Sure, some of the headlines have changed but the song remains the same. The Lingering Global Recession continues to squeeze this city in ways that so many people are not comfortable realizing. With a basic lack of resources and/or revenue cowtown denizens are going to have to adjust to this new age of austerity that doesn’t bode well for the lavish spending and general irresponsibility of recent years just past. The belt tightening has yet to begin because so many media outlets, politicos and corporate owners understand that consumers cutting back is bad for business. But rest assured, there’s just not a lot of money out there right now despite the fact that so many keep spinning their wheels and mistaking every “dead cat bounce” in the economy as a sign of recovery.
So, let’s look at some newsy trends for the week and try to ignore that so much manufactured optimism seems strikingly familiar.
1. It must be election time because there’s a call for ethics reform at City Hall. City Council members and close political watchers claim to want real reform on the Municipal Officials and Officers Ethics Commission. Right now there are a great many alleged conflicts on this board. Sadly, efforts to clean house overlook the fact that the current Council and Mayor were touted as reformers. For three years the absence of any ethics regulation wasn’t just tolerated but enjoyed. This same old song and dance is the hallmark of election season and it’s mostly for political grandstanding when no real work goes into to making quantifiable change. Just like always, look for a nice game of political musical chairs and no substantial changes. Food for thought, the last major ethical lapse by a City Hall denizen that was sanctioned was Mayor Funkhouser, who agreed to give up $1000 because his campaign was playing fast and loose with their funds.
2. Missouri would like to think that more subsidies will save a sinking ship. Right now The Missouri General Assembly is in a Special Session to help save jobs at Show-Me State Ford plants. It’s a nice gesture to sacrifice taxpayer money at the alter of the failing American Auto Industry. What’s funny is that there’s little objection to this kind of intervention from Tea Party activists who would scream bloody murder if the money was going to help poor, brown people pay their hospital bills. Sadly, to help preserve the illusion of the American Middle-Class people don’t mind paying a little extra for the producers of a product that is so often sub par. Don’t argue with me on that one because I drove a Festiva for years until it mercifully died.
3. Once again, d-bags watching the World Cup at The P&L District simply remind us that the people of Johnson County love it when Kansas City proper picks up the tab for their party.
4. It’s a bit obscure but I think it’s important that Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Thomas Hoenig remains the lone opposing vote to keep the federal funds rate near zero. It’s nice to see that not everybody in this cowtown thinks that free money is the solution to the world’s problems. Even if, as usual, that voice is largely ignored.
5. And a three year agreement for former Star newsie Art Brisbane as the New York Times Public Editor is quite an accomplishment which strangely reflects the ongoing downward spiral of Kansas City’s daily paper. Especially given that The Star didn’t even really want to acknowledge his success.
So, while all of these headlines suggest the summer doldrums have set in for Kansas City. Things are soon to ramp up as the homicide rate usually increased with the heat and further South a hurricane threatens to RAIN OIL. That will only further contribute to unrest in this nation that started with animosity toward The Black President and now rages over a declining standard of living.