The debate over privatization of Lambert International Airport, a public asset, is just beginning. This local debate will most likely foreshadow a forthcoming national debate over Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan; a topic which will likely play a role in the 2020 presidential campaign if not sooner in the midterm elections.
In February of 1954, voters in the St. Louis region, City and County, voted to establish a single, unified sewer district. This district would come to encompass the entire region and assume responsibility for the planning, construction, and management of the sewage infrastructure for every municipality in St. Louis. This was consolidation done right. Who would argue that we should go back to a system of fragmented sewer districts?
2017 is drawing to a close, and the number of homicides has surpassed 200 for the first time since the mid-1990s. We all knew it was going to happen, we’ve been outpacing last year’s homicides since mid-summer, but now it’s official. Our New Year will be peppered with the obligatory pessimism that comes along with news like this.
But before we all go and defenestrate ourselves, let’s bring some perspective to these numbers. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:
It’s no secret that the city has been a financial disaster for decades. Plenty of scorn has been heaped onto us by Missouri Republicans as they gleefully ride the Trump train back to the 1950s. Democrats are the preferred whipping boy of the moment (at least for now, the tide will turn in a few years and then it will again be the Republicans who are irrationally hated for a period of time. Back and forth we go until the sovereign debt crisis wipes us all out.), and they have been heavily derided as the cause of every problem we face in St. Louis City, especially the financial problems.
A lot is said of St. Louis becoming a new tech hub. In a city which can, at times, seem infested with feralhumans completely devoid of respect for life, often the only way we can keep hope for the future is to point to those organizations which are pushing towards a better tomorrow. Things might be bad now, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
This is a little more off the cuff than my usual posts. It involves a question that I think all St. Louisans have asked ourselves at one point or another: should I stay in St. Louis, or get out while I still can? Should I risk investing my time and money into a city with increasing crime and a diminishing population? Should I bet my fortunes on the St. Louis job market? Should I raise my children in the St. Louis school system?
If you read the comments to any Post Dispatch story about an assault on a sympathetic victim, you are certain to see somebody lamenting the fact that the victim wasn’t armed. There are a lot of issues where city Democrats and rural Republicans disagree, but few of those issues are as emotionally charged as the gun control debate. And considering the extreme levels of gun violence in St. Louis, you can’t reasonably have a conversation about crime without bringing up the subject of gun control. The debate goes like this: Democrats believe that the prolific gun culture in the United States contributes to the incredibly high violent crime rate within poor urban areas. The Republicans believe that an armed society is a polite society. Guns in the hands of law abiding citizens decreases the violent crime rate, not to mention the fact that the right to bear arms is a constitutional right, not to be infringed upon by anybody, especially naïve Democrats who have never held a gun in their lives.