Toledo Talk

Why is Columbus so prosperous?

My wife just returned from a business trip to Columbus. She stayed at a downtown hotel near the state house, and she was bowled over by the wealth on display at our state's capitol, where a huge underground parking facility is available for our legislators. The construction underway everywhere was phenomenal. Swanky towering government centers were everywhere. A truck pulled up at 6am with mulch for the statehouse gardens. She said all downtown was unbelievably beautiful. Columbus makes our humble burg look like a dirty, third-world city by comparison.

Why does Toledo (and the rest of Ohio's cities) get shafted by our legislators? Why does Columbus, which to my knowledge produces little in terms of industrial output or intellectual capital, have the most prosperous economy in Ohio? Is state government that well-off? Well, it shouldn't be. They are stealing from the rest of us to provide for themselves a glittering mansion while many of us are either unemployed or barely making it. Meanwhile, we Toledoans complain that our city is wasting money on our little flower displays. And legislators wonder why citizens are ticked off when they send their tax money to Columbus.

O.k., my rant is over.

created by pete on Jun 23, 2011 at 07:37:46 pm     Business     Comments: 59

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Columbus has tons of prosperous businesses. Thats why alot of Toledoans move there for work. I dont think it has anything to do with state government being that well off. It is also surrounded by some of the most beautiful suburbs in Ohio. Its kind of like comparing Atlanta to Decatur.

posted by Ryan on Jun 23, 2011 at 07:49:59 pm     #  

And the above was not said in a smartass way. (gots to cover myself these days)

posted by Ryan on Jun 23, 2011 at 07:50:51 pm     #   1 person liked this

And the above was not said in a smartass way. (gots to cover myself these days)

posted by Ryan on Jun 23, 2011 at 07:50:53 pm     #  

Setting aside the issue of disproportionate tax revenues being siphoned by Columbus, the fact that it is the state capitol means that it is a center of power, and it will thus attract all sorts of lobbyists, lawyers, and policy wonks (plus their families and wealth). Add to this the fact that Ohio State University is part of the city and you have quite an intellectual-political synergy, kind of like if Ann Arbor and Lansing were the same city in Michigan (no offense to Spartan fans).

A number of major companies five corporations have headquarters in Columbus, such as Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, American Electric Power, Limited Brands, Momentive Specialty Chemicals, and Big Lots (all Fortune 500 companies). There is also a major defense/research group centered in Columbus: Battelle Memorial Institute.

Columbus has weathered all of the significant recessions and depressions without losing population, which no other Ohio city can say. In fact, the city has had double digit population growth in six of the last seven decades, and even in the lean 1980s it managed 4.7 percent population growth (a time when many Ohio cities were experiencing net population losses).

So: lots of factors, plus some I have left out, but the bottom line is that economic and demographic momentum tend to be forces that are slow to change. Hence, a growing city tends to continue growing, while shrinking cities (Cleveland, Youngstown, Toledo, and so on) continue in the same negative trajectories in which they have become mired.

A case might also be made that Columbus is emerging as the state's primate city in this century, though it should be noted that metropolitan area of Columbus is still a bit smaller than that of Cleveland or Cincinnati:

Ohio cities

posted by historymike on Jun 23, 2011 at 09:15:46 pm     #   1 person liked this

I lived in Hamlin on Cosgray Road just down a little ways from Weldon's Tavern, which is outside of Hilliard which is outside the I-270 Loop in northwest Franklin Co. Now that that's clear, here's my slant on Columbus.

Columbus is always a boom town that never ends. When unemployment is high elsewhere in the State, you can always find a job in the Columbus area. Union and non-Union both. The wages are a little lower in Columbus but the longer work season (construction) more than makes up for it. Just about every industry is available. Even a brewery when Bud was made there. I don't know if it's open or not. If you have a good work ethic and ambition you can do about anything you want in the Columbus area. It's a great place to live...

posted by rch101 on Jun 23, 2011 at 09:41:34 pm     #  

By the way... historymike, you hit it on the head...

And to add to my previous post, I moved from Columbus to Cleveland in '85 and damned near went bust. A little promotion I took almost broke me up there. It took me 10 years to recover. I should have never left Columbus and all my network friends there.

posted by rch101 on Jun 23, 2011 at 09:47:55 pm     #  

Been trying to work my way there for years, the suburbs are just so darn nice. Being 45 mins from the Hocking Hills area is the main draw for me.

My only complaint is that the population is growing much faster than the roads system. Traffic down there can make you wan to pull your hair out if you are used to T Town traffic (or lack there of).

posted by dbw8906 on Jun 24, 2011 at 07:30:53 am     #  

I lived in Columbus from 95' to 2001. I graduated from OSU and worked there straight out of college. I loved Columbus and it always had so much more to offer than the other big cities in Ohio. The only reason I left was due to my career. I used to work in the hotel business so I transferred here and there to further my career. At times I wish I would have stayed in Columbus but hey everything happens for a reason...and there is always a good chance I will end up back there.

As far as why Columbus is more successful than Toledo - I think it has more to do with opportunities that are available to residents in the area. Columbus has 5 Fortune 500 companies not mention large employers such OSU and Wendy's Corp.

I'm not saying Toledo is a bad place but just the disparity in population alone gives Columbus more opportunity to generate more revenue and attract larger companies and businesses which in turn creates more jobs.

posted by douglasadietz on Jun 24, 2011 at 08:55:35 am     #  

But isn't it the chicken or the egg syndrome? I mean, Columbus has a larger population because it can sustain it, but it can sustain it because it has the larger population. Sort of the build it and they will come deal.

posted by Ryan on Jun 24, 2011 at 09:33:57 am     #  

I've had two cousins move from the Toledo area down to Columbus for better employment opportunities. One is a lawyer and the other is a school teacher, and both found better positions for themselves down in Columbus than they could find here in Toledo.

If things don't change around here, I have a feeling my family and I may be right behind them. I haven't seen many accounting opportunities around here. so once I'm done with my Bachelor's degree, We'll have to see what's going on.

posted by lfrost2125 on Jun 24, 2011 at 09:36:21 am     #  

lfrost if you don't mind a drive into Michigan I may know of a couple entry level accounting positions.

posted by dbw8906 on Jun 24, 2011 at 09:49:39 am     #  

Additional thought, there are a variety of conventions and large scale meetings hosted in Columbus. This generates a rich tourist industry with funding from beyond the city, state, and country filtering in.

Toledo is STARTING to develop conventions which attracts money into our region - hopefully we will foster these conventions and seem them bloom. I know and am involved in 3 in our area, they generate a lot of hotel income, food income, and as a result taxes for our area from outside our city and state.

posted by OhioKimono on Jun 24, 2011 at 10:26:05 am     #  

OK I agree we might as well use the tools we have in any way possible. But as Ryan stated "But isn't it the chicken or the egg syndrome?" as there is a lot of business in C-Bus that wants to bring prospective clients or investors in to town. No Nationwide/Wendy's and I would fear much less C-Bus conventions. Chicago had a large tourist/convention gig because of the Exchange/big business and the people it brought.

posted by dbw8906 on Jun 24, 2011 at 10:36:18 am     #  

I personally think it has to do with attitudes. Columbus has embraced a variety of economies. They haven't limited themselves to just manufacturing or just financial or government. While being the state capitol has it's advantages, it's not the only thing that is powering their growth. They have a very powerful and prestigious university and they have some very wealthy individuals and companies down there.

Conversely, Toledo has been really limited to just manufacturing and has been in that mind set and can't get out of it. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if this area wants to be something like a Columbus and other larger cities, we need to get more professional and office jobs to help balance out the manufacturing jobs. We can't limit ourselves to one industry. We need to be diverse and embrace every different type of industry.

Also, we need stronger political players in Columbus fighting for us. I'm still miffed at how our outer loop (interstate system) is just 2 lanes each way. All other large cities, it's at least 3 lanes each way with multiple exits and entrances. This is severely limiting the growth in areas as access is limited.

Lastly, going back to the attitude, there is no sense of pride in this area. We don't seem to want to use the resources or things we have. Always want to be more, have more, all for the lowest dollar. Hardly anyone pays $.01 more for something in Toledo and always wants to go elsewhere for it. Why not take pride in your area and support it even if it costs a little bit more to do so? Until that attitude changes, things will continue to be the same.

Rant over

OhioKimono - that is a good sign. The more conventions we can bring in, the more activities we can develop the more jobs it creates. I still wish we had some more tourist destinations downtown like an aquarium and/or an IMAX theatre and such...I can only dream (if I only had money to build them).

posted by avinsurer on Jun 24, 2011 at 10:55:45 am     #  

Interesting chart, HM. Something weird in common: Columbus and Toledo appear to be the only two major cities that have not lost 75%+ of their population to the suburbs. That should be a positive for the city of Toledo, right? More tax revenue for services, no abandoned neighborhoods, etc. Maybe Toledo can emulate some of the things Columbus does to attract new business since it has a stable population and numerous schools and organizations to get people trained to work?

But take a look at some of the population differences between metro area and the "city proper". Wow--eye popping. Only 14% or so of "Cincinnati's" population actually lives in the city itself (if I'm reading that right).

posted by oldhometown on Jun 24, 2011 at 10:55:46 am     #  

OHT what good does it to keep a population, if that population continues to grow uneducated, unskilled, and or doesn't want to work. Most Toledoans can't afford to escape to the burbs where I would say the reverse about C-Bus residents. Most of the burbs around C-Bus are very rural and even for being close to the city the property is relativly undeveloped, open land and the property value has remained fairly low (proportionately to salary). Slyvania, P-Burg, and other Toledo burbs are your traditional 60's & 70's type of suburbs that where built with high economic walls to keep city dwellers out, it was kinda the point. C-Bus has also not been burdened with mass amounts of welfare recipients to house in their city, with them comes all their trappings. I suspect with continued growth they will come, they must have a working tax base to support them.

It's really not a apples to apples comparison.

posted by dbw8906 on Jun 24, 2011 at 11:11:29 am     #  

I lived in Columbus in the mid-90s for about 4 years before moving on to Chicago for 4 years and then back here in 2002. Columbus was a great place socially and professionally, still have quite a few friends down there. A great place to raise a family, even in the city proper.

posted by Ace_Face on Jun 24, 2011 at 06:33:09 pm     #   1 person liked this

Here is the thing...we already have conventions.

How many of you know of 1 of these large annual conventions that I am speaking of? We have conventions, we just need to better put them in a spotlight. I know one convention desperately wants to move into the SeaGate center, but their pricing is insane.

Conventions attract large sums of money from other cities, states, and sometimes countries into our area.

posted by OhioKimono on Jun 24, 2011 at 10:20:21 pm     #  

< Labor Unions

posted by CharlesBronson on Jun 25, 2011 at 01:34:44 am     #  

The con I know that wants the SeaGate center doesn't need staffing from labor unions, they have their own labor and staff pool.

posted by OhioKimono on Jun 25, 2011 at 06:32:22 am     #  

CharlesBronson, there is a healthy organized labor presence in the Columbus area. It appears to be a good working balance.

posted by rch101 on Jun 25, 2011 at 07:38:04 am     #  

Conflicted emotions on unions - Columbus, Ohio.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/25/us/25columbus.html

posted by CharlesBronson on Jun 25, 2011 at 12:35:00 pm     #  

HistoryMike - can you please post the link to your graphic that includes 2010 Metro Population. Its good info I can use but need to make sure its a reliable source. Thanks

posted by GTVT on Jun 25, 2011 at 02:34:36 pm     #  

Richard Freeman, an economist at Harvard, said he saw the hostility toward unions as a sign of decay in society. Some working-class people see so few possibilities for their lives that it is eroding the aspirational nature that has long been typical of Americans.

“It shows a hopelessness,” he said. “It used to be, ‘You have something I don’t have; I’ll go to my employer to get it, too. Now I don’t see any chance of getting it. I don’t want to be the lowest one on the totem pole, so I don’t want you to have it either.’ ”

This.

posted by Ace_Face on Jun 25, 2011 at 03:04:57 pm     #   1 person liked this

"You have something I don't have. I'll go to my employer to get it, too"....

That is the PROBLEM.

It should have been "I will improve my skills and get it myself, or work longer hours or a second job, and get it myself"...

When everything became ENTITLEMENTS is when everything went to crud.

posted by frigus_veritas on Jun 25, 2011 at 07:31:50 pm     #   1 person liked this

I think what he meant was that it used to be that employees used to have some hand. They could ask for extra pay for overtime, more vacation etc. and if the employer didn't give it, the employee could go to work somewhere else. Now, employees can't move to another job because no one is hiring and there is no opportunity for advancement even if they get more skills. Private sector workers are jealous of the security, pay and benefits that public sector workers get and figure if they can't have it, public sector employees shouldn't either. But the private sector shouldn't be cutting down the public sector, they should be asking why private sector pay has essentially been flat for the last 30 years. In other words, the question isn't why is it so great to be a public sector worker, it is why does it stink to work in the private sector.

But we were talking about Columbus?

posted by Ace_Face on Jun 25, 2011 at 09:46:08 pm     #   2 people liked this

The data in the table above are from the US Census Bureau. The link will give you the data to produce a wide range of demographic tables.

posted by historymike on Jun 25, 2011 at 10:47:44 pm     #  

Wow. This didn't turn political yet. Impressive.

posted by HickoryG on Jun 26, 2011 at 10:41:35 am     #   1 person liked this

Well the whole union aspect does carry some weight. Toledo has been run by Union Democrats since World War II and Columbus is a mix of liberal Democrats and Republicans, the mix is evident and I would say that's how it's suppose to work. I don't have much respect for unions and the division of the Democratic Party enthralled and election with them.

/politcal rant

I live in Columbus and attend Ohio State, studying City and Regional Planning. I lived in Toledo prior to that went to UT for two years before I did what everyone else seems to be doing: leaving Toledo. I went to Maumee Valley, and us students used to jokingly say "you show me someone successful in Toledo, and I'll show you someone leaving Toledo quickly." Sorta sad.

Columbus is doing well for a myriad of reasons. For starters, they annexed land and kept up with the sprawl. That meant that the population and tax dollars didn't escape (really an unfortunate term haha) as much as elsewhere. Huge malls like Easton and Polaris still pay their taxes to Columbus. That helps. They still have their rich suburbs, but they also annexed enough of a tax base to mitigate that problem pretty well.

Toledo is a bit different. Perrysburg/Sylvania/Oregon/Maumee/Rossford have taken a chunk of the action. Woodville Mall (back in the day), Levis Commons, Fallen Timbers, the casino, the refineries in Oregon, etc. Just a lot of stuff directing the taxes away and crippled the urban core.

Plus there is this attitude about Toledo that is almost inherently negative. We love our Mud Hens, but we like to agree that Toledo is a shithole. Again, it's sad. The attitude in Columbus: "GO BUCKEYES!!!" The attitude in Toledo: "I need to GTFO."

Toledo has been trying, and I'm ready to say they're actually succeeding slowly, in revitalizing the downtown. They made excellent choices with the stadiums downtown. The lofts are filling up. The artsy crowd exists in a small number. If the theories are true, and it goes "ghetto-->bohemian-->gay/yuppi-->revitalization," Toledo is certainly on its way. I would like to see Toledo come out with a masterplan (and if they have, please show me a link as I'd love to tear it apart haha) addressing how they're going to create a sustainable (economically speaking) downtown core that is walkable, bikeable, etc.

Toledo is a small city with great potential, and if we handled our situation correctly we could absolutely be a wonderful city to live in. And when I say city, I mean Toledo and not NW Ohio. As Toledo's core goes, NW Ohio goes. Columbus has done very well linking their downtown reinvestments with the Short North and German Village and they're wonderful places to live. Toledo needs to take it further, fill the downtown voids and link it with the Old West End neighborhoods to really get the snowball rolling. It takes 20+ years and I don't think the folks in charge in Toledo and the mindset or the patience.

posted by BusterBluth on Jun 26, 2011 at 01:59:46 pm     #   2 people liked this

Why is Columbus so prosperous? Same reason the grass is greener on the other side of the fence - they take better care of it over there.

posted by madjack on Jun 26, 2011 at 05:37:16 pm     #  

I think Buster and madjack summed it all up pretty well. But it should be mentioned that Columbus also has a daily newspaper that doesn't aim to destroy the city and it's people.

posted by dell_diva on Jun 27, 2011 at 08:30:51 am     #  

If The Blade is destroying Toledo its the readers fault and nobody else. Btw, not a fan nor a reader. And yet I still get all my local news.

posted by Ryan on Jun 27, 2011 at 08:42:46 am     #  

But it should be mentioned that Columbus also has a daily newspaper that doesn't aim to destroy the city and it's people.

The Dispatch definitely has a different point of view that the Blade (they haven't endorsed a Democrat for President in almost 100 years). But the Wolfe family, who owns the Dispatch, are just as meddling in city politics as the Blade. The Wolfes have even more investment in Columbus (mostly real estate) than the Blocks do in Toledo and they are not shy about using their paper, television and radio stations to help out their investments.

posted by Ace_Face on Jun 27, 2011 at 04:49:51 pm     #  

So before making routine trek to my church that is Columbus Crew Stadium (Columbus X Colorado, Major League Soccer), I drove around the city for a bit and noticed two areas of town that were simply happening, ON A SUNDAY! Not even in my years in Cincinnati have I seen the amount of buzz on a Sunday afternoon. I'm sure there were some sort of festivals, artist thing perhaps going on. But I drove drove the one Market area and then the other areas on High St., I presume is the Short North area. People walking in and out of shops, spending money on mainly local vendors, people enjoying parks and people watching, and well, it was just happening. I can only imagine how things are when the majority of college kids are back. But the fact remains, when there are creative open minds (and not just uber-liberal types) and outside the box mentality, the possibilities are endless when it comes to prosperity.

posted by djimpelr on Jun 27, 2011 at 08:51:39 pm     #  

you have to remember size too. columbus downtown is 100x as big as toledos and it really has no place to expand. so even if it gets packed you will never be able to drive and drive...

posted by Ryan on Jun 27, 2011 at 09:06:20 pm     #  

Yes, but even that can be an iffy excuse, case in point, Madison, WI. Always in the top 3 it seems in best places to live, and relatively the same size as Toledo in population numbers.

posted by djimpelr on Jun 27, 2011 at 09:41:57 pm     #  

i was talking about being able to drive here and see a park, here and have a row of stores, here and restaurants, etc. you can only fit so much.

posted by Ryan on Jun 27, 2011 at 09:56:47 pm     #  

I don't know, Madison, WI has those rows of stores that you speak of (bookstores especially) and I guess with it being a college town of sorts with U Of WI Madison, this means arts and musical events. Toledo has these events too (Art Walk, local and national acts). And from what I've seen, plenty of empty spaces to fill.

posted by djimpelr on Jun 27, 2011 at 10:20:25 pm     #  

Size isn't as important as one might thing.

On why High St. was so hopping on Sunday: I assume you drove through High Street in the Short North and saw the Comfest crowd. Basically a bunch of stoned hippies flock to the Short North from all over once a year (plenty of them stay though haha). I absolutely agree with you that...

"when there are creative open minds (and not just uber-liberal types) and outside the box mentality, the possibilities are endless when it comes to prosperity."

...and I think that's the attitude that Toledo needs. I just see the union people bitching about the loss of manufacturing jobs and overall critics saying ____ can't happen for _____ reason. Neither of those attitudes get anything done.

Back to Columbus. They were planning a streetcar line that would have run from Ohio State's Ohio Union down High Street through downtown to boost High Street's development even further. It would have been magnificent. Here is it: http://www.dispatch.com/wwwexportcontent/sites/dispatch/local_news/stories/2008/03/27/streetcar_map.jpg

I'd love to see one of those babies running down Monroe in 20 years. but first we have to get some development in the Warehouse District and make it a vibrant place to live like High St. in Columbus or Main St. in Ann Arbor. It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint and new windows will do. Of course, I'm in the group of people who believes the suburbanites of Sylvania/Ottawa Hills/Perrysburg/etc actually WANT to spend their money downtown and want a level of sophistication in Toledo. They have to go to Ann Arbor or Columbus to get their fix of an urban environment that is fun. We don't have to be the rustbelt anymore guys, that's all I'm saying.

posted by BusterBluth on Jun 27, 2011 at 10:35:19 pm     #   1 person liked this

might think*

We need an edit button up in here. Por favor...

posted by BusterBluth on Jun 27, 2011 at 10:36:54 pm     #  

I lived in Madison, WI for two years, and the cost of housing is ruinous. I paid about a grand a month for a two bedroom, and I was fortunate that I got a good location. Taxes are so high that most people can't afford to actually live in Madison, and some live in small towns an hour away and commute every day. Commercial rent is very high as well, so businesses can't be marginal. If you have a restaurant the food has to be exceptional or it won't last.

One thing about Madison is that the police are very responsive to beggars and anyone who might be homeless. While these people are tolerated, they are not allowed to beg freely. Police monitor their activities closely, and when ever they cross the line they get busted.

Another thing Madison had was high employment. When I moved in, unemployment was 3%; in other words, anyone who wanted a job could get one. I think unemployment is at 5% now, and Toledo is around 10%. This makes a huge difference.

The entire area is bike friendly, and some people (mainly college students) ride all year around. I didn't, but three seasons out of the year I could ride my bike anywhere I needed to be in or around the city. Madison has bike lanes in most major streets and very few accidents.

To get all this accomplished takes money, and lots of it. High taxes are a fact of life, as is heavy handed government. Half of the politicos in Mad City are so far to the left that they'll eventually meet the Wingnuts on the other side.

Toledo could have a vibrant downtown like Columbus and Madison, but getting it built is going to take a city government that is worlds away from the idiots on Toledo City Council.

posted by madjack on Jun 27, 2011 at 11:20:38 pm     #  

I got to this thread late, but Columbus is held up as a national example of the importance of a city growing with the metro population. Cities like Columbus, Indianapolis and Houston were able to annex land and to grow in size to keep the taxpayers that moved to the suburbs. That allows the cities to continue to be have a budget, provide services, and create an atmosphere that retains and draws people and business. Cities that can't grow to keep their tax base as people leave the center-city start offering less services and start looking like Toledo and Detroit.

People want to politicize everything and say our idiot politicians are worse than another town's idiot politicians, but development patterns explain a lot.

posted by ifXthenWhyNot on Jun 28, 2011 at 10:35:13 am     #  

Question for MJ: What is the major difference you see between the power players in Madison and the power players in Toledo? They're both heavily Dem-leaning, so it can't be just be simply political party dominance. I'm sure the Dems in Madison have the same fealty to union votes and dollars as the Dems here do.

I get the sense that each council person in Toledo sees his/her district as their own personal fiefdom and they do not like to work together for the common greatness of the area. Just an impression...

posted by oldhometown on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:10:43 pm     #   1 person liked this

ifXthenWhyNot is correct. But Columbus does still have a ridiculous amount of wealthy suburbs. Upper Arlington, Hilliard, New Albany, Dublin, Westerville, Worthington, Bexley, etc are all loaded with wealthy. It's like having ten Sylvanias.

posted by BusterBluth on Jun 28, 2011 at 02:12:33 pm     #  

Its interesting that both of the cities we're discussing for comparison are state capitals.

Are there any cities to add to the discussion that aren't state capitals? I'm thinking that there are some built-in advantages to being a capital city, and it might be good to include other types of cities for comparison purposes.

posted by mom2 on Jun 28, 2011 at 02:44:06 pm     #  

Well Madison has both the state capital and the state's university, Wisconsin. The largest employers in Madison are the government, the university, and the university hospital. It's no wonder it's the liberal's dreamworld and the "Berkley of the Midwest."

I think comparing Toledo's ills with Detroit is incorrect. Toledo is miles ahead of Detroit. The last time I drove through Detroit it looked like I was in some bombed-out section of the Ukraine. I don't see that as much in Toledo.

I think it's probably unfair to compare Toledo to Columbus, too. Toledo is a rustbelt city and Columbus simply isn't. It never has been and it never will be. I think it would be wiser to ask why (and more importantly, how) Pittsburgh turned itself from a rustbelt city to the city it is today. Once the "steel city," there isn't a single steel mill in the city today. The largest employers are, you guessed it, health care and technology.

Toledo, in my opinion, needs to look at how Pittsburgh diversified its jobs, planned its city (via transit-oriented development), and essentially save the city. Take a look at Youngstown/Gary/Detroit for what happens when you do nothing.

posted by BusterBluth on Jun 28, 2011 at 03:04:43 pm     #  

What about a city like Omaha?

I don't have all the data offhand, but I've been told that it is a "nice" Midwestern city with lower unemployment. Might not be a bad place to look for some examples as well.

posted by mom2 on Jun 28, 2011 at 03:13:40 pm     #  

Strange that Pete the "OP" hasn't commented once since starting this post. Pete you started an interesting debate on this post...anything to add?

posted by douglasadietz on Jun 28, 2011 at 03:33:36 pm     #  

I agree that Pittsburgh is doing lots of things right, but they also have a projected budget deficit of 23 million this year.

Omaha may be comparable, but I think it is interesting that Omaha was the first place for Grameen America to expand to after NYC. I think it may have something to do with Omaha's most famous resident - Warren Buffett.

posted by ifXthenWhyNot on Jun 28, 2011 at 04:22:51 pm     #  

Ask any of the state auditors how PA and Pennsylvania are doing. Alot of them were told they would not be getting checks, but please keep on working not too long ago. No state/city is perfect. They also are going to probably change their very lax tax structure soon (no tax on clothes, wtf?).

posted by Ryan on Jun 28, 2011 at 04:46:50 pm     #  

^Meant PA and Pittsburgh.

posted by Ryan on Jun 28, 2011 at 04:47:36 pm     #  

That's a good point about Warren Buffett and Omaha.

I've seen so many studies cite Omaha as a wonderful place to live, but I hadn't considered that connection.

posted by mom2 on Jun 28, 2011 at 04:53:14 pm     #  

douglasadietz, my take on all this is that Columbus is the capital and attracts money and power. If Toledo were the capital of Ohio, it too would be a lot wealthier than it is today and Columbus would be another burg on the crossroads of I-70 without a major river system or reason to be a major town. Power attracts money and the powerful make sure that where they live thrives. Too bad that Toledo wasn't made part of Michigan back in the 1830s and the state capital. It would be a powerhouse today.

posted by pete on Jun 28, 2011 at 05:09:36 pm     #  

I would add that the warehouse district of Toledo was originally where the University of Michigan was to be located, if it had remained a part of Michigan.

posted by pete on Jun 28, 2011 at 05:13:45 pm     #  

Do you have a link for that UM comment? That is extremely fascinating but I couldn't find anything online with my 90-second search.

posted by BusterBluth on Jun 28, 2011 at 10:43:33 pm     #  

I'd be curious to see that information too - UM moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor in 1837.

Its feasible that the original plan could have been to move it to Toledo instead of Ann Arbor, but I've never heard that claim before.

(Disclaimer - I grew up in Michigan, so my grade school exposure to the "Toledo War" was presented from a biased perspective.) :)

posted by mom2 on Jun 28, 2011 at 11:06:09 pm     #  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledo_War
I saw the thing about UM being built in Toledo on some history channel show, The States I think it was called. This article explains how Michigan lost Toledo when it claimed most of the land down to the Maumee but was forced to give it to Ohio in exchange for statehood.

posted by Linecrosser on Jun 28, 2011 at 11:06:35 pm     #  

The Bronze Boar website mentions that tidbit as well. (Not that its an "official source" by any means, of course. But at least some other people have heard about it.)

http://www.bronzeboar.com/aboutUs.htm

Linecrosser - was it the show "How States Got Their Shapes"? My husband and son watch that on the History Channel occasionally - looks like they have a lot of interesting info on it.

posted by mom2 on Jun 28, 2011 at 11:27:39 pm     #  

There was also a show just called "The States" it was 10 episodes and covered 5 states per episode, I think it was mentioned on that show, didn't see the episode of 'How The States Got Their Shape' that covered Michigan yet.

posted by Linecrosser on Jun 29, 2011 at 12:26:21 am     #