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Old 09-05-2016, 06:44 PM
 
1,298 posts, read 982,763 times
Reputation: 658

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I would hesitate to start another border war thread, except that I actually want to balance things out a little.

Much has been made of the efforts of KCMO boosters (like myself) to blame Johnson County for KCMO's decline from 70s through the 00s. And although the city is no longer actually in decline, one can imagine how much better off it could have been if not for that unfortunate period.

The easy thing is to look at College Boulevard and raise a fist. "Those danged Johnson Countians, took all our jobs!" the White Collar mob shouts in unison. But that would be a drastic oversimplification of the problem.

The reality is that virtually every urban center in the country went through the same thing, at the same time, that Kansas City did. Some suburbs actively recruited businesses to relocate from the city; others did not. But if it's possible for any one suburb to be entirely to blame for a city's downfall, said city must not have been terribly strong to begin with.

The businesses that left urban KCMO went lots of places. Yes, JoCo tops the list, but there are office parks in South KC, Lee's Summit, up by the Airport, you name it. It was a major cultural shift, at that time, for corporations to want to locate in the suburbs, and surround themselves with surface parking. (That shift is now clearly shifting back, but that's a topic for a different thread.) So even those suburban communities with the most aggressive incentives cannot be blamed for urban decline. They were simply opportunists, who took advantage when the wind turned in their direction.

Note: I am choosing not to discuss, for present purposes, the more recent grabs of Kansas' PEAK program, which included way over the top tax incentives. They are an outlier, because the extreme absurdity of the incentives involved here do not line up with nationwide trends. Also, there are not enough examples of this to make a major dent in KCMO's economy.

My point is that there is no reasonable way to (specifically) blame Johnson County for KCMO's troubles. And I will take the opportunity to refer anyone to this thread who believes I am saying otherwise.

XOXO rwiksell.
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:58 PM
 
Location: KCMO
633 posts, read 437,644 times
Reputation: 528
Why are we talking about a decline that already happened? Kansas City has been gradually rising, why start a thread about the 90s-early 2000s? There are numerous threads for this discussion
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:01 PM
 
48,884 posts, read 39,370,650 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moboy32 View Post
Why are we talking about a decline that already happened? Kansas City has been gradually rising, why start a thread about the 90s-early 2000s? There are numerous threads for this discussion
But the claim has been made that KS somehow *wrecked* kcmo.

By you own admission, the poaching WHICH WE ALL AGREE UPON, almost entirely started past the time you reference.

I think the OP has a valid point, that while we recognize the negative effects of poaching, they are often a convenient scapegoat for other issues.
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Old 09-06-2016, 06:42 AM
 
1,298 posts, read 982,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moboy32 View Post
Why are we talking about a decline that already happened? Kansas City has been gradually rising, why start a thread about the 90s-early 2000s? There are numerous threads for this discussion
I mentioned that KCMO is already recovering. But the fact that it needs to recover at all points to the major decline that occurred during the decades in question. If the city didn't have to recover, it surely would be far ahead of where it is today. Some people decide to blame this situation on a particular county.

I am just saying that, if you're going to place blame, place it on a nationwide cultural shift, not a county or a people group.
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Old 09-06-2016, 06:59 AM
 
Location: KCMO
633 posts, read 437,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwiksell View Post
I mentioned that KCMO is already recovering. But the fact that it needs to recover at all points to the major decline that occurred during the decades in question. If the city didn't have to recover, it surely would be far ahead of where it is today. Some people decide to blame this situation on a particular county.

I am just saying that, if you're going to place blame, place it on a nationwide cultural shift, not a county or a people group.
It was more than people moving to the suburbs. That happened in every city. The thing is Johnson County poached a lot of businesses from KCMO.
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:56 AM
 
2,195 posts, read 2,144,593 times
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I don't think Johnson Count "ruined" KCMO, or is "responsible" for it's decline, and I don't know too many people, even on this forum, who would argue that.

However, I do think anti-metropolitan thinking and politics in Johnson County have severely retarded Greater Kansas City's growth, prosperity and status.
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:16 AM
 
1,298 posts, read 982,763 times
Reputation: 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moboy32 View Post
It was more than people moving to the suburbs. That happened in every city. The thing is Johnson County poached a lot of businesses from KCMO.
I did point out that the poaching thing is a problem. But it's tough to argue that the number and size of businesses poached from KCMO were enough to actually move the needle on KCMO's economy, especially when compared to the general out-migration of the last few decades.
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:28 PM
 
990 posts, read 877,586 times
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The situation here is by far a lot better than in my hometown of Buffalo, where the heart of the economy (steel, wiper blades, auto, aviation) didn't relocate to the suburbs but went to Mexico and China instead. Given the choice, longtime residents of that blue-collar town would have gladly accepted a slightly longer commute to Amherst, Cheektowaga or Tonawanda instead of the alternative.

There is still a pretty strong economy in the KC core. Jobs moving to the suburbs isn't the worst thing that can happen to a metro area.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,488,746 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.davis View Post
I don't think Johnson Count "ruined" KCMO, or is "responsible" for it's decline, and I don't know too many people, even on this forum, who would argue that.

However, I do think anti-metropolitan thinking and politics in Johnson County have severely retarded Greater Kansas City's growth, prosperity and status.
exactly.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:48 AM
 
1,298 posts, read 982,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC_Sleuth View Post
The situation here is by far a lot better than in my hometown of Buffalo, where the heart of the economy (steel, wiper blades, auto, aviation) didn't relocate to the suburbs but went to Mexico and China instead. Given the choice, longtime residents of that blue-collar town would have gladly accepted a slightly longer commute to Amherst, Cheektowaga or Tonawanda instead of the alternative.

There is still a pretty strong economy in the KC core. Jobs moving to the suburbs isn't the worst thing that can happen to a metro area.
Yes, and the situation in Buffalo is by far a lot better than in Joplin, or New Orleans, where a natural disaster flattened huge swaths of the city and killed many people.

Just because there are worse problems elsewhere doesn't mean an issue is not worth discussing, or worth correcting.
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