Contributer to Philly Decline

My friend Aaron Proctor started a pretty nifty blog and asked me to contribute!

My first article:  http://phillydecline.com/?p=149

I’m trying to be more cynical and statist than die hard anarchist.  Know your audience.

Philadelphia Streets . . . 

Government programs don’t work.  Yes, I feel confident enough to say that because I cannot tell you how many social programs that this country has gone through and they have resulted in nothing but wasted money and the same problems still existing in the same fashion.  Job creation campaign?  There’s still unemployment.  Food safety procedures?  Surprise, food poisoning still exists!

So, let’s take the program “Philadelphia Streets.” You may have seen the ads underground in the subway (not in the streets) with what seems to be a homeless man and a loosely constructed poem about resisting the need to litter on the already filthy, pothole ridden, poorly designed bike-laned streets of Philadelphia.  Alright, that’s not what the poem is about, but that is the reality.

Sure, the government can spend thousands and thousands of dollars on these ads, create a spiffy looking website, and can attempt to “empower the people” to clean up the trash.  This program, however, like most, does little to strike the roots of the problem, as seen in one of the many lists of the harm of littering and “why you should stop”  (my notes are in bold):

  • Crushes people’s hopes and spirits
    Like the Philadelphia government does to me.
  • Leads to unsafe neighborhoods
    The war on drugs, poor education system, and corrupt police lead to this, too!
  • Opens the door to more negativity…once it’s dirty people think it’s okay to keep messing it up
    The corruption and “dirty” politicians mean its okay for more to become elected.
  • Lowers property values
    This might be a good thing with unemployment so high and unaffordable housing costs.
  • Hurts the environment
    Government <3s oil, stiffles environmentally friendly progress in industry.
  • Makes it harder for local businesses to succeed
    You’re joking me, litter isn’t the only thing that stops businesses from succeeding in this city!

Perhaps the Philadelphia government and Mayor Nutter should be focusing on the already failing and necessary services provided to citizens, like garbage pick up.  I can point out that whenever my garbage is picked up, it looks like someone literally picked up the can and dumped it all over my sidewalk.  And I’m not the only one that this is happening to, I can tell you that for a fact!

Other blatant problems that need immediate concern are manhole covers blowing up in the streets, dangerous bike lanes for both bikers and drivers, broken street lights, potholes, street clean up after accidents, dangerous trails by railroads, tiny highways, and so on.  There are so many environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, volunteer organizations, such as Philly Cares, and student groups that could easily be organized to do street clean ups.

Am I wrong to argue for totally privatized roads at this point?

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