LeBron James is coming back to the Cavs, the Browns have some hope at quarterback, and trendiness is coming back to the inner city.
Having been mired in the Southwest these past few years I have not paid much attention to the Northeast or even the so called “rust belt” until recently.
Chambers of Commerce, investment bankers and even mainstream media are pounding the tables on the turnaround that is anticipated on their home turf. On paper it makes sense and yet has all the earmarks of an Obama/Biden shovel-ready project. We all know how successful that was.
If you are revitalizing anything, especially a neighborhood, you do it on the pretense that people will move in.
So who is expected to be a part of this inner city re-migration?
The seniors? Last time I looked the majority of the “rust belt” and the cities mentioned still had weather. More specifically, snow and ice. Few seniors I know would willingly trade 75° balmy temperatures for 6-12” of snow, 20 mile per hour winds which makes visibility zero and a -12° wind chill factor just to be trendy. That one is tough to spin.
How about the 30-50 somethings? They’re still probably raising children and may be convinced to fight the snow. Inner city schools leave something to be desired. In addition job security is very problematic and the amount of voluntary resignations seems to continue to be at an all time low. They’re not going anywhere.
Perhaps the bottom rung of the economic ladder? Already struggling in an inner city existence it would seem, in my opinion, they’re not a good candidate for the $65 steak being offered at the inner city’s newest bistro.
That leaves only one group to jump on board the revitalization and renaissance train. The group, of course, are the recently, past 6 years, college graduates. They appreciate and understand lofts for $2,500 a month, lattés for $7 a cup and valet service for only $20. It’s sheik, trendy and right up their alley. Yes, it’s the 20-30 year old college graduates that all the hopes and dreams of an inner city come back will be built.
Unfortunately the only problems with this group, they don’t drive, have a job, they still live in Mom and Dad’s basement and have a debt overhang that is enormous. Under these circumstances the renaissance seems as illusory as the best intended shovel-ready project.
If LeBron can figure this one out he truly will be proclaimed the star of the century, and also a miracle worker, and not just on the hardwoods.