A Blade of Grass Grows in Saint Paul (and Minneapolis) – Part I

The inner cities have their issues. If you’re in Minnesota and reading this, you know about them; you’ve either fled them, are paying for them via your taxes, or are – like me – living among them.

Minneapolis and Saint Paul are taxed half to death; Minneapolis’ crime rate has fallen from brutally-high to merely ridiculously-high, with a murder rate higher than New York, Boston, LA, San Francisco.  Higher, indeed, – ironically, given how Minneapolis’ political, academic and media elites sniff at them – than Mobile, Omaha (twice as high!), Tampa, Jacksonville, higher in fact than all of the major cities in Texas but one (and only slightly off Houston’s pace).  Only marginally lower than Chicago. (Saint Paul’s is quite low by major-city standards – 60% lower than Minneapolis – a testament to Saint Paul’s excellent police department, strong neighborhoods, and at least a couple of relatively sane administrations).

The cities are addicts; their drug is money. Nearly four decades ago, the “Minnesota Miracle” enacted the idea of “Local Government Aid”, which as the DFL’s stranglehold on the inner cities accelerated turned into an eternal subsidy of DFL inner-city policy by the parts of the state that actually pay their way. Governor Pawlenty’s cuts in LGA acted the same way as cutting off the heroin acts on a jonesing junkie; the addict went crazy. The body couldn’t get along without the drug; the drug had incorporated itself into the body’s chemistry. City governments had been providing “services” far beyond what their eroding tax based could provide, even as their left-leftward-moving policies drove more and more of the tax base out of the cities themselves. When LGA cuts forced cities to pass the “service” costs directly to their own tax bases, and the cities were forced to pay their own bills – well, you’ve read the headlines and the op-ed pages, right?

And yet, election after election, the DFL stranglehold over the inner city not only deepens, but gets more and more radical; Greens now have a solid foothold in Minneapolis; Saint Paul’s “Gang of Four” ultra-liberal councilpeople is now a Gang of Five. Policies that were madness thirty years ago are commonplaces today.

How did it get this way?

90% of politics is local. And the DFL understood this from the very beginning, and over the past fifty years has extended its reach into every corner of life in the Cities.

Is there hope?

More tomorrow.

6 thoughts on “A Blade of Grass Grows in Saint Paul (and Minneapolis) – Part I

  1. Is there hope? Not anytime soon.

    Anytime a program fails to produce the results promised a liberal just thinks it only requires more money. That money needs to come from someone else of course. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the population in MPLS buys into each and every program that Rybak and Co. propose.

    I advise getting out and oppossing any aid to the lunatics running MPLS/STP

  2. Time was when liberals were all about “good government.” More government, yes, but fixing potholes, keeping crime low, etc. Governing was primary. Then I don’t know what it was, the Vietnam War, the 60s, race riots, Nixon, etc. and they snapped. They thought they could create little workers’ paradises and direct US foreign policy. That model of running a city is way past it’s expiration date. They’ve tried to replace it with the “Amenities” theory but everybody knows that if you don’t have the basics, like low crime and decent schools, people don’t care about the amenities, they still won’t come and if they are already there, they’ll leave.

    What we need is what they have in third world countries after a dictator. We need a coup (not literally of course, an electoral one) and then a coalition of folks (of all parties and none) with general agreement on a minimum program of government to save the city and reverse the bad trends. In Minneapolis you have a bad combination of fractious one-party rule with a weak mayor system. If the IRV system survives the legal challenge, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

  3. I think a huge problem is that we have a bad combination of the victim mentality, the “what’s in it for me”. It ‘s a race to see who can spend the most money on the various victim classes, while taxing and regulating to death the productive segments.

    In todays St Paul paper, there is an article on Native Americans getting denied home loans at a high rate. A couple of days ago they ran the same article but inserted Blacks as the victim. Little context is given to the situation. It’s easier to cry “racism” then look at the true cause and what can be done to change it.

  4. To make matters worse, recall what the liberals of St Paul want to do to the mayor race process. Now we have a primary, with the 2 leading candidates moving on to the final general election. In the past, that meant one ulta-liberal, while the one competent centrist candidate makes it also. Then, in the general election, enough moderates, who don’t vote in the primary, go to the centrist, who narrowly wins. Norm Coleman, Randy Kelly.

    The left wants the primaries to be partison, so the Democratic activitists will come out and vote in the most liberal candidate. This keeps a moderate Democrat out of the general election. In that general election, the population will blindly vote for the Democrat, even if it is a dofus like Jay Benevov (sp).

  5. The only way Magaret’s “coup” will happen isd if the city hits rock bottom, and then it’ll be too late. “Bottom” is just to vague. Cities like Detroit and Gary have gone way past Minneapolis on that downward spiral, and they’re still in business.

    When the tadpoles are all grown and established I’ll be relocating, and I can say with absolute certainty it will NOT be into either Minneapolis or St. Paul.

    Change my mind, and you may have a chance. I am Middle America.

  6. St. Paul just raised my property taxes 13.6% to make up for the shortfall in LGA. And to fund the $1.5 milion new outdoor refrigerated ice rinks because God forbid any kid should face the horror of soft ice during a January thaw. I mean, the current Mayor suffered through that, and look how he turned out. Never again, people; never agin.

    I think all you people who don’t live in St. Paul should pay higher income taxes, so the legislature can divert that money to St. Paul in the form of LGA, so my property taxes won’t go up. Yes, that means you, Foot.

    You should be subsidizing me more, because after all, I live in St. Paul and you don’t. What more reason do you need?

    After all, it’s for the children.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.