NYT on Saint Louis
The New York Times publishes a not-entirely fair article about what a bad place St. Louis has become to live in:
In the past few months, the public schools were stripped of accreditation and taken over by the state; the city was designated the most dangerous in the country in a national crime survey; and 15 police officers and supervisors were disciplined for giving World Series tickets seized from scalpers to friends and family.
It goes on to discuss the storms and power outages we’ve experienced in the past year, and it quotes a city planner and some professors.
I complained as much as anyone (okay, maybe a lot more) when my neighborhood repeatedly lost power. But we don’t have it so bad as places like New Orleans. And Saint Louis’ remaining problems seem to be man-made. What struck me about this article was how little attention it paid to possible solutions.
Changing the tax structure in Saint Louis could do a lot to reverse the trend of flight to the suburbs. School choice and other reforms have the potential to improve the city schools and turn Saint Louis into an attractive place to raise a family. Reforms focused on the economy and education would probably go a long way in reducing crime, too. Unfortunately I don’t have a specific policy proposal to prevent unethical use of confiscated tickets.
In addition, the article left out many positive things about Saint Louis, like Ted Drewes, the zoo and the Gateway Orchestra’s free classical music concerts. There’s more to life here than urban crises.