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False Hope

Posted Dec 17 2009 5:53pm

I saw this article about Buffalo in USA Today this week.  It says that city leaders are trying to leverage the city's historic architecture to draw in visitors.  Buffalo does have some interesting buildings, including a Frank Lloyd Wright house.

However, the article points out the city's real problems - 15,000 empty houses and 15,000 vacant lots.  A population that is half the size it was 50 years ago.  So how is refurbishing some old buildings going to change all that?

The answer: it isn't.  Sometimes I think the people running cities are either completely incompetent or they just know nothing about economics.  People get feel-good ideas and think it will solve their economic problems.  If you really want to grow a city, you need experts in economic development - not politicians.

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