Sunday, May 13, 2007

Problem Avoidance

If you want to beautify a facade, find a good artist. If the facade is falling off the building, the artist can wait. Find an engineer.

Mayor Becker's idea of luring artists to Racine, at taxpayer expense, perfectly illustrates our self imposed political problem, that is, our refusal to confront real problems.

Would Racine need to pay artists to take up residence in Racine, for example, if Racine had a crime rate of zero? No, of course not.

So Racine and its political leaders continue avoid the real problems. Real problems are difficult to solve. It is not easy, politically or otherwise, to address the rot behind the facade. But we must, if we care about Racine.


eric said...

The city's problems and the school's problems are one and the same. It's never been clear to me how well they understand that. I guess it's too politically incorrect for them to come out and acknowldge that publicly. Successive generations of single parent families, often lost in booze and/or drugs, tend to put minimal empahasis on family and school. You can argue about blame, guilt, sympathy, etc ... but going on the third generation its a huge problem and it goes to school every day. So while the superintendent and the school board and the rest of us all beat each other up, the root problem is not being addressed, at least publicly. We are funding public schools and a fairly robust private school capacity, meanwhile other familes flee to neighboring districts or into home schooling. Financial mismanagement reigns because we don't have good alternatives and we're not going to till we address the lost generations in the city. You want to fix the schools and the city, 'its the inner city stupid'.

Anonymous said...

Denis Navratil, whining about every thing under the sun isn't the solution either.

Anonymous said...

I have not followed this issue that closely. I know the Mayor wants artists to move to up town and revitalize it. How is the Mayor going to get artists to come here? What part about the plan is at the public expense.

Denis Navratil said...

Eric I thought about including the school problem as well as the crime problem.

Anon, is whining about whiners the solution?

Anon #2, the details are not out yet, but a subsidy is certainly part of the equation, as it is in the Paducah Kentucky program. If there is no subsidy, what is the program? I mean, there is nothing preventing artists from setting up shop in Uptown now. But so far artists are choosing not to locate to Uptown. If we simply want to inform them somehow about the virtues of Uptown, well thats great. But I suspect it will include taxpayer funded financial inducements. We shall see.

Jason said...

I find it fundamentally obnoxious that ANY taxpayer money would be spent on "Art" of any kind, other than the basic teaching of different arts in schools. The arts (and I enjoy them as much as any other) should be paid for by those that would actually attend museums, galleries, etc. Given the number of other issues that you have outlined, it's amazing to me that Art even hits the radar screen with city leaders. Roads, schools, feeling safe in your home and person (police), fire protection, etc - these are the things that everyone wants from government. These are the things necessary to our existence and civilization. The Arts never have been enjoyed by all members of the taxpaying public, nor are they necessary for human/civil function. Therefore, IMHO, the arts should not be supported by taxpayer $$$ - and you can throw in Miller Park, the Milwaukee County Zoo and all the other crap that seems to get piled-on these days. Uptown, downtown - who cares?! Let the arts exist where private citizens are willing to pay for them.

BTW - did the mayor happen to give any ROI analysis on this? How many $$$ would this investment bring in? When would we (the citizens) realize a profitable return on the investment? You can bet sure this didn't happen.

Wind Lake Jase

Denis Navratil said...

Good points Jason. At this point, it is just an idea. An idea that should be promptly rejected in my view.

Anonymous said...

I really wonder where this idiot of a Mayor gets these Ideas ! How about offering industry some real tax breaks, and develop real jobs !
this whole Up-town Art district is ridiculous. Cheap finacing for buildings, in an area that is not safe to tread, now throw in a hot summer night , and I can really see how well this will go over with the out of town tourist ! Heck even poor od Corner House has to have armed security to make their customers feel safe.