U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Pittsburgh
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
 
Old 01-24-2011, 03:32 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,607,012 times
Reputation: 2827

Advertisements

So here is the link:

Personal Income in the 2000s: Top and Bottom Ten Metropolitan Areas | Newgeography.com

What this author did is look at per capita income in large U.S. metros adjusted for local inflation between 2000 and 2009. Pittsburgh ended up #2 on the list, between Baltimore and Washington, with an 8.2% increase. Given that this is adjusted for inflation, that is really a pretty remarkable rate.

Incidentally, I don't agree with all the Pittsburgh-related commentary offered by the author. The author rightly notes that the City is in poor shape financially, but then suggests that doesn't matter much because the City now has a relatively low percentage of the Metro population. That is also true, but as we have discussed here before, the City actually has a relatively high share of Metro jobs for a central city. Personally, I'm actually not sure the City's financial situation is all that relevant. But if it is, then I would hazard that if the City was in better financial shape, the Metro would be doing even better.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-25-2011, 08:08 AM
 
1,385 posts, read 838,201 times
Reputation: 855
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
So here is the link:

Personal Income in the 2000s: Top and Bottom Ten Metropolitan Areas | Newgeography.com

What this author did is look at per capita income in large U.S. metros adjusted for local inflation between 2000 and 2009. Pittsburgh ended up #2 on the list, between Baltimore and Washington, with an 8.2% increase. Given that this is adjusted for inflation, that is really a pretty remarkable rate.

Incidentally, I don't agree with all the Pittsburgh-related commentary offered by the author. The author rightly notes that the City is in poor shape financially, but then suggests that doesn't matter much because the City now has a relatively low percentage of the Metro population. That is also true, but as we have discussed here before, the City actually has a relatively high share of Metro jobs for a central city. Personally, I'm actually not sure the City's financial situation is all that relevant. But if it is, then I would hazard that if the City was in better financial shape, the Metro would be doing even better.
I agree Brian, what do you think is the best way to fix the city's financial problems? I still believe that the solution is consolidation with the county, but I remain doubtful that this can or will ever happen.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-25-2011, 08:35 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,607,012 times
Reputation: 2827
Quote:
Originally Posted by airwave09 View Post
I agree Brian, what do you think is the best way to fix the city's financial problems? I still believe that the solution is consolidation with the county, but I remain doubtful that this can or will ever happen.
So the basic problem is that several decades ago, the people and businesses of Pittsburgh provided themselves with a certain level of services, and pushed a lot of the cost of those services into the future. Many of the beneficiaries of that situation, both recipients of the services and providers of the services, then left the jurisdiction. Some moved elsewhere in the county, some elsewhere in the metro or state as a whole, many elsewhere in the country, and by now a good number have actually passed away (all the same categories apply to businesses as well). Of course some have stayed in the City, and there may be some long-term benefits that residents who have since arrived in the City have received.

In an ideal world, it would be possible to chase down all those people and businesses individually and get them to kick in something to help the City pay down these legacy costs. That's not really practical, so the next-best thing is to work out a contribution split between the various levels--city, county, metro (although that is tricky), state, and feds.

But that raises a political problem: a good number of politicians are in part deriving their political support from the message that this whole situation is just fine, and that the City and its current residents--people and businesses many of whom weren't even around at the relevant time--should pay 100% of the legacy costs. And unfortunately, the City is relatively small, and many of these politicians can safely ignore its interests in their political calculations.

I wish I had a good solution to all this. Consolidation might help, but the problem is that this legacy cost issue is a huge political barrier to consolidation (which would have other merits). My hope is that eventually this will become enough of an issue for enough municipalities in PA, and enough people will recognize the need to keep central cities healthy even if they don't live in them, that the state may at least work out a partial solution, perhaps with federal help if this dynamic is repeated across enough states (note this could, at least in part, take the form of the state authorizing the City to use Chapter 9 of the federal bankruptcy code). But I think it is a good bet the City will have to deal with most, and maybe almost all, of this legacy cost problem on its own.

That will take good financial management and some hard decisions. And I am very, very disappointed with the recent behavior of City Council, which in the interest of avoiding hard decisions has done things that don't make financial sense. But one way or another, something will be done, and ultimately what gets done may be more a matter of what the states authorizes/compels the City to do, rather than any local decisions.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Pittsburgh
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top