Apr 12, 2012

Allentown's Grim Future

In the 1991 movie, Nothing But Trouble, Chevy Chase and friends inadvertently drive into a fictional Pennsylvania, where they are terrorized by a corrupt legal system. A local judge is portrayed by Dan Aykroyd, who rules over a well and mine infested junk yard. The corruption runs right up the chain of command to the state government. Here we are, twenty years later in real Pennsylvania, victimized by fracking and private menu laws. I expect our local government to back down on borrowing the EIT, so that the NIZ can proceed to burp our taxes for private gain, for the next 30 years. Allentown was apparently written off, now sold off, and in the process of being cannibalized.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You actually saw Nothing But Trouble? Bravo

Anonymous said...

Dear God, I only made it 1/3 the way through that movie and walked out of the theater. You have more than I do Mr Molovinsky. Oh, and Allentown is doomed. Rather than harp on that, can you do a story how the Great Depression's stimulus brought us things like WPA, TVA, etc that brought tangible results but Obama's stimulus gave us a GM that won't die and lots of debt with absolutely nothing to show for it. Heck, after 11 years we don't even have 1WTC rebuilt.

michael molovinsky said...

one of the young urbanists submitted the following comment, for some unknown reason it did not appear.

Suburban developers are crying like little babies now that they see that if the government doesn't subsidize their projects it is all gonna fall apart on them. Good riddance. Hopefully a denser downtown means we can also stop destroying farmland and stop putting up miserable track housing where fields of corn should be growing.

the young urbanist probably doesn't know that we pay farmers with the "set aside program" not to grow corn and other crops, because there's too much acreage. without the incentive not to grow, there would be a glut and depressed crop prices.

michael molovinsky said...

young hegelian, again your comments did not appear, so i paste them up

Well, if you don't like fields of corn, maybe then apple orchards, or pasture land, or just green space. It was a rhetorical flourish not a policy argument. I do, however, enjoy the oblique reference to the young Hegelians, of which i am proud to count myself a member.

As you probably know, more than 85% of respondents to the regional planning commission's survey lists greenfield destruction as the number one planning priority in the region. It seems, if nothing else, nearly everyone can agree that they want less green space destroyed in the valley.

I'm against the open space programs for two reasons. first and foremost, fly into allentown, we are surrounded by thousands of acres of open space. secondly, most land owners receiving "open space" compensation are paid considerably more than market price, and would not have sold and subdivided their land in the first place. it's welfare for the landed gentry.

John.Jay said...

I guess you should be a supporter of the NIZ then because it helps to prevent Greenfields from being developed without directly paying the landed gentry.