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Old 06-08-2007, 03:10 PM
 
255 posts, read 1,001,022 times
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Fineman: The Politics of Pittsburgh - Newsweek Howard Fineman - MSNBC.com (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19096133/site/newsweek/ - broken link)

Read, and, of course, discuss.

It's pretty interesting.
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:35 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,143,233 times
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Most of the famous corporations that built Pittsburgh have left it—a story repeated across what used to be known as the rust belt. There are virtually no Latino immigrants here for one very good reason: there are no jobs for them to hold, and the ones that do exist are clung to tenaciously by families that have been here forever. Pittsburgh remains overwhelmingly white, and strongly pro-labor. Journalist Bill Steigerwald, a shrewd observer, says there are two faiths here: “Steelerism and Unionism.”

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Old 06-08-2007, 03:54 PM
 
5,102 posts, read 6,093,869 times
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Quote:
Most of the famous corporations that built Pittsburgh have left it—a story repeated across what used to be known as the rust belt. There are virtually no Latino immigrants here for one very good reason: there are no jobs for them to hold, and the ones that do exist are clung to tenaciously by families that have been here forever. Pittsburgh remains overwhelmingly white, and strongly pro-labor. Journalist Bill Steigerwald, a shrewd observer, says there are two faiths here: “Steelerism and Unionism.”
There's that dead horse again.
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:14 PM
 
255 posts, read 1,001,022 times
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Cool Dead Horse

Well, I mean, it may be a dead horse, but it is true.
Pittsburgh is pretty full of crackers for a city.
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Saint Petersburg
632 posts, read 1,584,456 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
Most of the famous corporations that built Pittsburgh have left it—a story repeated across what used to be known as the rust belt. There are virtually no Latino immigrants here for one very good reason: there are no jobs for them to hold, and the ones that do exist are clung to tenaciously by families that have been here forever. Pittsburgh remains overwhelmingly white, and strongly pro-labor. Journalist Bill Steigerwald, a shrewd observer, says there are two faiths here: “Steelerism and Unionism.”

Ok, I give up. Uncle. If we all admit that Pittsburgh is Ward-And-June-CleaverVille, will you just stop already? I'll go first. Pittsburgh is white, white, white. And boring. Even in hip city neighborhoods, and especially in suburban malls. Boring and all the same. Non-diverse. I admit it.

Alright. Now that we've gotten that over with...

It was an interesting article, and I actually agreed with much of it. Pittsburgh has some financial problems, and there aren't any more industrial giants like Mellon to bail it out. I've also noted the conflict between city and county previously - it's something we've even talked about briefly on this forum in the past. I personally think that Pittsburgh would be well served if they annexed the rest of Allegheny County. I don't know how that could happen, but I think they should try. I feel like, in a way, that city residents are providing suburban residents with "urban welfare" - they get to come use our stadiums, drive on our roads, use all the amenities of Pittsburgh, and those of us who actually live here get to shoulder the burden in the form of property tax. It isn't fair, especially since Pittsburgh is not doing well financially.

Also, and someone can correct me if I'm wrong on this one, but isn't it true that large business and industry within the city limits don't pay any city taxes? That doesn't seem right either, although I bet someone will say that if we started taxing them they would leave. Which could be true. But maybe the city needs to examine the trade-off. I'm not a fan of taxes in general, but I definitely don't think the little guy should be taxed excessively on his house while big corporations get to keep all their money and Pittsburgh goes broke.

I liked the "unity and optimism" line. I definitely agree with that sentiment.
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:53 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 94,249,398 times
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I don't even understand why anyone even cares about that dead horse.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:53 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,143,233 times
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I'm not a fan of taxes in general, but I definitely don't think the little guy should be taxed excessively on his house while big corporations get to keep all their money and Pittsburgh goes broke.

Corporations don't really pay taxes. People pay taxes. And many cities (and countries) offer tax incentives to encourage businesses to move there. That's one of the reasons that Ireland, for example, is having such great economic success.
Annexation seems to me to be a non-starter. The schools issue alone would kill it.
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:04 AM
 
269 posts, read 961,153 times
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Does Pittsburgh have a city income tax? I know there is a 3% income tax to city resident, but what about people who work in the city?
Baltimore has an income tax if you work in the city. After all, the city is not just benefiting its residents - it's also beneficial to all the people who commute in to work there.

I enjoyed the article - thank you for sharing.

I also think the city needs to invest more money in attracting people here. My husband will be staying in Baltimore and commuting back and forth each week. It's cheaper for him to fly back and forth each week and rent an apartment, than it would be for him to work in Pittsburgh. UPMC advertises some great starting salaries, but b/c he's an outsider, they offered him only 2/3 of that - even though he's has a higher degree, more experience and more skills than many on their current staff. I'm only a tad salty about that.
UMD in Baltimore is offering $20K signing bonuses for nurses. Georgetown has $35k signing bonuses. Crazy, huh. The nursing shortage has already hit Pittsburgh, but they just don't have the funding to do anything about it.
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Old 06-09-2007, 09:09 AM
 
255 posts, read 1,001,022 times
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Lightbulb Keeping the Kids in Town

Why doesn't Pittsburgh offer people who recieve undergraduate or graduate degrees at a university in Pittsburgh some financial benefit for sticking around when they graduate?

I'm thinking even like $1,000 towards the mortgage on a house they buy within city limits or something. This would help stop the brain drain the article mentions and the economic benefits alone would more than pay the money back in the long run through taxes on property, higher income the people will make, etc.

Just an idea. I think I'd like to stay in Pittsburgh after I graduate, but I just don't know how the job and property stuff will work out long term. If people don't have some benefit for sticking around, even a little one, they most likely won't.
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Old 06-10-2007, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Erie, PA
714 posts, read 1,711,810 times
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The biggest benefit of sticking around is the fact that housing costs in the Pittsburgh region are far, far less than in most other metropolitain areas in the U.S. A $1000 check from the city/county is nothing compared to saving $100,000 on a house, especially when interest is factored in. Don't believe me? Do a real-estate search on craigslist: san francisco bay area classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events and see what you can get in Pittsburgh vs. say, California, Seattle, Portland, Washington DC, Boston, New Jersey, Florida, Atlanta, and other "booming" areas. $400,000 in Pittsburgh gets you a mansion (not a McMansion...a REAL mansion). $400,000 in California or Boston gets you a run-down shack in a high-crime area.

Another benefit: the Pittsburgh metro area is quite compact for having a population of around 2 million people. You won't have a 2-hour-each-way commute.

Yes, total job growth is almost non-existent, mainly due to the continued rapid loss of low-skill, low-wage manufacturing jobs that any Chinese peasant would happy to do for $100/month. There are good opportunities for people with college degrees in engineering, finance, biotech, and healthcare. For example, I recently searched for engineering jobs on Monster.com. There were roughly as many engineering jobs listed for the Pittsburgh area as there were for Raleigh/Durham/Research Triangle Park, NC! There were more engineering jobs listed for Pittsburgh than there were for Orlando, Denver, Indianapolis, Cleveland, St. Louis, Charlotte NC, Tampa/St. Petersburg FL, Columbus OH, Richmond VA, and Kansas City. No, it's not a scientific study, but it does give a person an idea for the number of open positions in a given city.

Keep in mind that there are negatives to living in a boomtown: heavy traffic, housing market bubbles, overcrowded schools, and rampant illegal immigration.

There are also the aesthetic factors. Most U.S. cities are flat with little natural beauty. Pittsburgh's topography has "forced" its development to include lots of green space and forests (even near downtown), since it is difficult to build houses on a 45-degree angle. Pittsburgh is the only city where I have ever seen deer roaming only a few miles from the city center.

Last edited by kpoeppel; 06-10-2007 at 01:32 PM..
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