OK, it was actually the same conversation but I forgot to include a good point that the mayor made. He said that even if the tax burden was cut in half in uptown, very little development would occur there. And he may well be right. So then what?
This is a complicated question. We should first consider what got us to this point. Crime, poor schools, welfare dependency, government failures, private sector greed, or George Bush? All of the above? If you ask me, all of the above, excepting GB, is probably correct. Yes, the private sector has fled, taken there money to safer areas. Deterioration follows.
Mayor Becker is of the view that government stimulus and (my words) micromanaging of the economy is the answer. His methods may differ from previous administrations, but the general philosophy, that more government is the answer, has prevailed for several decades in Racine. What do we have to show for it?
There is a competing philosophy not tried in Racine for the last several decades. Individuals and private businesses, not government, will pull us out of this mess.
But there is no quick fix, not by artists, and not by the change in government philosophy that I am advocating. We are now a few generations into this government-created dependency problem. Many in Racine have lost or never had much in the way of drive or initiative.
The answer is to gradually wean the citizenry off their government dependency. But this would not happen without a fight. But Racine is worth fighting for in my view.