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Feb 14, 2014

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Billy Jones

What? What? What? Billy Jones was right again? How is this going to look on all those resumes, a Bessemer boy with a fake high school diploma from the worst high school in Greensboro proven the brightest light in the room....

Seriously, this is only common sense. With literally hundreds of cities around the nation failing at using the exact same developer driven approach to economic development that Greensboro has long used it only makes sense to look a different direction. After all, it was Albert Einstein who defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.

Selling our city to the business as usual crowd, be they cable TV/ISP, developers or whatever is always a mistake that locks out entrepreneurs and places undue burdens on the public stifling economic growth as a whole, and the well being of the social structure that holds society together.

Greensboro is long overdue for a change beginning with the abandonment of any city funded efforts to build the Greensboro Performing Arts Center as a good faith gesture to Greensboro's working class who are the second hungriest in the nation, live in over 21% poverty and suffer the highest unemployment in the State of North Carolina for comparable cities.

Ed Cone

There's a case to be made that the performing arts center will contribute to the quality of life that the report I linked cites as critical to homegrown economic development.

The real capitulation to the cable industry happened at the state level, but it was disappointing that Greensboro (aside from an OK effort to land Google fiber) didn't do much to establish itself as a digital city. I don't recall seeing our econ dev poohbahs active in the Google campaign, certainly not as drivers. In retrospect, it seems clear that the support from City leaders was motivated almost entirely by the shiny object named Google and not by any deeper understanding of why the project itself was so valuable.

Lex

They don't want to admit that high-speed Internet might actually be a public good, because then, even according to their benighted economic beliefs, government might actually have a role to play. And that would violate their even more benighted economic belief that government has no role to play.

Billy Jones

The Greensboro City Council voted to support the state effort to make municipal owned cable systems illegal. Trying to put the blame on the state is simply your MO of covering for local elected officials... Same ol' Ed Cone.

I'll be back to debunk your other point after breakfast when I've more time.

And I will be back... That is, if you're not scared of letting facts get in the way.

Ed Cone

Lex, I don't disagree that political philosophy was an important part of the state's move against muni-broadband. Corporate cash, too.

But I don't think that philosophy is the presenting issue here in GSO. Our city council passed a resolution against the restrictions and supported the GoogleFi effort, and foundation chieftains showed genuine interest in wifi projects before forgetting about them. This goes deeper than muni-broadband and politics.

I think the problem is a lack of deep understanding by our econ dev leaders of the importance of digital infrastructure to economic development. They read about it, they vaguely agree it's a Good Thing, but in the old saw about ham and eggs, they are the involved chicken not the committed pig.

Billy Jones

I'll begin by asking a question: who's quality of life are we talking about? The quality of life of a select few connected individuals or the quality of life of Greensboro as a whole? As it stands, the Greensboro Coliseum has become detrimental to many of Greensboro's small business. How is that improving the quality of life for Greensboro as a whole and will GPAC not be more of the same?

This is back up by research by none other that former Greensboro Mayor Bill Knight

But again, lets not let the facts stand in the way, Ed hides behind 1 study but I'll be back with more...

Billy Jones

Greensboro can't even fill the Carolina Theatre, how will we fill the GPAC?

Through the use of Orwellian Math you promote lies while the real truth lies in the fact that for Greensboro's working class, Greensboro remains the center of the 2nd hungriest metropolitan statistical area in the nation with poverty rates above 21% and the highest unemployment of any comparable North Carolina city.

Knowing those things, how can even the great Ed Cone have the audacity to claim, even when linking to some study that points to life in New Irving Park how great the quality of life is in Greensboro, that Greensboro shares a great or even good quality of life.

Like those who wrote the study, you confuse the amenities available to the well-to-do with actually being a measure of quality of life.

Two Americas, two Greensboros.

Billy Jones

You want studies? According to N&R Editor, Doug Clark, Greensboro is ranked bottom 10 in the Harvard study:

"Poor kids in Greensboro have a lousy chance -- one of the worst in the country -- of working their way up to prosperity, according to a huge new study from Harvard University."

Is that not a reflection of the quality of life here in Greensboro both now and decades into the future?

Ed Cone

Got it, Billy. You're still against the performing arts center that is about to be built downtown. And you liked the study linked in the post, which includes a focus on qol for business owners and entrepreneurs (not for me), until you didn't.

Fine to disagree, but let's stick to the subject. Thanks.

Billy Jones

"...qol for business owners and entrepreneurs"

So you agree, two Americas, two Greensboros?

Billy Jones

"Fine to disagree, but let's stick to the subject."

But of course Ed, let's do stick to the subject. Let's stick to the subject that if Greensboro's "leaders" would put first tings first and deal with issues like " beginning with the abandonment of any city funded efforts to build the Greensboro Performing Arts Center as a good faith gesture to Greensboro's working class who are the second hungriest in the nation, live in over 21% poverty and suffer the highest unemployment in the State of North Carolina for comparable cities" it would go a very long ways towards resolving the issues of "Talent pool" that you wrote of.

But no, Greensboro has to put the cart in front of the horse every single time.

Was that really over your head? I was on subject all along, just providing background for the rest of your readers. Or would you prefer I cite a few more studies? I can do that as well.

Ed Cone

Do I continue in my long-held and often-stated belief that inequality of opportunity and income are serious problems, nationally and locally? Of course. Do I see either a study citing quality of life as something important to entrepreneurs, or the downtown performing arts center, as examples or multipliers of that inequality? Nope.

Billy Jones


As usual, Ed, you get the last line, I concede the win.

David Wharton

"When cities do create their own municipal Internet networks, prices from the commercial outfits come down -- as they would when faced with any other competition. The higher speeds and cheaper prices also attract business." Says Fox News.

The Oracle of Greensboro

"The Greensboro City Council voted to support the state effort to make municipal owned cable systems illegal." -- Billy

No it did not. It voted to OPPOSE that effort with a resolution supported by Bellamy-Small, Kee, Matheny, Perkins, Rakestraw and Vaughan and opposed by (in favor of making municipal systems illegal) Knight, Thompson and Wade.

Billy Jones

Yeah Oracle, had you been a real oracle you would have known we cleared that up a month ago.

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