Wasn't it just a week or so ago that I blogged that Forbes rated Cleveland the Worst Winter City, ever? (I did. The question was rhetorical.)
Well, they took it up a step or twelve - we are now the overall
There is no denying we have some crappy stats, but let's break down Forbes' criteria:
Unemployment? We have that in droves. And it's mostly lower wage, blue collar positions that have been on the decline for decades with the demise of the steel mills and manufacturing that has gone off-shore. White collar jobs have moved their HQs out of the city and the state due to that slow down and to...
Taxes. I haven't really done a comparison county by county, or state by state. We're not horrid, I don't think, but we're not getting off lightly. Oddly, Forbes doesn't seem to list anything but sales and income tax. Nothing about property tax, which is out of line for our decreased home values. But if they were to decrease those, there'd be less money than there already is for any improvements in the city. Rock? Meet Hard Place. (The bigger joke is, housing prices, foreclosures, etc don't even seem to be in Forbes formula.)
Commutes. Really? We're not DC, NYC or LA. There is no place in Cleveland you can't get to in 30 minutes...or less. Unless you're a West Sider at morning rush hour at the Metro curve. Build in an extra 15 minutes for the drive. Done.
Weather. Covered a few days ago. It sucks. No doubt. And nothing you can do about this one. Nothing Forbes can do about it either - so suck it! We live on a major lake which produces vast amounts of snow and on the other side of that lake is Canada.
Public Corruption. Yeah, we have that in spades. No denying this one. And unfortunately, it's the democrats who are the offenders. I'm sure there are right wing offenders too, but Cleveland is a Dem town and absolute power corrupts, absolutely.
Pollution. I'm not sure we're horrible here. The lake is iffy. The river is much cleaner (it's been 40+ years, give up the fucking fact/joke that it once caught on fire.) With the steel mills gone, we're not Boulder, CO, but we're not Los Angeles either.
Violent Crime. We had a few for the record books (that 11 murder deal in '09; that fireman shooting five the year before) the last year or two. So it only stands to reason that crime should be on the down-swing. With the record number of murders and such, but with everyone being killed or moving out of the state, so it has to get better - right?
Performances of Professional Sports Teams. It's not even a matter of opinion here. WE blow!!!! We have the Indians - whom you know I love dearly - who started out and ended up in last place in '09. I think we made it out of that position for less than 5 days of the season. The Browns were not much better. Yeah, we have the Cavs, but once LeBron leaves......and mark my words, he will.....we are as doomed as doomed can be.
But here's the thing with Cleveland and this ranking: it matters for naught. Besides that we've had 2-3 revitalizations since I've been back (in the last 15 yrs), is Forbes magazine even relevant? Has it ever been? I would like to see the person who has a job offer to Cleveland and turns it down due to what Forbes has said.
Is it any wonder Steve Forbes never made a successful presidential run?
(oh yeah - as for the post image? If anything sucks with the word 'Cleveland' in it, it would be The Cleveland Show)
Song by: Natalie Merchant