Pittsburgh's patronizing pols
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008
I winced at the response of local "authorities" to the U.S. Census Bureau's report of our region's ongoing population losses ( "Pittsburgh's one-year population loss 15th largest," July 10 and PghTrib.com).
Chris Briem, a regional economist at Pitt, tried to minimize our endless decline with unctuous baffle-gab and deceptive half-truths, seemingly to convince people that if we just think positively, we'll all live to see a wonderful future -- a future that has never arrived and, with Mr. Briem's help, never will.
His assurances take the form: "Don't worry -- it's not as bad as it seems. Let's wait and see!"
Well, we've waited now through 25 years of ongoing regional collapse, and all that Mr. Briem and his ilk have done is respond with the same old deceitful minimizing of reality. Meanwhile the decay festering beneath Pittsburgh's carefully cultivated, beautiful facade worsens at the hands of a clueless, indifferent elite, whose public-despising policies of image-making keep forcing out thousands of Pittsburghers every year -- with no end in sight.
Along with Mr. Briem's were the assurances of a Yarone Zober, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's chief of staff, claiming that the latest tax-funded facade enhancements may begin "to reverse the trend."
Good grief. How dumb do they think we are•
Won't our "leaders" and their toadies ever stop degrading us with their patronizing, false assurances• It's enough to make you sick. Perhaps our dim-witted "leaders" will someday understand that the people no longer see their obnoxious assurances as reassuring; they see them as insults and even more reasons to leave.
May I suggest to our "leaders" a new tack: Knock it off with the lies, and start dealing in the truth.
David L. Brock
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