Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What Happened in Vegas?

vegasboothTDR reports that Dixon's MO in Las Vegas was to met with reps from the sporting-goods store REI, and Target, reportedly already set to open a location in Mondawmin. The message = rich people live here:
The city has conducted its own research that often paints a better economic picture of Baltimore. For example, in late 2005, the Downtown Partnership conducted a study that showed that more than 3,100 households within a one-mile radius of downtown earned more than $75,000 per year. That compares to the $29,792 listed as the city’s median household income in 2004 by the U.S. Census.
(Hey, doesn't the picture of the city's booth logo make it look like a rowhouse on fire?)

Speaking of numbers, today's WSJ article about the Subprime Crisis is most appropriate to Baltimore and those who might attempt to escape it:
... beginning in the mid-1990s, the evolution of subprime lending from a local niche business to a global market drastically rearranged lenders' incentives. Instead of putting their own money at risk, mortgage lenders began reselling loans at a profit to Wall Street banks. The bankers, in turn, transformed a large chunk of the subprime loans into highly rated securities, which attracted investors from all over the world by paying a better return than other securities with the same rating. The investors cared much more about the broader qualities of the securities -- things like the average credit score and overall geographic distribution -- than exactly where and to whom the loans were being made.
In turn, the higher rate of homeownership encouraged businesses:
Suddenly, mortgage lenders saw places like [lower Charles Village, the West side, etc.] as attractive targets for new business, because so many families either owned their homes outright or owed much less on their mortgages than their homes were worth.

7 comments:

John Galt said...

So, Dixon went to Vegas because life is not good enough here for the upper 15% of the income distribution ??

And while she was gone, the lower quarter of that distribution decreased through homicidal attrition.

Nice. Hope she enjoyed Wayne Newton.

John Galt said...

Following up on the budget discussion for '07:

Police operating funds = $286.1 million

of which Field Operations is $202,318,314, which funds 2,607 field personnel, out of 3,937 full-time civilian & officer positions.

The total estimated property tax yield is $592,112,185.

Yet, grants, subsidies, & contributions are $303.5 million, 12.3% of Total Operating & Capital Funds.

So, tax the hell out of people, don't police, don't effectively educate, but put cash money into every open palm in town.

Is it about 'putting the children first'? No. In fact, while the State requires a City contribuion to the schools of $192.3 million, itself adding an additional $700 million to the pot, the City budget line item Total Opportunities for Children amounts to over $3,500 of strictly local spending per student enrolled, yielding total local spending per Baltimore student ranking just behind Japan's total educational spending per student !!.

But even so, fewer than a quarter of Baltimore City fifth-graders scored at a proficient level of 70 percent or better in reading. Fifth grade's about the median proficiency level among all the detainees at the Baltimore Juvenile Justice Center. Yet, between local, state, and federal sources we spend $11,764 per enrolled student, nearly twice the average across the United States.

So, they've failed the children, bilked the taxpayer, and relegated the streets to a war zone. Ya gotta love City Hall.

John Galt said...

The Police Department is not encouraging people to pursue and apprehend violent offenders running about Charles Village attacking residents with knives or guns, but they're not getting ready to do it themselves, either.

The Cybrarian said...

Those are some seriously sobering employment statistics.
We only have 67,000 more people working than not working?! How can that be?!

The Cybrarian said...

So they spent six figures to go convince REI to move into the city, which will help exactly no one (Least of all REI). But what do I know, maybe citizens have been writing letters about how inconvenitent it is to drive 15 minutes to the EMS, Dick's, or 50 other outdoor sports stores in the county for a canoe.

ppatin said...

"We only have 67,000 more people working than not working?! How can that be?!"

Welfare, Section 8, Food Stamps, WIC. That's how.

John Galt said...

Hmmm. I seem to recall having indicated in the past that many of the population in this town are basically dysfunctional and commonly pose a threat. But what do I know?

The NYC miracle basically consisted of telling them that a) we aren't taking your criminal crap anymore, and b) if you don't go get a legit job soon, you're going to get very hungry.

But Mdme. Sheila thinks she has a kinder, gentler way: just let them keep going the criminal route.