A few months ago, OpinionJournal ran an excellent article debunking the myth of “cool cities.”
This idea has caught fire with the idiotarian left because it is predicated on the belief that people choose to live in certain places not because of the schools, crime rate or local tax burden, but because they crave being close to swinging night clubs and trendy boutiques.
Under this model, young workers are seemingly oblivious to the fact that they may lose 10 percent or more of their income to local taxes, but really care that they are near a goth dance club.
The reason for this appeal to the left if obvious: it means that the key to urban renewal isn’t lower taxes and (by extension) dismantling the dysfunctional union-dominated bureaucracy that paralyses local government and the school system. Instead, urban growth can be bought by giving subsidies to sports bars:
Visions of trendy nightspots, outdoor cafes and expanded cultural events will be put on paper this month as Michigan cities compete for 12 slots in Gov. Jennifer Granholm's Cool Cities Pilot Program.
The program, which has generated excitement throughout the state, will give chosen cities access to $1.15 million in grants and a pool of state resources to help revitalize urban areas. Lansing and East Lansing officials hope their cities are among those chosen.
The program's mission: attracting new jobs by bringing in young workers through better entertainment and cultural offerings, more housing and nightlife.
There you have it. Lansing isn’t losing people because it is one of the few Michigan cities with an income tax or because it levies high property taxes and insists on charging residents for trash removal. No, they just need to be “cooler.”