Friday, June 13, 2008

The View from a Mile High

We are staying at the Inverness Hotel and Conference Center (following custom, they get a plug for giving free wifi -- a rarity in business hotels.) Major swanky, although in true western fashion the lobby decor includes a dog-shaped iron boot scraper mounted on a plexiglass base and displayed as an objet.

The view from outside our window looks like this:

Signs of money abound, at least here in the southern suburbs. High-end retail, luxury cars and these tall spindly things that look vaguely familiar. I asked a local who informed me that these are called "construction cranes" -- things used in areas where it makes economic sense to erect new tall buildings.

With all that, the hot topic on LeftyBlogs/Colorado our first day was a study showing that the state experienced the highest growth in child poverty over the past seven years. While the study notes a number of intersecting factors, it's important to remember that Colorado is home of the TABOR amendment which severely restricts government spending (and also the state that blunted its fangs.) Colorado now lags behind most states in a number of spending categories, including substance abuse treatment, child health and education.

Not to say that spending alone is the cause behind the study's findings. But then as TABOR acolytes were pushing the amendment in Ohio, they pointed to Colorado's gaudy growth rates and attributed them to the amendment which is just as reductivist. The rates of growth and in-migration may have more to do with this:

This picture was taken from the parking lot of the IHOP where we had breakfast yesterday. Now Northeast Ohio has plenty of beautiful places if you know where to look. But nowhere in NEO will you find an IHOP parking lot with a view that will take your breath away -- at least not in a good way.

If we are serious about turning the Ohio economy around, we need to avoid gimmicks from states whose cachet is based on factors we cannot replicate.

See also: No income tax in Florida.


Anthony said...

Have you seen my What I See Out My Window blog?

Maybe you can send this along, and whatever other views you may have from home or as you travel.

That would certainly be a different and interesting addition.

Other than that, I joined Stumble Upon and stopped to do a review of this page. Hopefully it will give you a traffic bump.

joebu said...

I think the trend to the interior and south will reverse as fossil fuels and ground water become more scarce. This will force people to relocate to more self-sustaining areas like Ohio, which may not have the awesome mountain views or the best year round whether, but will again offer the most cost effective way of living.

Ohio must take full advantage of its fresh water, arable land, and its proximity to the east coast, midwest, and south. This means using it for our own sustainability and NOT selling the water to other states. If people want the water, they should move back here.

Ben said...

maybe some of the child poverty rate there has to do w. all the immigrants coming to Colorado