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Efforts to curb unbridled growth that's killing the planet
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | January 4, 2014 | Carolyn Lochhead

Posted on 01/05/2014 9:21:29 AM PST by artichokegrower

Fresh-faced tech millionaires snap up glitzy new condos in San Francisco. Across America, construction is up and unemployment is down. Consumers are buying. The economy is growing.

Yet instead of applause, voices from across the political spectrum - Berkeley activists and Beltway conservatives, Pope Francis and even some corporate CEOs - offer a critique of economic growth and its harm to the well-being of humans and the planet.

Ecologists warn that economic growth is strangling the natural systems on which life depends, creating not just wealth, but filth on a planetary scale. Carbon pollution is changing the climate. Water shortages, deforestation, tens of millions of acres of land too polluted to plant, and other global environmental ills are increasingly viewed as strategic risks by governments and corporations around the world.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS:
Richard Norgaard, UC Berkeley economist: "There is no theoretical reason why the economy has to keep growing."


The economy has to keep growing to cover the unfunded pension and health care benefits of public university employees.

1 posted on 01/05/2014 9:21:29 AM PST by artichokegrower
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To: artichokegrower

I double dog dare you to mail him that comment!


2 posted on 01/05/2014 9:22:02 AM PST by Black Agnes
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To: artichokegrower

Save America! Deport all illegal aliens!


3 posted on 01/05/2014 9:22:58 AM PST by P-Marlowe (There can be no Victory without a fight and no battle without wounds)
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To: artichokegrower

Ah the blatherings of the left that is Buzzerkley


4 posted on 01/05/2014 9:23:54 AM PST by Nifster
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To: artichokegrower

A former student is going to UC Berkeley. When I heard this I just shook my head.

she and her parents pay to be ‘taught’ by these idiots.

Anyone who, in the first place, doesn’t recognize that we are $17 trillion in debt and that that cannot be paid back, under the current and projected trends, is stupider than I am about economics, and I have zero academic economic credentials.


5 posted on 01/05/2014 9:25:37 AM PST by stanne
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To: artichokegrower
"Across America, construction is up and unemployment is down. Consumers are buying. The economy is growing."

The Beltway, Castro, Silicon Valley and Tribeca are not the sum total of America. In most localities the above statement is not only untrue but a cruel joke.

6 posted on 01/05/2014 9:27:16 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (A courageous man finds a way, an ordinary man finds an excuse.)
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To: artichokegrower

There ya go. Zero growth is too much. If they have their way they would cause a tremendous depression. This explains their, otherwise, insane economic policies.


7 posted on 01/05/2014 9:27:27 AM PST by DManA
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To: artichokegrower

Lets see. In one day I’ve seen that all sex is rape, meat eating is pedophilia, global warming is worse than ever, and there’s no reason for economic growth.


8 posted on 01/05/2014 9:29:08 AM PST by Crazieman (Are you naive enough to think VOTING will fix this entrenched system?)
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To: artichokegrower

And yet in the same paper, an article celebrating the Bay Area’s wealthy and those consuming planetary resources:

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Bay-Area-s-People-to-Watch-in-2014-5114765.php

Note the first person mentioned in the list (who also has the first and last photos in the related gallery).

What did Chesterton say about how could you tell whether you were part of the “surplus population” or not?


9 posted on 01/05/2014 9:32:21 AM PST by thecodont
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To: Black Agnes; artichokegrower
I haven't found Mr. Norgaard's email, but I did post that comment, with some emphasis on the UC Berkeley topix board
10 posted on 01/05/2014 9:32:29 AM PST by Baynative (Got bulbs? Check my profile page.)
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To: Crazieman
Lets see. In one day I’ve seen that all sex is rape, meat eating is pedophilia, global warming is worse than ever, and there’s no reason for economic growth.

The self-proclaimed "intellectual leaders" are out in force.

11 posted on 01/05/2014 9:33:57 AM PST by Standing Wolf (No tyrant should ever be allowed to die of natural causes.)
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To: Baynative

*snicker*. Good on you.


12 posted on 01/05/2014 9:34:20 AM PST by Black Agnes
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To: artichokegrower

All up and down the Jersey shore, people are renovating. They are spending a lot of money.

I am told it has nothing to do with Sandy, and everything to do with a growing economy.

Oh. OK. Nothing to do with insurance payouts and certainly not anything to do with the love between their governor and his boardwalk buddy.

Nothing to do with printing money out of control.

WE are $1 trillion in debt as of the last election. That was acceptable and not powerfully stated by Romney.

What is the debt now? What are the predictions for how we are going t take care of this, besides passing it to our children, who are being taught Crap in these colleges?

Where is the wisdom?

That the wealthy are not being wise in distributing their money however they see fit, including providing for their on future or not, has to do with the wisdom of the family, their own family.

Our government Is responsible for strapping the youth with, as it is, an unpayable debt.

these guys need to focus on that.

If a guy in SF wants to spend money, what’s it to some dopey college professor?

If this professor would be honest, he’d investigate Pelosi’s, Boxer’s, Feinsteins and the Schwoarzeneggars’ spending and earning, and usury of those whom they are entrusted to serve.

The individual has no such civically binding obligation.


13 posted on 01/05/2014 9:36:55 AM PST by stanne
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To: stanne

$17 trillion in debt.


14 posted on 01/05/2014 9:38:18 AM PST by stanne
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To: artichokegrower; akk
Everybody should read Dan Brown's INFERNO. It paints an unpleasant but plausible vision of the future.

The elite want to accumulat wealth, power, and possessions. There are too mahy people on the planet, more than they deem necessary to satisfy their lusts. There were too many people reaching that extremely rich status before the recession. Now, it's time to impoverish and kill off the bottom 98% or so while continuing on the road to idyllic existance.

That's a conspiracy theory, for sure. Convince me it's not plausible.

15 posted on 01/05/2014 9:38:46 AM PST by grania
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To: artichokegrower

All you had to do was mention “California”, and any debate of growth or prosperity is instantly shut down. Do the people of California even realize just how much they’re loathed, despised, and ridiculed by the rest of the US?
I moved to Oregon from the upper midwest, and even the people here east of the cascades don’t want anything to do with anyone from California. California earned the name of the “granola” state for a reason, and it isn’t just a west coast thing.


16 posted on 01/05/2014 9:40:45 AM PST by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: artichokegrower

If the planet isn’t used for our growth it has no value.

“Be fruitful and multiply”- all the ecology I need to know.


17 posted on 01/05/2014 9:41:30 AM PST by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat Party!)
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To: artichokegrower

“Growth” is being funded by QE (in the USA and elsewhere) in the name of ‘stimulus’ and ‘job creation’ ... which is supported and advocated by who? The LEFT .. in every country.

Yet ‘growth’ (which would logically include the creation of more jobs) is considered bad for the environment.

The illogical LEFT wants more jobs, but no growth.

The Berkeley professor is right up to a point. More industry (which is the definition of growth) does necessarily require we consume more energy and natural resources. But this is more a factor of population growth rather than economic growth per se.

But the Berkley professor and the LEFT can’t have it both ways. Either the people of the planet have jobs (which necessitates growth in industry which in turn necessitates consumption of energy and resources) or people of the planet don’t have jobs and live in abject poverty.

Of course, when you are never ever required to be logical (the LEFT) then you don’t have to recognize this at all. You can always have utopia ... for nothing.


18 posted on 01/05/2014 9:43:46 AM PST by Lorianne (fedgov, taxporkmoney)
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To: Crazieman

“In one day I’ve seen that all sex is rape, meat eating is pedophilia, global warming is worse than ever, and there’s no reason for economic growth...”

No wonder they call you crazieman... with all this lunacy... we are all crazymen or women!


19 posted on 01/05/2014 9:43:53 AM PST by momtothree
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To: artichokegrower
The economy is growing   



             

20 posted on 01/05/2014 9:47:20 AM PST by tomkat
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To: stanne

I have zero academic economic credentials.

That puts you way ahead of this economic illiterate. I bet he gets paid $120K per year plus massive benefits and full lifetime pension to be this stupid!


21 posted on 01/05/2014 9:48:17 AM PST by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: artichokegrower

“Unbridled growth” is harming the planet at all.

The unwillingness to use the science and resources available is making things worse than need be.

Use NUCLEAR POWER AND NATURAL GAS and all the dirty coal fired plants can go away. (leave the low sulfur coal plants alone)

Use DDT to control third world malaria. (Ref. NatGeo July 2007)
(It was only a problem in the U.S. due to significant overuse.)

Replace oppressive socialist and dictatorial regimes with free democracies, to allow ingenuity and capitalism to thrive.


22 posted on 01/05/2014 9:53:17 AM PST by G Larry
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To: artichokegrower

Ohhhhhhh.....I see it now......Obama and the Democrats screwing up the economy is actually good. That, friends, is a stretch that any First Baseman would be proud of.


23 posted on 01/05/2014 9:58:03 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Nifster

The average population density in America is 84 people per square mile. A sudden transformation from American values to communist values reliably occurs above 800 people per square mile. Berkeley has 10,752. From their personal perspective they are 100% correct that there are too many people stressing their environment. Ironically they think the solution is to pack humans in even tighter so that they are forced to share more. Scientific studies of happiness show that human happiness decreases the closer in humans live. Conservatives should support managing growth to prevent more than 800 people living per square mile. That will greatly foster happiness, health, long life, and reduce evil of all kinds, such as communism.


24 posted on 01/05/2014 10:01:28 AM PST by Reeses
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To: Reeses
A sudden transformation from American values to communist values reliably occurs above 800 people per square mile.

Nice theory (sort of like the latent heat of crystallization).

25 posted on 01/05/2014 10:04:27 AM PST by thecodont
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To: grania

Plausible for a novel by Dan Brown. In the real World only the government is strong enough to destroy a large percentage of the population as in North Korea, The Soviet Union, China and a myriad of African countries all run by Stalinists and Maoist trash.

As for a first World capitalist economic system, Our poor wield an immense amount of political power and not only eat well, are offered 24 hour a day entertainment on the scale the kings of old would not recognize. The 1 or 2% at the top could ill afford an upset general population. Besides the wealthy generally became that way by providing goods and services to the greater population that freely chose to give them their money in exchange for said goods and services.

All these Malthusian proclamations are total BS. We could easily house every man, woman and child in the entire World with each having their own 1/4 acre lot and four bedroom home and still wouldn’t ‘fill up’ Texas.

As for food resources, we have become so good at agriculture that a fraction of a percent of the population can feed the World. The only cause of famine today is war and Leftist governments. The American Chicken farmer can incubate, raise, slaughter, dress, package and deliver a chicken anywhere in World cheaper than can be raised locally.

If their is global warming the increase in available farmlands in the Northern Hemisphere would allow for a population on a level that is many times larger than we have today. An order of ten would have to be reached before the food resources of a warmer Earth where even marginally taxed.

It is time to put an end to the idiocy that is the falsehood of over population. Certainly cities like Buffalo, Cleveland, Newark, Detroit, Pittsburgh and many others could easily provide for two to three times their present populations considering they have all lost 50% of their inhabitants.


26 posted on 01/05/2014 10:05:58 AM PST by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: artichokegrower
Richard Norgaard, UC Berkeley economist: "There is no theoretical reason why the economy has to keep growing."

Theoretically, no. Corruption, crony capitalism, government support of industries for which there is no market, and the formation of government-approved monopolies can all lead to a shrinking economy in which a few government-approved oligarchs live like pashas, skilled workers flee the country in droves and those who can't get out can fight over the few available jobs or turn to crime while birthrates collapse, and abandoned cities are retaken by wildlife. Russia is once again the role model for the Left.

Or why stop there? Destruction is always easier than creation. Ruin the economy sufficiently and we can all revert to a pre-industrial agrarian society. From there it's just a hop, skip and jump to living in caves, waiting for extinction, which will presumably allow the enviro-cultists to stop worrying about the planet.
27 posted on 01/05/2014 10:15:51 AM PST by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: artichokegrower
Fresh-faced tech millionaires snap up glitzy new condos in San Francisco

Not to worry -- these likely Libs will be "absolved" as long as they say their prayers to Gaia & quietly pay the carbon taxes ....

28 posted on 01/05/2014 10:27:01 AM PST by mikrofon (Truly Inquiring Minds WANT to Know.)
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To: artichokegrower

All this blather focuses on the population in developed nations. Hint: Producers

None of this blather focuses on the population in under-developed nations. Hint: Takers

It even addresses the races inside nations. White upwardly mobile people, have concern for the planet. Have fewer kids. Use less resources.

Poor people with no means of supporting yourselves or your offspring..., oh never-mind, we’ll get to you later.

NEVER do you see focus on poor families with five to ten children. Always you see focus on the upwardly mobile who are already having far fewer kids than are needed to replace them.

Those that listen are causing a system where the best and brightest are not swelling in the ranks, but the bottom 1% is.

This is suicidal talk. Oh, UC Berkeley? LOL, who could have guessed that...

The West, the Capitalist nations are the target. We don’t want them reproducing do we...


29 posted on 01/05/2014 10:28:00 AM PST by DoughtyOne (ZERO is still zero!)
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To: factoryrat
Do the people of California even realize just how much they’re loathed, despised, and ridiculed by the rest of the US?

For the most part, no, they don't. They live in a false superiority bubble.

30 posted on 01/05/2014 10:37:00 AM PST by EricT. (ARBEIT MACHT FREI- now get back to work you taxpaying peasant!)
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To: artichokegrower

leftist politics not withstanding(their science being garbage science).

there are a few things that scare the crap out of me.

the population growth (which seems to mostly in the 3rd world)

the movement of peoples from the 3rd world to the west.

the increase in food production(whether by normal breeding processes or by genetic modification) to permit this population growth.

and one or more catastrophes happening at once.
these could be:

a huge solar flare of the 1859 caliber
a large volcanic eruption of the Toba catastrophe or even one of considerably less like the Tambora eruption and subsequent year without a summer, 1816.
a big (not chicxulub big, but big)Asteroid hit
a World War (non nuclear)
a World War (nuclear)
a pandemic of the 1918 Spanish flu caliber

we could wind up, literally, in a world of hurt as we approach our tipping points.


31 posted on 01/05/2014 10:46:04 AM PST by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: stanne
All up and down the Jersey shore, people are renovating. They are spending a lot of money.

I am told it has nothing to do with Sandy, and everything to do with a growing economy.

Oh. OK. Nothing to do with insurance payouts and certainly not anything to do with the love between their governor and his boardwalk buddy

I do not know why I as a taxpayer have to pay so that people who want waterfront property so their home is also their summer home and can get national flood insurance on the peoples dime.

I rented a house for a few years on a Long Island canal while single back in the late 1970s. It was a blast and I boated every day after work and all weekend and just pulled my boat back into its slip in my back yard when I was done.

when I got married and went to buy a home....it made no sense to risk the fates. we bought upland and inland. Why trust the fates on that kind of dangerous move.

32 posted on 01/05/2014 10:53:24 AM PST by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Lorianne

“But the Berkley professor and the LEFT can’t have it both ways. Either the people of the planet have jobs (which necessitates growth in industry which in turn necessitates consumption of energy and resources) or people of the planet don’t have jobs and live in abject poverty.”

They explained that in the article saying that the poor could just ‘share’ things and not own them. There wouldn’t be a need to produce much if everyone had to share things.

Then everyone could work less and spend their time on the ‘Arts’.

They kind of run out ideas after that and forgot to mention how everyone supported themselves. Communism is like that, it runs out of ideas on how to make it work.


33 posted on 01/05/2014 11:12:24 AM PST by Beagle8U (Unions are Affirmative Action for Slackers! .)
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To: Jim from C-Town

“I bet he gets paid $120K per year plus massive benefits and full lifetime pension to be this stupid!”

I’ll bet it’s double that.


34 posted on 01/05/2014 11:13:58 AM PST by Beagle8U (Unions are Affirmative Action for Slackers! .)
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To: Beagle8U; Jim from C-Town

without a doubt it is double that....perhaps triple.


35 posted on 01/05/2014 11:22:29 AM PST by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: artichokegrower

So what are they going to do—eliminate more of the unworthy?


36 posted on 01/05/2014 11:23:40 AM PST by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: tomcat; artichokegrower

37 posted on 01/05/2014 11:24:11 AM PST by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: artichokegrower
Ecologists warn that economic growth is strangling the natural systems on which life depends, creating not just wealth, but filth on a planetary scale. Carbon pollution is changing the climate. Water shortages,...

Easy solution!
Just kill all the "ecologists (NEVER call them scientists*)" and their acolytes.

* "Such large returns of conjecture from such small investment in facts," Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

38 posted on 01/05/2014 11:59:26 AM PST by publius911 ( At least Nixon had the good g race to resign!)
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To: mrsmith
If the planet isn’t used for our growth it has no value.

Two statements that have guided me well since I was a child, first learning science.
Growth is the only evidence of life."
The only everlastingly unchanging planet is a dead planet."

39 posted on 01/05/2014 12:04:43 PM PST by publius911 ( At least Nixon had the good g race to resign!)
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To: Beagle8U

That might explain why a college degree costs $250K.


40 posted on 01/05/2014 12:25:30 PM PST by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Reeses

“Conservatives should support managing growth to prevent more than 800 people living per square mile. “

No conservative I know would advocate the idea of having the government (because when you say managing growth that’s what you really mean) tell them where to live. You are promoting Agenda 21 view points so please don’t lecture me with commie ideas and basic baffle gab


41 posted on 01/05/2014 12:27:49 PM PST by Nifster
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To: thecodont

“A sudden transformation from American values to communist values reliably occurs above 800 people per square mile. “

This alone doesn’t explain it. The population density of the most populous cities in the US was higher in the past than it is now.


42 posted on 01/05/2014 12:29:33 PM PST by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: Jim from C-Town
In your argument, you state that there is plenty of land and resources to easily support the earth's population. One argument you use is that cities such as Detroit, Newark and Cleveland have lost over half of their populations, and certainly they could be repopulated.

There's a problem with that argument. That would be that the reason these cities in some areas have become unliveable cesspools is that people do not behave very well when they are idle, and the result is unliveable chaos. The problem is not caring for people, but keeping them from idle dysfunction so they don't self-destruct.

That's where the too many people argument happens. We're past the era of manufacturing, there's an over supply of labor, so what do you do with the masses? Look at the world....in places where there is overpopulation, the tendency is to wars, disease, crime and social breakdown.

That can't be addressed by just feeding, clothing, and housing people with nothing to work for and no reason to work.

43 posted on 01/05/2014 12:29:37 PM PST by grania
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To: artichokegrower

The Chinese are the ones turning their country into a toxic waste dump. Let us know when you’re done straightening them out.


44 posted on 01/05/2014 12:35:21 PM PST by Anton.Rutter
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To: grania

The only reason there is a surplus of labor is because of poor economic policies stunt economic growth. Even unskilled workers can be employed in industry when we have economic growth and unencumbered labor markets.

The best form of welfare is a job. If everyone on welfare was required to report to duty to sweep the streets and spruce up the neighborhood. A vast amount of these people would become employed in the private sector toot sweet. That is if the government allows a private sector. Right now they are intent on regulating it to death.


45 posted on 01/05/2014 12:43:01 PM PST by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Jim from C-Town
I agree with everything you just stated.

I've often said of Cleveland's challenged neighborhoods that the solution to the probems starts with opening those abandoned factories and making everyone who reports for a handout also have to report for work.

46 posted on 01/05/2014 12:47:50 PM PST by grania
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