Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Suburban Apologist & Revisionist

Pat McIlerhan is - again - defending the poor suburbs against the big, bad city. When Milwaukee wants a fair price for its water, when continued sprawl is pointed to as an environmental issue, Pat is there to label such as anti-suburban. No such counter claim (anti-city) is ever mouthed when policies - highway expansion, sprawl, autocentrism, etc. - hurt the city.

Pat writes, "Waukesha's problem is that its well water is tainted with radium, put there by God and declared unacceptable by the EPA." Hey, if that radium-laced, god-given water is just fine, Waukesha doesn't need Milwaukee's water. The EPA is obviously another liberal, overzealous regulatory body working in concert with the Democrats' plans to turn the U.S. into a communist nation. Waukesha, continue drinking your radium-laced, god-given elixir.

The idea that Milwaukee simply receiving money from the sale of water will solve all problems is juvenile and short-sighted. Sure, the extra money would help the Milwaukee budget. More money tends to help any budget. But the continued sprawl of Waukesha will hurt the region as a whole, while continuing metropolitan competition for new jobs and expansion. Until we have regional revenue sharing policies, whereby the region benefits from growth, rather than one municipality, it is a (nearly) zero sum game.

And, why must Milwaukee always be the bigger person (especially in allowing policies that primarily benefit other communities)? Where are the suburbs in supporting regional rail transit? Or anti-poverty programs? What the City wants, what might benefit a large portion of our poor residents, Pat dismisses. But anything the suburbs want, that is part of a larger natural progression. A blessing to us all which we would be fools to not support. Give me a break!

Pat then claims, "Milwaukee's revival will come not by forcing the most urban area in Waukesha County to hand over money." Yet that's exactly how the suburbs grew. By forcing city-dwellers to hand over their tax dollars to allow for highway expansion and home mortgages, after WWII, which fueled suburban growth.

He closes with the absurdity, "The region can thrive if its parts cooperate." So, Pat, tell me one thing the suburbs have wanted to cooperate on with the city? Cooperation is not a one-way street.

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