Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Strength in numbers

It has been the same ol' story, a well worn complaint, the state pays too much attention to the greater Boston area and not enough attention to the rest of the state. True, Fall River does receive a tremendous amount of state aid and perhaps the theory up on the hill is we should be grateful and shut up. But, the majority of us would rather receive the tools to revitalize our area and lessen our need for that state aid.

Here in Fall River and in other Gateway cities the story is simple. Changing economies turned once robust cities into stagnant ones. When these cities failed to change with the times they were left behind. However, the state could have and should have played a key role in reinventing these cities. 40-50 years ago the state should worked with these areas to develop a long term state-wide plan that built upon the strengths of these communities.

Last night in Worcester the City Council a “Gateway Cities Compact for Community and Economic Development” was brought before the council for approval. The idea of this compact is for 11 communities, one of which is Fall River, it binds to work together to bring about work force development, refocus regulations, infrastructure development etc. that will benefit these communities, help them revitalize, and again serve as economic engines for their regions.

The idea of these communities working together for a common cause, the idea that together they may achieve what they have been unable to do individually is both simple and inspiring. I find myself wondering why we are not already doing this. Too often when communicating with the state the needs, demands, and complaints of our area fall on deaf ears, but there is a strength in numbers.


Common Sense said...

The State - The State - The State

Why should we pay for YOUR city ?

All state aid to cities should be stopped

Cities should be forced to fend for themselves

The state should be banned from collecting taxes for the purpose of redistribution

This would lower taxes for those cities that manage their budget well

phayemuss said...

Massachusetts State government serves the People of the Commonwealth, and the People of the Commonwealth are made up of all the residents of the State, regardless of which city they reside.

Anonymous' comment made me think of a twist to an old phrase: "He's too heavy and he ain't my brother."

-Faye Musselman

adv said...

I've been making this point for years. If all the urban centers outside of 128 banded together and voted as a block, there would be a much more even distribution of government jobs and spending.

Does anyone ever wonder why so many State jobs are located in Boston? There's often no rationale for it. Many of these jobs are not location specific (meaning the physical location of the position being in downtown Boston is not a necessary component of the job), yet the state leases and owns many properties in high rent districts. It would make real financial sense to 'insource' many office jobs to satellite cities where the cost of living is lower and where the employees can get more for their salaries, no?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Faye 100%, even if I don't seem to understand the quote.

Common Sense said...

The State does serve the people of the "COMMONWEALTH"

The only problem is that it STEALS $$$$ from one city and gives to another city

If every city was to get more revenue than they paid the state would be bankrupt

It is not the responsibilty of the rich to pay for the poor

Fear and Loathing in Fall River said...

So, what are we? Roving hoards? Subjects of our Feudal masters? Do we segregate between rich and poor by city lines? Should the rich gate their city and attack the poor with burning oil from the ramparts?

We live in a society. We have structures of government set up, so that our society homogenous across the country. Our States control the cities, and give them rights and privileges, as well as restrictions. Our Federal Government in turn works to keep the standard of living even across the country.

There will be different distributions of wealth across any society. However, we as a society decide what is our lowest level of acceptable standard of living. We then work to enforce that standard inside our boundaries.

Education is a prime example. Should we not educate the poor? Would that help the rest of the country? No. Not educating one class of society, aside from being completely classist, and elitist, is going to bring down the rest. Education is the key to a safe and industrious society. When you have a clear delineation between the rich and poor in a society, you will see crime rates go through the roof. And why not? There is no alternative when one class is not given opportunity for advancement through education.

This works in theory, if you are a right wing fascist. However, in a true democracy, we the people get to set the rules. We the MONEY is not the system of government in the United States. We have a Constitutional Republic, which has evolved closer to a Democracy. We are not a government of Business and elite Aristocrats.

And if it's money that you are all about. More educated people in a society, means more money being created. More people who are able to afford , and buy products, will create more jobs for more people. More educated people means more educated workers. The rich will get even richer. So if nothing else. Do it for your own personal greed.

See... Greed is good.

Common Sense said...


No state welfare

All taxes should be accounted for and sent back to those cites that paid them ....If I pay sales tax in city "A" then that money should be sent back to city "A" by the state ...The state would be allowed to keep a SMALL percentage to pay for state infrastructure etc.

It is NOT the responsibilty of one city to pay for another ....Why should I pay MORE TAXES so you can get free money

Fear and Loathing in Fall River said...

I thought I laid it out pretty well for you. It's called living in a society...

Anonymous said...

Common sense do you live in any of the cities mentioned ?

I don't think they are asking for free money, they are asking for a more balanced structure and assistance in making the cities more self sufficient.

I believe Faye has a good point as well, why do the state workers need to work in boston. Why do
these local cities have to pay for the big dig and not have our own rail service - we don't use bostons
mbta .