Dec 5, 2017

One Bedroom Apartment For Rent In Allentown

Someone commented on Friday, The post is about the decline of Allentown and complaints that the poor (and public housing) have basically ruined it...Sadly, this website's commentary often encapsulates the ignorance.... that has marked the worst of Allentown for decades, long before Mack left. While that reader is very politically correct, he is also very mistaken.

I ran an ad in The Morning Call seven days a week, for 35 years. While the ad stayed the same, the people responding to it changed drastically. Up until about 1995, virtually everybody calling already lived and worked in the valley.

When a prospective tenant called,  my first question was always inquiring as to where they worked?  Starting in the mid 1990's, more and more callers replied that they didn't work, but received disability. For most of these people,  that answer didn't reflect the economy, but was a lifestyle choice made years earlier. The transformation of Allentown was very real, and not a figment of a biased mind. Those looking to really find solutions to current problems in Allentown must not be so quick to assume prejudice by those who speak plainly about the issues.  The total population of Allentown hasn't changed significantly in 90 years,  but the crime rate, especially homicides, has skyrocketed.   It's too easy in our society to dismiss these problems by labeling such discussions as biased.  While such labeling generally curtails any dialogue,  the quality of life keeps declining.

Recently, when I referred to a person's endless praise of the NIZ as cheerleading,  he replied that the term was sexist and mysogynistic.  He was attempting to intimidate me with a socially unacceptable tag.  Likewise, there are those who will desire to tag and dismiss these observations as targeting one ethnicity or another. i reject the notion that negative changes in allentown's quality of life cannot be discussed, because some people might think that they are being associated with one group or another. Everybody here, regardless of where they came from, is a share holder in wanting a better city.

15 comments:

Fire the incompetants said...

Well said MM. In today's political climate, especially promoted by the left, a reduction in the quality of life is chiefly responsible by the government through their reductions in entitlements. The plain facts of life in Allentown is that the great migration of outsiders, from the slums of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, have proliferated the same lifestyle here in Allentown. Walk around in the daytime, [if you dare], and look at the urban decay throughout the city. We have indicted mayor who was reelected, a useless city council who is afraid to dismantle the mayor's machinations in city hall, and the voters, who have the power to change things in government, idly sit back and let it fall in further decay. This city doesn't want change: It accepts daily gunfire, drugs, thugs, rape and homicides as just a nuisance, not a problem!

doug_b said...

From the Morning Call: Community groups are feeling the strain of helping people flee hurricane-damaged Puerto Rico

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-nws-lehigh-valley-puerto-rico-appeal-for-help-20171120-story.html

Why 'flee'? Why not stay, clean-up, fix-up? The people in Texas and other states are working at getting things back to normal. These people don't have jobs. Do they speak English? 230 more school children.

It defies all logical thought.

george schaller said...

Designs!

Charlie Sch said...

Texas has electricity. Much of Puerto Rico still does not. It is really hard to remain employed when there is no electricity.

Bob said...

Doug B:

Leaving one's home is not a decision anyone takes lightly.

Is it your belief that the people leaving Puerto Rico are somehow "less than" the people in Texas? If yes, could you share the evidence on which you have based this conclusion?

Bob said...


Michael,

You deleted a comment I posted on another thread, alleging that it accused you of racial targeting. You felt accused but no accusation was intended. It's unfortunate that an accusation I never made offended you so much.

Likewise I never said that problems in Allentown should not be discussed. I was attempting to explain that it is better to simply discuss problems and solutions while being careful to leave race out of it. I also provided several examples of how unfair it is to blame all members of a group for the bad behavior of a few.

Your experience of hearing from renters on disability, and my experience of knowing minorities who are the hardest working people I can think of, are both true. My point was that discussions of societal ills are more productive when they steer well clear of anything that could sound like a generalization about a very large and diverse group of people.

michael molovinsky said...

bob@1:47, i believe that i didn't publish it, not actually deleted it. comments on new posts go up immediately, while comments to older posts are moderated.

your point is that the changes in demographics mostly involve one ethnicity, so i must be criticizing a particular group of people. my point is that i don't like walking on egg shells. you are free to steer well clear of whatever you choose. i rented to hundreds and hundreds of people and never practiced or was ever accused of discrimination. on this blog i'm sharing some informed observations on allentown, but have no desire to defend those observations.

your comments are most welcome, but i do not encourage questions and replies between those that comment. i have no desire to host a chat room.

doug_b said...

What happened with Puerto Rico is years and years of corruption. The people of Puerto Rico voted these people into leadership positions. Now us taxpayers are supposed to pick up the pieces. I believe MM is correct: A-Town is a poverty magnet.

You can find this by Googling:

According to the Consolidated Federal Funds Report compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, Puerto Rico has received more than $21 billion annually in federal aid from the United States

That's $6,100 for every person on the island.

Then there is the corruption:

FBI agents in Puerto Rico have been receiving calls from “across the island” with residents complaining local officials are “withholding” or “mishandling” critical FEMA supplies — with one island official even accused of stuffing his own car full of goods meant for the suffering populace.

The accusations come in the aftermath of deadly Hurricane Maria, which devastated the U.S. territory last month.

“The complaints we’re hearing is that mayors of local municipalities, or people associated with their offices, are giving their political supporters special treatment, goods they’re not giving to other people who need them,” FBI Special Agent Carlos Osorio told Fox News.


Lastly, this is from USA Today:

Its roads were in disrepair and its electrical grid was antiquated prior to the hurricane. The island has also suffered for years from ineffective local government and rising local territorial debt.

“It’s a lack of drivers for the transport trucks, the 18-wheelers," Col. Michael Valle, who is in charge of the Hurricane Maria relief efforts,told The Huffington Post. "There are ships full of supplies, backed up in the ports, waiting to have a vehicle to unload into. However, only 20% of the truck drivers show up to work. These are private citizens in Puerto Rico, paid by companies that are contracted by the government.”

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bob said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
michael molovinsky said...

Bob @3:57 and 4:06, although viewpoints are normally welcome, you seem intent on only challenging, assigning and even injecting prejudice into both my comments and that of my readers.

Bob said...

Mike,

Are you the same person who criticized Bernie O'Hare for deleting comments only from people who challenged him?


Geoff said...

I'm happy to own up to your quoted comment, which you misrepresent. I'm not politically correct, and I hope I'm not misguided.

I fully agree that a post-industrial city that loses its main employer (employers) and sees the average income of its residents decline has huge challenges. The disruption of the tax base, in particular, causes cities to have to put more and more expenses on individual taxes--or cut the services altogether. Many cities are turning to tax tricks like the NIZ to attempt to "draw back" business activity, with predictable fiscal results.

I guess where we disagree is on the sequencing. A healthy city can absorb and employ new residents and provide for equal education so that the next generation has a fuller range of choices. That is not the Allentown of today.

I would ask--given a decade of significant job losses, what jobs would you expect people to have when renting in a city with little high-paying work? Allentown is full of older row-homes that were built for industrial workers in a city with no industry, and as such is not attractive for higher end renters, other than for those who want to rehab one of Center City's gem houses. Allentown is a smaller Buffalo--a onetime prosperous city where truly beautiful homes can be bought for very little money, but with little upside.

When cities switch from an industrial to a service/knowledge economy--this is a predictable result. A region ends up with a smaller number of much high(er) paying jobs and a much higher number of low-paying jobs, with very little in between. What little is left "in between" is under constant threat by global competition and automation. (How many warehouse people are going to be making the equivalent of $15 when Amazon figures out drone delivery? After these companies have taken big tax breaks because they "create jobs"?)

Not here to say that crime isn't a problem--but I heartily disagree that if somehow people (of color, as commenters continue to point out) were less "dependent" on public assistance that Allentown would be better off. It would be just as badly off--with little business activity, low tax base, and the same challenges it faces today. Pennsylvania did not adjust to this change in the economy well, thanks to failures in business and political "leadership" at all levels, and many of its cities are still paying the price today and in the future.

michael molovinsky said...

geoff@12:55, no one pointed out people of color. you don't want to be misrepresented, so please do not misrepresent this blog. Furthermore, please do not refer to comments on this blog in the future. I own the words in my posts, and in my comments. I do not own the words of those who comment, including yours. Although I want to host your opinion on any post, and that of others, I do not want readers to debate their comments with each other. I do not measure the success of this blog by the number of comments, nor do i want to host a chat room. you have been characterizing this blog from the comments of others; critique me if you choose, but not my other readers.

JoshLCowen said...

It seems many put too much blame on the loss of Mack Trucks for Allentown's decline. By the time Mack left for southern climes and wages a vast majority of their workers had already fled to the suburbs and small towns like Macungie, Alburtis, Hellertown, etc. It wasn't Mack that ruined Allentown, it was the loss of the 'greatest generation' who left behind their in-town homes and whose kids didn't want to live their anymore.