Monday, March 05, 2007

Liberals against a work program for poor people?

I wrote about this in a long line of things and wanted to give it a separate listing.

When did a whole bunch of liberals (Southern Illinois liberals are different though) start complaining about a youth work program? Really, we shouldn't call these people liberals, we should call them "Sheila supporters." You know that I think it could have been done more efficiently by using private industry instead of the public sector, but the "Sheila supporters" don't care about that anywhere else.

I was talking to my Mother last night and asked her what she thought. She said the program cleaned up the "community park" (open lot that is unbuildable at the weird corner of Walkup and Valley) in their neighborhood. A number of years ago, someone bought it and fixed it up. I think the owners have gotten older and don't have the energy to keep it as fixed up anymore.

As many of you know, there are a whole lot of young people in Carbondale who have never had a real job. When you employ them for the Summer, you keep them off the streets and out of trouble. In addition, you build them a resume so they can get a job somewhere else. Several young people were given a chance to step up and become leaders of little groups. This builds their self esteem.

I have heard the complaints that this program only helped the slumlords. I only know of one person/company that I consider a slum lord in town. I know a whole bunch of people who have rental properties in town. For example, John Rendleman is running rental properties these days, he is a slum lord? The Bryant Brothers are another example. I own a couple of commercial buildings. Maybe the definition of slumlord is anyone who owns property beyond their house, if you don't?

It amazes me that the same people who want to build a super expensive outdoor pool are complaining about a summer work program. You guys going after the Boys and Girl's Club next?

It seems what this is really about is that Brad has done a really good thing for the poor and disadvantage people of Carbondale and Sheila and her gang are trying to marginalize it. Part of their normal smear campaign tactics I guess? Now if they wanted to say it was a great idea, to needs to be run a little differently next time, that sounds like a reasonable argument.

I just can't believe that anyone who claims to be liberal would complain about this. Haven't they seen the state of our schools? Haven't they seen the test scores of the poor people in District 95? Don't they realize that SIU students take the entry service jobs in town, leaving nothing for the poor high school kids?

This program is a grand slam, home run on Brad's list of accomplishements. If Sheila had thought of it, the same "Sheila supporters" would be ordering her a trophy. On the other hand, since Sheila has accomplished nothing for the last 4 years and has nothing much to add, beyond smear tactics, to improving Carbondale, I guess this shouldn't be a surprise.

Didn't anyone think about this stuff before they published Sheila's campaign platform? I guess they thought that their spin of Brad's accomplishments into liabilities would be a good idea. No big deal to lie in a campaign.

Anyone want to go on record as being against a summer work program for minority and poor youth? Anyone want to supply some ideas about how it could be better next time?


Neutral Participant said...

This is something that I have heard Sheila comment about. She did not say that public funds should not be used to create jobs for local youth. She said that public expenditures should not be used to help a private individual. If the clean-up had been on public right-of-ways, alleys, greenspace, etc., it would have been okay.

Peter in Carbondale said...

Hey, that was a good comment. Thank you.

I think that Sheila's position doesn't go far enough. I was chatting with Joel F. the other day and he told me the city shouldn't have built a water drainage system for that new stock broker building on Giant City Road (should have charged those guys). If we follow this logical path, the city should provide no services to any private citizens. Everything should be pay as you go, at full city prices. The city could run like the SIU physical plant! That would be efficient.

Good grief, Sheila is worried about using tax payer money to supply services to tax payers? This is stupider then I thought. I only thought she was against the whole program.

Wow, that is unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

If such a program is to be implemented in the future, then the properties to be cleaned up should be based on economic need of the property owner. What percentage of the properties that were cleaned up were on the Northeast side of town? How many of the properties were rentals and how many were owner-occupied If a person owns rental property, slum lord or not, then they assume additional responsibility to keep that property clean. If they cannot, or will not, then they should sell the property. If you own a rental property, then you are engaged in an economic enterprise, and must accept the additional responsibility that goes with owning a business, and the city should not be responsible for helping you do what you are unwilling to do. Instead, those business owners should be cited for failure to keep their properties clean, and if they do not clean up, then the city should hire contractors to do the work and charge the owner of the property for that service. We do that when people do not keep their grass cut - why should we not do the same for trash?