Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Where have all the good times gone?

What good times you ask? The good times I refer to are those had at the South Side Fair. A staple of the south side and the second largest event of its kind for years. That was, until a few years ago. I believe it was in 2004, the South Side Fair took its last curtain call, done in by a penny pinching government who ignored the benefits of the fair in order to tout its ability to cut SOMETHING out of the budget. You see, when you drive a city into bankruptcy and you have to answer for it, politicians will often time cut anything in order to have a "feel good" measure that makes it look like they are doing something.

Now, I am all for cutting out waste in government but let us be serious about it. The fair served a few purposes and benefits. These include, but are not limited to, the tax revenue produced by all the sales, giving our younger Pittsburgher's something fun to do, the identity and community that such annual events bring to the city and countless other benefits that politicians often times ignore in pursuit of a soundbite that makes them come across as effective.

The governments excuse was that it was too much money for police and clean-up. Makes sense no? To a degree it does, until you realize that the business owners of Carson Street volunteered to pay for the extra police and another company was willing to donate the funds for the clean up afterwards. THIS IS IMPORTANT! This is how government SHOULD work...how I propose to have City government operate when I become Mayor. Government shouldn't solve every little problem in the world...if it did we would be socialists. BUT, government should stay out of the way of progress and let the private sector and non-profits fill in the void to benefit everyone. Together, we all benefit, it's very Musketeer like.

If you think about it, it really makes a lot of sense. The private sector and non-profits can do more with less because they don't have to deal with the lumbering bureaucracy that stagnates government. The city government killed the South Side Summer Fair, and a little part of the future died with it. In order to say they were doing something, the politicians snuffed out an event that brought money into the city and extinguished another event that may have added an extra check mark in the pro column, keeping younger Pittsburgher's in the city. As Mayor, I fully intend to work hand in hand with local businesses and non-profits in order to stop the extermination of such events in the city.