked to learn that it is a dictatorship. Is that not what governance is called when one man calls the shots?

Flap Doodle 8 years, 4 months ago

The veto has always been part of the US government. The procedure is outlined in the Constitution. "...Per U.S. Const., Article I, Section 7 all legislation passed by both houses of Congress must be presented to the President. This presentation is in the President's capacity as head of state. If the President approves of the legislation, he signs it. If he does not approve, he must return the bill, unsigned, within ten days (excluding Sundays) to the house of Congress in which it originated. The President is constitutionally required to state his objections to the legislation in writing, and the Congress is constitutionally required to consider them, and to reconsider the legislation. If the Congress overrides the veto by a two-thirds majority in each house, it becomes law without the President's signature. Otherwise, the bill fails to become law unless it is presented to the President again and he chooses to sign it. A bill can also become law without the President's signature if, after it is presented to him, he simply fails to sign it within the ten days noted. But if there are fewer than ten days left in the session before Congress adjourns, and if Congress does so adjourn before the ten days have expired in which the President might sign the bill, then the bill fails to become law. This procedure, when used as a formal device, is called a pocket veto." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veto Bush has used it before, Clinton used it. A President's veto can be overridden by a two-thirds majority of both houses of Congress.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 4 months ago

Ah, 4th_grade, ms_canada is Canadian. The last time a British monarch used a veto was about 300 years ago. On the other hand, many American Presidents have use the veto. The current President has only vetoed 2 bills in the 6 + years he has been in office. Clinton used the veto more than 30 times. The last President to never use his veto power was Garfield.

sunflower_sue 8 years, 4 months ago

Ms_C, This comes highly recommended: http://www.school-house-rock.com/Bill.html

One of my personal favorites from my youth. School House Rock ROCKS!!!

ms_canada 8 years, 4 months ago

Thank you spnoc and 4th grade for clearing up my misunderstanding of your veto system. we did not study your constitution in our Canadian 4th grade or any other grade that I remember. but I am not too old to learn. Sarcasm is not appreciated though. And to sue also my thanks go out to you. Great!!!!

sgtwolverine 8 years, 4 months ago

4th, snap answered your question: ms_canada is Canadian. As such, she lives in Canada and is most familiar with the Canadian political system.

Also. while your conclusion may not have been sarcastic, it was something less than pleasant and helpful. That is to no one's benefit -- particularly when someone a pleasant answer two and a half hours earlier.

ms_canada 8 years, 4 months ago

Hi 4th grade - you are fairly new to this board so you may not know that, yes, as sgt wolverine says, I am a citizen of Canada, have been all my life and have lived in Canada all my life. I am quite familiar with the Canadian system of governance. Sorry that I called your remark sarcasm. My Bad. Now I am going to have to research the difference between a democracy and a republic. I do know a lot about your government system and how very different it is from ours. You said that your pres. has limited power. Limited by congress, the Supreme Court and elections. Now there is one difference that I see right away. In my country, when the government makes a very unpopular move, a vote of confidence may be taken in the parliament and if the vote fails that govenment may be forced to resign and an election is called. We don't have to wait 4 years or 3 years or less. This happened recently and the Liberal government resigned after only 18 months in power. We now have a Conservative government in power. If you would like to know more about our system, the info is out there on the net. If you don't want to read a whole lot of stuff I can give you a brief outline of the system. just ask me.

ms_canada 8 years, 4 months ago

4th grade - of course the remark about the US being a dictatorship was ridiculous, it was meant to be. Wy do I post on an LJW comment forum? It is a long story that began more than two years ago. I have visited your delightful city of Lawrence and have met some of your delightful citizens and in fact one of your delightful citizens has visited me in my frozen north city of Edmonton, Alberta. I am sorry that you take offense at my comments. This may surprise you, but not all the world thinks your government or your president can do no wrong. Have you ever travelled to Europe? But now I must say that after reading and listening to the site that Sue (one whom I have met) indicated, I think I understand a little better why the veto is there. No law can be passed without due consideration. Am I making a correct assumption? It is late, (one hour later in Lawrence), and I still have to research democracy and republic. so nitey nite.

jonas 8 years, 4 months ago

I guess I wake up too early to get the first word in on the new format.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 4 months ago

4th: have you been reading here very long?

There is no relationship between the local economy and the veto -- but that's something I enjoy about this forum. The conversation wanders. Sometimes a lot. A topic doesn't need to be relevant to LJW's question of the day to be up for discussion here. Yes, I'm sure there are forums specifically for discussing Bush's veto, but I don't come here for the subject matter; I come here because I enjoy the people who frequent this forum, and I suspect I'm not the only one with that opinion. This is a tangent-friendly forum.

And as far as the dictatorship comment goes, I didn't find it inflammatory because, again, I've had the time to become familiar with ms_c's posting, and I have not known her to be inflammatory like that. I read her comment in the context of my knowledge of her, and in that context, it wasn't even close to inflammatory. Had she been in the habit of making statements to inflame people, then I might have seen it differently. But she hasn't ever been in that habit, so I had no reason to see it that way. And I reacted to your initial response because it was an unnecessarily unpleasant response to a person I have always known to be pleasant.

del888 8 years, 4 months ago

Lawrence needs more industry and high-paying tech jobs. It seems that the only place a well-educated person can get a job is in KC. That's why there are so many out-of-town shoppers. You shop where you work.

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