When will people realize we’re all in this together?
Donn Esmonde’s timely July 27 comments on Buffalo schools, along with those of Bruce Fisher in Artvoice and Paul Krugman in the New York Times, approach our large cities’ decline from different directions. However, they all come to the same conclusion. Esmonde points out the obvious; poor children who are exposed to students who succeed are more likely to succeed as well. Fisher says that those 700,000 Detroit residents who have disappeared from the city didn’t go very far. They’re just outside of the city’s borders in affluent suburbs, taking their taxes with them. Krugman points out that sprawl moves any possibility of employment far out of the reach of many city residents.
The myopic suburbanite sentiment that somehow we can keep the poor out of sight and point to welfare as the biggest drain on the economy is going to accelerate our economic and social decline. Joel Giambra and Kevin Gaughan were always right on the subject of metro consolidation, and we all know how their message has been received. Until we realize that we’re all in this together, we can’t for long delude ourselves that the comfortable can seal themselves off from the cities’ problems.
Janet M. Goodsell