For The Miseducated Liberal In Your Life

We’re in the opening stages of a mayoral race in Saint Paul.

Now, the various stakeholders and activists are doing what they do – thinking big talks, dreaming big dreams via the political system.  As to what I think this city  actually needs from a new mayor?  It’s irrelevant.   We can want whatever we want – but Saint Paul is a one-party town, and what we will get is someone who’s kissed enough DFL-special-interest ass to rise to the top of the oligarchy,   Someone who will give a vigorous speech or two declaiming how his or her repackaging of 1960s liberal orthodoxy is fresh and new and will bring all the changes that the previous mayor’s repackaging of orthodoxy didn’t.  

Leading to 4-12 years of big government-driven stagnation

Part of the problem is that Saint Paul DFLers think that prosperity is something that government, at any level, can bring via careful planning.   It’s a common conceit on the left.

To speak to that, I’d like to make the essay “I, Pencil” mandatory reading for everyone in this country.  The 1958 essay by Leonard Reed, talks about the impossible complexity of building that humblest of tools of the modern world, the #2 Pencil, and how there is not a single person on the entire planet that can create and assemble a pencil, from scratch, with all of its precursors (cedar, graphite, clay, wax, zinc, tin, rubber and petroleum paint, plus the materials and labor that go into producing each of them).  And this complexity is multiplied, and exponentialized, with things that are more complicated – bicycles, cell phones, trains, cars, the Internet.  

And if  you were waiting for the movie?  Here it is:

The idea that a bunch of “political scientists” can legislate, plan or dictate this failing city to prosperity, even if they focus on that (rather than “inclusion” and other social justice fripperies) is…

…well, the status quo in Saint Paul.

11 thoughts on “For The Miseducated Liberal In Your Life

  1. 30 years ago, I worked a bureaucrat for the State government days and went to law school nights, and took lunch downtown. Town Square was bustling with shops and restaurants and an indoor city park featuring an antique carousel and indoor waterfalls. The anchor tenant was Dayton’s where I couldn’t afford to shop but enjoyed looking at the stuff that someday I hoped to be able to buy.

    Nowadays, the carousel is gone, the waterfall is shut off, the park and Dayton’s are closed. The anchor tenant is Driver and Vehicle Services.

    Nobody lives downtown. Nobody shops downtown. Except for two oasis of heavily subsidized entertainment on opposite ends of the area, it’s all government and they roll up the sidewalks at sundown. Or would, if St. Paul Public Works did anything besides bitch about management.

    When we were in the depths of the foreclosure crisis, my solution to the problem in Frogtown was to wait for a day with a prevailing Westerly wind and have the Vulcans drop a match at Lexington Avenue, let it burn all the way to the freeway so we could start over from scratch.

    I’m afraid even that won’t save downtown St. Paul. I don’t know what will.

  2. why has Minneapolis been able to thrive, relatively speaking (I’m writing this from my work office in the north loop where the only kinds of business done here 20 years ago was guns, drugs and prostitution) and St. Paul has taken a complete nosedive. It can’t be just a money or demographic issue. Or can it?

  3. POD 666…… theory for part of it? People like the big city. Its exciting. Look how many people from North and South Dakota have moved here. For 120 years, Minneapolis has been the main big city in the upper midwest. So those people have gravitated more to downtown Minneapolis than St Paul.

  4. To tie in a couple of things above….I see two drag queens are running for Minneapolis city council. Pioneers! A big vibrant city can be a magnet for many even if said city is run by lunatics. The growth isn’t because of city leadership, but in spite of who runs the town.

    By the way…City-Journal has a good article on St Paul public schools. Read it and thank God you aren’t involved in that violent mess.

  5. JD, before I moved here, 1st Bank (now USBank) would put me up in the hotel at Town Square. It was a nice place, but come evening, about the only place to eat was at the hotel cafe or the Chinese place across the street. It was nice to be able to take the escalator down and look at the stores too.

  6. I, PENCIL? I would propose a more appropriate title for your movie. Maybe, “I, Pigs Eye.” It would be the story of the fifth-generation progeny of the famous (infamous) French explorer – from the first (drunken) draft of street design to the academic architecture of school curricula; each generation corrupting one more aspect of public life. It will be a composite of The Peter Principle, Murphy’s Law and Catch-22 rolled into one big, delicious smorgasbord of malfeasance.

    I was raised in it – but escaped early enough to mitigate the damage. I want to volunteer to write the prologue.

  7. OT/ The iPencil is hilarious. Another year or two and Apple will have reinvented the Newton. ;^)

  8. It strikes me that with the difficulty getting parking downtown, perhaps the best alternative for the city would be to let some of the less meaningful buildings go, starting with the old Macy’s. But as any farmer will tell you, sometimes the most difficult thing to do in life is to let go of “old capital.”

  9. Who ever it is, they won’t be able to hold Coleman’s yoga pants when it comes time to rattle the ol’ LGA tin cup at the Capital every year.

    Coleman has a real knack for spending every available buck, and then some, and never lose that quivering lip and “Gramma will die in the street!!” hysteria when it comes time to get MORE.

    I got the fuck out of St. Paul when Coleman was elected. After watching the reprobate Democrats anally rape Randy Kelly I could see I, as a taxpayer, was next…I don’t roll that way.

    I haven’t looked for years, but I’m sure since I left the city’s share of the tax bill has grown at least 150%, not including the school’s cut. Of course no where is safe in the state, so I bailed out completely as soon as the opportunity arrived….pisses me off that I didn’t do it 10 years earlier; so much wasted time.

    So who cares who replaces him at city hall? The issue you all need to be soiling your pants over is what will happen if Tin Cup Coleman takes over from Governor Jim Beam.

    It’s a defining moment in Minnesota history, y’all. If you elect another moonbat Governor while Trump is busy kicking moonbat asses like a boss; while only 4 states in the country have reprobate Democrats running the show; while the SCOTUS and federal appeals bench is being fitted out with staunch conservative judges and justices, the state of Minnesota is finished.

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