You must be from Believeland

Here is a recent letter to the editor I sent to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

I love Cleveland. I love our sports, our history, our community, and even our weather. Though, we have our problems. They’re big problems. I do not love our locally elected officials, the policies they’ve pursued, and where those policies have put us — in the laughing stock hall of fame.

At this point, I cannot be sure which number is greater — the number of people who have watched both fake promotional Cleveland tourism videos on YouTube, or any five year period of visitors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Reason Foundation recently did a series of videos on how Cleveland can adopt pro-growth policies that will help turn the city around. The suggestions posited by Mssrs. Carey and Gillespie were largely ignored.

Does the City of Cleveland need to sign off on variances for business owners to post signs on their property? Do city council members need to help businesses “thread the needle” of the city’s burdensome regulations? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding “no.”

What Cleveland needs is leaders who recognize they are there not to help businesses with problems, but rather, to eliminate problems so they never crop up in the first place. Though, I am not optimistic — elected officials love being able to help people with problems, problems they created.

If you think Cleveland is the “comeback city” and we only need some new and interesting idea to come back (think Medical Mart), I don’t think you’re from around Cleveland. You must be from Believeland.

JIM SWIFT
Huntington, Virginia

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