Bloomberg Businessweek (Feb 8-14, 2016) reports:
Atlantic City has seen its tax base, neighborhoods, and finances decay for years. New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie interrupted his presidential campaigning in New Hampshire and returned to his home state on Jan. 26 to announce a solution for keeping the city out of bankruptcy: a state takeover.
Rather than a state takeover or providing more tax credits for failed mega-projects like the new Revel casino, which opened and closed in a year, I’d work on improving the lives of Atlantic City’s citizens and communities by using some of the animation techniques I talk about here, https://profbruce.tumblr.com/post/114222259189/how-to-animate-a-community.
Making communities safer, more walkable, more vibrant and where more learning is taking place, they’ll become more prosperous on their own–you get the fundamentals right, you don’t have to worry about which project government subsidies will be used to support because you won’t need any subsidies.
When Revel and three other casinos closed, Atlantic City lost 8,000 jobs (in a population of just 38,000 residents) and the closures contributed to a 65% drop in the city’s tax assessment base.
Think about any desirable place to live anywhere on this planet. They don’t need subsidies to make them work… and they don’t go bankrupt either.
postscript: Will Arnett who plays Chip in the Netflix series Flaked apparently understands more about how to reanimate communities than the state government of New Jersey. Watch this 3-minute clip, https://profbruce.tumblr.com/post/141794318299/nimby-speech-by-chip-will-arnett-in-flaked-chip
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