Pittsburgh: The rust belt's shrink

A friend and I were just talking about the recession the other day while I was in the United States. The rust belt is being hit really hard as more and more manufacturing jobs continue to leave the region. Pittsburgh, however, already had its economic apocalypse 25 years ago with the death of the steel industry. These are sad times indeed, but other city’s like Toledo, OH; Detroit, MI; and Erie, PA could learn a lot from Pittsburgh.

I suggest 5 or 6 old yinzers to get on the road and visit as many city governments as they can. Talk about how shitty it is when everyone starts moving out, but everyone will make it. Advice could be:

  • Don’t let capitalism break your city pride. A sports team (or three) really helps out with that.
  • Allowing punk anarchists to move into neighborhoods formally dominated by white ethnics may seem weird, but they do fix up the abandoned houses.
  • Though the city’s Universities will try to rob the city blind, it is important to work with them and sell the culture of intellectualism schtick.
  • The old industry ain’t returning! It’s OK to build a Loews, CVS, or gap where those old factories once stood.
  • Got empty warehouses? Lofts in the top, Art Galleries in the bottom.
  • Make sure your city government is a mixed bag of nutty liberals and old crotchety labor boys.

I am sure there could be more, but I think this road trip could ease a lot of minds!


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