Metro Atlanta needs tools to rethink itself

Unemployment in metro Atlanta fell by almost a full point between February 2011 and February 2012, declining from 9.9 to 9 percent. In more human terms, more than 60,000 of our friends, neighbors and relatives are now back to work.

That’s a welcome sign of progress, as was Thursday’s announcement of 1,500 jobs coming to a new medical-products plant to be built near Social Circle. After a difficult lag, metro Atlanta finally appears to be benefiting from the nation’s slow, awkward recovery, even if we still have a long way to go.

In fact, Atlanta has a lot farther to travel than many metro regions that we might think of as competitors. Almost every region got hit hard by the recession; as an economy highly dependent on home construction, Atlanta got hit worse than most. But if you look closely, this region’s economy had begun to stumble and falter long before the recession hit. The housing bubble merely made those problems harder to recognize.

Through the ’90s, for example, per capita income in metro Atlanta was increasing fast, more quickly than in most other metro areas. That was a sign of a vibrant regional economy attracting and creating wealth.

But around the turn of the century, that increase simply stopped. While per capita income continued to grow elsewhere, it simply flat-lined in metro Atlanta, and when the recession hit that number collapsed. In fact, when you look at what per capita income has done in the last 20 years, the performance of the 28-county metro Atlanta area closely mirrors that of metro Detroit.

The Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank, recently released its assessment of the economic performance of the top 200 metro areas in the world from 2010 to 2011. Metro Atlanta ranked 189th of 200, behind New Orleans, Memphis, Birmingham and other U.S. cities, and well behind Detroit. We even ranked one notch below Cairo, Egypt.

Those numbers suggest that merely riding the crest of a slowly improving national economy will not be enough for metro Atlanta. They also demonstrate the foolishness of trying to recreate the prosperity of a past that wasn’t as prosperous as we thought.

That prosperity had been driven by Atlanta’s success in reproducing the auto-centric, sprawling, decentralized development pattern that had characterized American cities for the prior half century. And while those auto-dependent suburbs will continue to be a great place to live and raise families for many, economic indicators, growth markers, investment patterns and social trends all tell us that’s not how future growth will occur.

A new survey by the National Association of Realtors, for example, found that “nearly six in ten adults would prefer to live in a neighborhood with a mix of houses and stores and other businesses within an easy walk” than in a more auto-dependent suburb. Even more telling, young people are not as enthralled with the automobile as their parents and grandparents had been. In 1983, 69 percent of American 17-year-olds had a driver’s license. By 2008, that had dropped to 50 percent, and I bet it has fallen still further since then.

The country is changing. The market is changing. And while a number of business and civic leaders in the metro Atlanta region understand that reality, I don’t believe that our political leaders at the state level, particularly at the Legislature, fully grasp the necessity of reinventing ourselves and reinvesting in ourselves, and of giving us the transit, planning and governance tools to make those changes.

– Jay Bookman

atlanta

detroit

Source: Brookings Institution

349 comments Add your comment

Bruno

April 23rd, 2012
12:41 pm

Bruno – 12:26 – my poor husband??? he’s more persnikety than I am … I call him Barrister Bob when he’s being a particular pain in the patoot.

If he met your high standards, then he must be quite a fellow.

I do remember one quote you attributed to him when asked about how he felt toward the US Revolutionary War: “You’ll come back some day….”

Comments from Dekalb

April 23rd, 2012
12:43 pm

I would welcome seeing what our state and local leaders’ vision is for Georgia, not just the metro area. We are a state characterized by Atlanta vs. the rest of the state. While the visions for those two Georgias may be different they should be complementary.

Vision supported by investment and execution can reap tremendous rewards but we have a long way to go. Charlotte, for example, has focused on attracting and retaining financial services business and they have been fairly successful. Atlanta could focus on those sectors where we believe we can compete and where there is demand such as bio-tech. Given the presence of the CDC that is something we should be looking at.

Establishing yourself as a regional or national center requires hard work. You must have the infrastructure, educated workforce, and general regulatory and tax framework to attract those industries. You can’t attract bio-tech is the businesses have to live in constant fear the ultra-conservative Christians in this state will prohibit types of R&D that are generally accepted elsewhere.

But so far I haven’t seen any prouncements from either party that give me any confidence we have the ability to project vision and actually execute to that vision.

Thulsa Doom

April 23rd, 2012
12:43 pm

“fully grasp the necessity of reinventing ourselves and reinvesting in ourselves, and of giving us the transit, planning and governance tools to make those changes.”

In other words let the govt central planners, who often have no stakes in making decisions about housing and development, no accountability for screw-ups, etc. make the decisions for the rest of us on where we should live, how our neighborhoods should be developed and look, and how much driving we should be able to do. And let them come up with grandiose public transportation projects such as light speed rail which will fail due to our lack of population density. And while scheming for these big projects that adhere to their particular mindset, whims, or desires of how we should live let it be known that if a project such as Marta or Amtrak should be a money loosing boondoggle that these planners lose nothing since they have nothing at stake. That’s exactly what we need- central planners with nothing at stake, no accountability, making far reaching decisions affecting taxpayers about things such as big rail projects based on nothing more than their own enuncumbered visions of what America should look like.

Brosephus™

April 23rd, 2012
12:48 pm

Doom

Giving one the tools does not equate to making the decisions…. C’mon man… Not everything is a powergrab for big government.

jhd

April 23rd, 2012
12:48 pm

this recovery is all bush’s fault

Bruno

April 23rd, 2012
12:49 pm

so either way, you will disqualify it because you see the world only through the spectacles of bigotry…every comment you’ve made is related to race or gender.

EC–That’s what frustrates me about trying to reach out to some folks. They have their foregone conclusions and fit every piece of data into the pre-drawn picture. I’m sure I do the same in my own ways, but I try to be aware of it and make modifications as necessary in my world view. In the end, we’re all human and all susceptible to bias and bigotry, so that’s not going to go away completely any time soon. The best solution is familiarization. It’s hard to keep bogeyman ideas alive when you spend a lot of time with folks who are “different”. In the end, we have far more similarities than differences as people. I guess it comes down to what we choose to focus on, either the similarities or the differences.

Thulsa Doom

April 23rd, 2012
12:55 pm

“Look at the most recent example coming from Sanford, Florida as an example. Some in law enforcement wanted to pursue a case in that shooting from the start. Others did not.”

Brocephus,

So which cops didn’t want to pursue the Trayvon case? As I recollect it the lead investigator thought Zimm was lying and recommended to the AD that he be prosecuted. The AD looked at the case and simply determined that there wasn’t enough evidence under Florida’s law to win a case against Zimm. Lastly a lot of liberals on here at the outset of this stated that the police did no investigation. Jay even wrote a column last week that the police did very little. The next day in the news it came out that they grilled Zimm that night for 5 hours. Does 5 straight hours of interrogation mean that Sanford PD or elements of it had no interest in pursuing the case?

Bruno

April 23rd, 2012
12:56 pm

That’s exactly what we need- central planners with nothing at stake, no accountability, making far reaching decisions affecting taxpayers about things such as big rail projects based on nothing more than their own enuncumbered visions of what America should look like.

TD–From my perspective, that’s what Jay has been advocating all along. I guess he subscribes to the Field of Dreams philosophy of politics: “Build it and they will come”. But, as I pointed out above, there are thousands and thousands of vacant homes available inside the Perimeter right now. Anyone who wants the type of lifestyle he advocates can willingly choose it. And those who wish to live in the ‘burbs can do that as well. Though he hasn’t come right out and said so, I’m wondering if Jay believes that folks should have the right to choose the life they want.

GT

April 23rd, 2012
12:57 pm

Rode the bus from Cobb Cy. to Art Center and from there to the airport last week. $5.50 total cost, smooth as silk. On way back caught the wrong bus at the Art Center (103 looked like 10 to me) and ended up in Acworth, lady bus driver would not let me off the bus, I could see the top of the trees in front of my house in Vinings, going up 75, but it was an act of Congress to let me off and they were not in session. However the nice driver did drive me dead head as she went back to the Marietta yard, to leave her bus, since I had paid $5 to be hijacked ,twice the fare I had thought, and not gotten anywhere near home. The lady told me several times this was against the rules, the norm was to just leave me in Acworth, in the middle of a park and ride parking lot, with no ride to it, and for this I paid $5. She also gave me a free transfer pass so I could ride the bus from there to Vinings. Ride home $8.50, plus showed up about an hour and a half late.

Trying to figure the new card “Breeze” system was nightmarish. Apparent you wave your card in front of some area at the vending machine and it is magically replenished with $2.50 for the ride to the airport and Art Center. I and some British chap with a tag along bicycle lost two train rides trying to figure out the tricks of the train pass trade. We had used some 911 number and got a very off dial static filled voice promising several times to send someone to assist us. Finally a crack high lady staring amazingly at the two of us, assisted our handicapped situation, with the great satisfaction of being superior and we were allowed on board. On leaving the train who knew you would need that card one more time to make the doors open up at the airport? I went full walk with bags into a clear plastic door leading out of the train station into the airport. Picking myself up at the amusement of the fast moving observers I saw they were waving their cards in a ritual in front of another magic area built in the door area. The door opened and I felt I had been release from a prison.

captguitarman

April 23rd, 2012
12:58 pm

Good article, and unfortunately, your conclusion is accurate. Bad enough that we have a self-entitled, self-involved, and less than progressive (used in the traditional sense – not in the sense that every issue requires a new entitlement with a new tax to fix it) legislative body not exactly reknown for its cutting edge thing. But we also have an amazing amount of Balkanization between and among Atlanta, and the cities, suburbs, and counties making up the Atlanta metro, and also between rural and urban and suburban Georgians. Coming from an area where not only was there a regional authority planning and thinking ahead and working together for future needs, but a regional authority made up of representatives from three states, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, it is clear that without at least regional, if not state led, planning and cooperation with some teeth, Georgia and Atlanta will continue to languish and decline. The heady growth years in the 80’s and 90’s, the presence of the Olympics, the booming real estate and housing markets, the national destination popularity enjoyed by Georgia and Atlanta, the capital of the New South . . . all gone now, and not coming back quickly. What now? And despite the amazing growth and progress of the 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s, the ghosts of the Civil War, the post bellum south, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, segreation, desegregation, and good old boy, one-party-rule under the Dome still haunt Georgia — much to the joy and delight of Tennessee, the Carolinas, Alabama, and Florida – and I’m not talking about college football.

Thulsa Doom

April 23rd, 2012
12:58 pm

“They have their foregone conclusions and fit every piece of data into the pre-drawn picture”

And that would also explain why so many liberals on have already stated repeatedly that Zimmerman committed cold blooded murder. And they did and continue to do this without a single care of what evidence might support Zimm or about the facts of the case.

Brosephus™

April 23rd, 2012
1:00 pm

So which cops didn’t want to pursue the Trayvon case?

Where did I state that?? I said “law enforcement” which would include those who prosecute and enforce the laws in that manner. The lead investigator wanted to arrest based on what he saw whereas the ADA did not.

I was one who said the Sanford PD did a piss poor job investigating this, and I stick by what I said then. When Trayvon’s phone sat with him in the morgue for 3 days without as much as a single investigator going through it to see what calls were made is signs of a poor investigation. The fact that he went to the morgue with a John Doe tag on him when he had a phone is another sign. The ADA did not ask for that information, nor did they talk to the girlfriend even after finding out she was on the phone with Trayvon. It took outside investigators to come in and do what should have been done from the outset.

Unlike liberals, my disgust is rooted in knowing what should have been done professionally and was not done. A five hour interrogation doesn’t mean jack when nothing else was followed up on. It sounds like they spent five hours investigating this whole thing.

Joseph

April 23rd, 2012
1:07 pm

Happy Confderate Memorial Day Jay and the rest of your loon far left followers!!!!

Thulsa Doom

April 23rd, 2012
1:16 pm

“Though he hasn’t come right out and said so, I’m wondering if Jay believes that folks should have the right to choose the life they want.”

Bruno,

I have often wondered that myself. Seems to me that its the old conservative axiom that “people operate best when left to their own devices and pursuits” vs the Bookman top down central planning approach that govt knows best what’s good for you and how to plan our housing, transportation, etc.

What I find disturbing about politicians coming up with ideas for massive rail projects is that these same pols have no stake in the outcome of the project 10-15 years down the line which could potentially be a never ending boondoggle to taxpayers. And unlike a private enterprise the govt pols have no accountability for massive, money losing projects. I saw that the CEO of Disney got fired yesterday for the boondoggle film John Carter which lost 200 million. If pols in Fla. and nationally ever got that rail project from Tampa to Miami completed does anyone think they would ever be held accountable years later for such a financial disaster? Nope. This is the real world problem that I don’t think many liberals understand- incentives, accountability, etc. and whether or not someone making a decision affecting many others actually has a stake or not in the outcome.

Supt Hall

April 23rd, 2012
1:22 pm

Can’t we just cheat our way to success?

Jay

April 23rd, 2012
1:24 pm

“I have often wondered that myself. Seems to me that its the old conservative axiom that “people operate best when left to their own devices and pursuits” vs the Bookman top down central planning approach that govt knows best what’s good for you and how to plan our housing, transportation, etc.”

Again, Thulsa, this suburban mode of development that you apparently take for granted as the norm is actually the result of a massive government intervention into the market. Zoning laws such as minimum lot sizes interfere both with private property rights and with the increased density that the free market, left on it own, would produce.

Likewise, when government began building huge highways into previously open spaces to induce sprawl — in effect turning cheap farmland into expensive housing developments at taxpayers’ expense — how was that not a “central planning approach that govt knows best what’s good for you and how to plan our housing, transportation, etc.”?

The free market, left to its own devices, would produce a much more compact urban footprint. It is only through government regulation that the sprawl footprint is mandated.

Road Scholar

April 23rd, 2012
1:25 pm

Joseph, isn’t it on April 26th?

Rockfish

April 23rd, 2012
1:26 pm

To Jay and his legion, “change” translates into never-ending tax hikes with the bulk of the money funneled toward the non-tax paying folks. Aint’t that right, Jay?

Road Scholar

April 23rd, 2012
1:27 pm

Jay, esp if politicians weren’t receiving “handouts” from the rural developers, if you get my drift!

Thulsa Doom

April 23rd, 2012
1:41 pm

Brocephus,

So you think a 5 hour grilling of something that occurred in a matter of minutes is a pi$$ poor investigation? And if it was so poorly done then why did the lead investigator recommend to the DA prosecution based upon a shoddy investigation? As for the DA not prosecuting for what he saw as a lack of evidence that happens all the time. And a lot of criminals go scot free all the time not because they are innocent but because the DA just didn’t feel their was enough evidence to secure a conviction.

I agree that the rest of it involving Trayvon’s body sitting in the morgue unidentified for 3 doors is inexcusable. Someone dropped the ball horribly on that aspect of the investigation. But I think you should also realize its a very small police dept. and lacking in expertise and resources relative to a major pd.

GT

April 23rd, 2012
1:47 pm

You hear the tax hikes but you never hear a business man thanking the government for what it has done for him. Could you imagine Atlanta if it had taken the Birmingham approach to the airport, you think Turner would have been TBS without government launched satellites, or the oil companies would be so large without government paid roads to travel on? The same roads lead to mega boxes like Walmart and Home Depot. They bring trucks to the grocery stores we shopped, subsidize the railroads so we can get cheaper and more variety of products that some private sector gets rich off of and then does not want to give back to support someone else. Taxes who need stinkin taxes?

ALEC has figured it out. Corruption begins at the grassroots. Infiltrate the corrupt local state governments in the impoverished red states. Then move everything towards state’s rights. Make us Mexico ,what you can’t bribe, we kill. The only thing that keeps the south from being Mexico, now, is the federal government won’t give up on it. One of these days our luck is going to run out. One of these days they are going to give the south exactly what they are asking for, like secession, and you will have one real fat bandit with a gun belt as governor and the rest of us picking bananas.

272 more days

April 23rd, 2012
1:53 pm

liberalefty

April 23rd, 2012
12:24 pm

MITTS VP will not be black or a woman…
Neither will O’Bama’s

ken

April 23rd, 2012
1:59 pm

Every major city in the USA that has a Democratic mayor is in trouble especially Chicago. Check out Cooke County

Comments from Dekalb

April 23rd, 2012
2:08 pm

Ref 272 more days..

FYI, Obama is not Irish. It is Obama and not O’Bama.

Thulsa Doom

April 23rd, 2012
2:10 pm

“Zoning laws such as minimum lot sizes interfere both with private property rights and with the increased density that the free market, left on it own, would produce”

You sure about that Jay- that left on its own that we would have increased density all around? That no zoning laws would automatically produce increased density everywhere a la New York city?

And the flip side to that is that zoning laws in liberal cities such as San Francisco, San Jose, etc. have made housing incredibly expensive. Perhaps there is more density. But there is also much less room for housing. For example in San Fran only about a fourth of the land is available for housing. The rest is cut off and reserved “green space”. The unintended consequence? Less housing and incredibly expensive housing. But it was real good for the planners who restricted building for new housing and saw their property values skyrocket.

“Likewise, when government began building huge highways into previously open spaces to induce sprawl — in effect turning cheap farmland into expensive housing developments at taxpayers’ expense — how was that not a “central planning approach that govt knows best what’s good for you and how to plan our housing, transportation, etc.”?”

Those highways are also paid for by the taxes of the citizens that those highways lead to. Or did you forget that? What you call “urban sprawl” I call the freedom of people to build and live where they want to.

“The free market, left to its own devices, would produce a much more compact urban footprint. It is only through government regulation that the sprawl footprint is mandated”

The free market would produce a heavily urbanized footprint? Possibly and in cases where land supply is limited certainly true. But overall not a proveable point Jay. What is proveable though is that govt regulation in the way of reducing land available for new housing in a particular county or city drives up the cost of affordable housing and increases urban density. The economic winners are those who already got theirs while the losers are young or new families in search of affordable housing. Do you dispute that this is the problem in such liberal havens as San Francisco, San Jose, and other areas? And that this affordable housing problem is chiefly caused by urban planners putting restrictions on who can build where and how much land is available for new housing. And that much of the nonsense behind this is due to the vision for “green space” when in reality its all about the got there first crowd denying others.

atler8

April 23rd, 2012
2:12 pm

UNCLE SAMANTHA
Regarding your joy that someone else here has provided stats to rebut what Jay & I both said this morning about the population growth slowdown in metro Atlanta since the recession began, you do realize that that person provided estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, right? . Yes the very same agency that overestimated the extent of growth in metro Atlanta during the past decade to such an extent that, once the 2010 census results were officially announced, Georgia showed the 2nd largest population shortfall (among the 50 states) below the census bureau estimates.
Additionally, if you look at public/private school enrollment trends, the yearly increase in the Georgia student population has shrunk drastically. This last fall it was an increase of only 6,000 students form the previous fall. There was a lot of press coverage recently about that data.
In other words, school enrollment in Georgia is not rising sufficiently anymore to back up a claim that ours is a booming state, notwithstanding what our friends at the census bureau are estimating.

GT

April 23rd, 2012
2:18 pm

And Ken what contributions are made outside of major cities? What company can operate without Chicago or Atlanta? And seems to me a few or those companies are in the mud too, bail out comes to mind. Trust me you come up with a better system and I am voting Republican. Right now it seems you guys are praying for a collapse, only way you can win an election. It is a contest of can Obama fix what you broke before your get back in a break it again.

Jay

April 23rd, 2012
2:34 pm

“You sure about that Jay- that left on its own that we would have increased density all around? That no zoning laws would automatically produce increased density everywhere a la New York city?

Yes, as a veteran of too many county zoning meetings, I am quite sure. The developers always wanted more density, because they could make more money by putting more units on a piece of property.

The neighborhoods, on the other hand, always wanted less density, and they used government as a tool to get their way.

“For example in San Fran only about a fourth of the land is available for housing. The rest is cut off and reserved “green space”.”

I’ve been to San Francisco several times. That is not at all how I remember it. According to Wikipedia, San Francisco has a population density of 16,600 people per square mile.

Finally, your claim that increased density discourages young people is absolutely wrong. Portland Ore. has used an urban growth boundary to drive density for a couple of decades now. It is also one of the hottest places in the country for young people. The WSJ put it #4 on its list of top youth-magnet cities. San Jose, which you condemn, was number 6. Seattle, another urban-growth-boundary city, was tied for first with DC. Denver, which also is investing heavily in transit and limiting sprawl, was number 7.

The Ghost of Edward R. Murrow

April 23rd, 2012
2:41 pm

Ulm…is this is start of the “Vote for the Transit Tax” publicity machine?

For which the AJC is apparently on board, along with other folks willing to spend millions to convince the voters to ante up the tax money for them to spend.

Some MARTA fanboy

April 23rd, 2012
2:48 pm

Let’s not forget that transit, one of the most conspicuously neglected things in the Metro Atlanta area which is one of the most fundamental characteristics of a great city, doesn’t get a single penny from the state government here. The vast majority of other big cities’ transit systems get lots of state funding. Who ever thought that tying the primary source of transit funding directly to consumer spending (1% sales tax) was a good idea?

Some MARTA fanboy

April 23rd, 2012
2:55 pm

Also Jay, about greenspace in San Francisco, the Thulsa Doom was probably talking about the San Francisco Bay Area as a whole, not the city limits itself. I’ve lived in SF and commuted down to Mountain View (by company shuttle), and if you look at most of the land south of San Francisco it is indeed nature preserves and parks. It probably is intentional in order to limit sprawl and increase density, and if so it works (to the extent that they implemented it). But I disagree with Thulsa Doom that that planning is a bad thing. Of course it will make property more scarce and more expensive, but at the same time it makes a more attractive community to many different groups of educated people and in that sense it makes it easier for incomes to go up to match the housing costs. Few young people from other parts of the country these days are going to look at the sprawling suburbs of Atlanta and think of it as a remotely attractive location to move, but the core city itself seems to be becoming more compact and appealing, and will probably have an easier time attracting the top of the crop in the tech industry and other sectors with lots of new hires.

professional lurker

April 23rd, 2012
2:57 pm

GT, that 12:57 pm comment was hilarious! Talk about a ride that went wrong!

GT

April 23rd, 2012
2:58 pm

Seems to me I have read a few cross minded blogs from other writers of the AJC. In fact I dare say Jay may be a lone wolf on this one. There is something about the state enjoying the benefits of the city like a mistress of the night, denying any familiarity in the day.

I see the big Lincolns driving to downtown Atlanta every weekend, Mama cramping big Daddy’s driving side, excited about the bright lights. Pretty dull in Crisp County or Baldwin, but we’ll get it hopping in the big city. Georgia would be Mississippi without Atlanta, darn near is anyway, with all the handicapped thinking of south Georgia. By the way how is that illegal immigration thing working for you farmers. Having to work a little hard are you?

Mudfoot

April 23rd, 2012
2:59 pm

The Metro Atlanta area leadership has plenty of tools within it. I’d go as far as saying that tools dominate leadership positions in this area

Mallory

April 23rd, 2012
3:18 pm

zeke
April 23rd, 2012
10:26 am
The point about those from the North-Yankees_ or from other areas move to the South for several reasons, warm weather, lots of recreation opportunities, mostly friendly people, and, THE AREAS AND CITIES THEY MOVE FROM ARE FAILURES OR ARE FAILING! Then once they get here they begin to rant and rave about how right things were done where they came from! If they were so right, what the hell are they doing here? And progress, depending on your interpretation and meaning of the word, IS NOT ALWAYS GOOD!

Whatever makes you feel better Zeke. I would think the residents of Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Columbus, even Buffalo might have a case to make against Atlanta.

Brosephus™

April 23rd, 2012
3:28 pm

So you think a 5 hour grilling of something that occurred in a matter of minutes is a pi$$ poor investigation?

If that is the entirety of the investigation, yeah, I think that is a perfect example of a piss poor investigation. One can watch tv and get a better idea of what is invoved in investigating the death of someone. Shows like CSI and Law and Order show that a basic investigation involves the items that are found ON the deceased. Therefore, a lack of checking for the identity and/or contents of the pockets of the deceased would be a sign of a piss poor investigation. They could have interviewed Zimmerman for 3 days, but if they didn’t do anything beyond that, then that’s not an investigation.

The lead investigator made his recommendation based on the fact that he didn’t believe Zimmerman’s story. He didn’t check for Martin’s ID or his phone records. I’ve pointed out the inconsistencies in Zimmerman’s story several times, and I’m sure that a seasoned investigator would catch those as well. The inconsistencies in Zimmerman’s story had nothing to do with the shoddy investigation as a whole. His inconsistencies had more to do with what he told investigators versus what was seen and where the scene was located.

But I think you should also realize its a very small police dept. and lacking in expertise and resources relative to a major pd.

Regardless to how small a department is, basis investigation is not relative to the size of the department. If they were that unskilled in investigating homicides, they should have brought someone in from the outside who knows what to do. Hell, they could watch “The First 48″ and get an idea of what to do. I’d also add that the chief is stepping down which is a sign of “I know we effed up”.

Shrill Orifice Tripe

April 23rd, 2012
3:29 pm

Bill Orvis White
April 23rd, 2012
10:31 am

Fixed it for you BOW:

To:
The Honorable Governor Nathan Deal
Dear Governor Deal:
Why hasn’t the economy in the state of Georgia been expanding as fast as other states’ economies including Ohio, Michigan or Illinois? Are you too busy preventing women’s choices, making sure lobbyists can give you gifts, ruining farmers business with illegation immigration bills, or wasting Georgia taxpayer money by suing Washingotn over health care law.
Amen,
Shrill Orifice Tripe

Mallory

April 23rd, 2012
3:45 pm

UNCLE SAMANTHA
April 23rd, 2012
11:44 am
Georgia ranks 50th in education…………
It appears we have been importing the dumbest of the dumb who can’t make it in their own state and move here………… then the state that they left see their ranks go up since their dumbest have left and move our ranking further in the cellar………..

Birds of a feather Sam. Birds of a feather…….

RAMZAD

April 23rd, 2012
4:18 pm

We can hook this decline right in with the invasion of Right Wing political axe murders in the State Capitol. This is the price we are paying for their premium on corruption, subservience to lobbyists, vigilante politics, immigrant hating, racist dementia, and their particular despise for anything that may benefit Metro Atlanta.

Thanks to them we are right there with Detroit in the race to the bottom. Jay I must commend you for this kind of cogent and sensible writing. No propaganda here. Thank you!

I remember

April 23rd, 2012
4:19 pm

“Give us the transit, planning and govenrnace” means to enslave the people who live in the suburbs to the statist, centralized control vision of the liberals who like Jay can’t support their utopia without our money.

Grumps

April 23rd, 2012
4:44 pm

It’s not the 50s, though. In the 50s, I could take the trackless trolley downtown, shop at Richs then walk to Davisons – at age 10. I don’t believe I’d let my 10 year old do anything like that today.

By the way, if we ban air conditioning, all the damn yankess will go home, solving our transportation problems as well.

dbm

April 23rd, 2012
5:17 pm

Now if we were depending on the market, rather than the government, to deal with such things, the legislature couldn’t mess it up, and we wouldn’t have to worry so much about who was in the legislature.

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

April 23rd, 2012
5:52 pm

What we need is a Five Year Plan. Worked well for the Soviets. For the expected results from heavy governmental planning, check the article on California in today’s Wall Street Journal online.

pogo

April 23rd, 2012
6:23 pm

There was an article in the NYT’s today about that leftist bastion the Times needing to take a harder look at the Obama Presidency in this campaign season. It was pretty much a fluff piece because we all know where they, the Times lie and that is the reason they are hemmoraging money. But the most interesting part was the comments offerred by the liberals afterwards. By and large they were actually pissed off that anybody would have the “audacity” to look at Obama in a critical eye or even an objective eye. Yes, Jay, there are many lessons that can be learned from the past. You seem to not have learned them.

Dekalb comments

April 23rd, 2012
7:00 pm

I find it telling that so may posters here cannot stay “on topic”. They gravitate to their usual gripes and complaints about this and that.

I would like to see one day when anyone that posts something other than that on topic (such as I am doing now :) ) has their comment removed.

Can we not focus on one thing people? This is all about Atlanta (and by corollary Georgia) finding its way forward.

Watkins

April 23rd, 2012
9:34 pm

THul: “Those highways are also paid for by the taxes of the citizens that those highways lead to. Or did you forget that? What you call “urban sprawl” I call the freedom of people to build and live where they want to.”

Medicare is paid for by the taxes of people who do or will benefit from healthcare. Did you forget that? It’s HOW the highway money is spent that directs growth. (see “How Cities Work” by Alex Marshall) Transportation policy is the primary driver of growth. The people in the suburbs, before the roads were built contributed virtually none of the tax dollars spent to build the roads, but rural dominated legislatures controlled the road decisions. Don’t believe it? Pull out the Georgia political history books and see the hometowns of the powerbrokers in the state capitol between 1940 and 2000.

Tester

April 24th, 2012
7:46 am

Metro Atlanta needs tools to rethink itself

They’ve always got tools like you, jay.

Watkins

April 24th, 2012
9:24 am

Tester proves by his obtuse (and unfunny post) the very points you are making, Jay. The issue of transportation and all public infrastructure for that matter, is not (at least by every definition up to the last 15 years) a liberal or conservative issue. Eisenhower started the interstates. The DC metro opened under Carter, but it’s birth years were under Nixon and Ford.
A previous poster said roads go to the new suburbs because that’s what people want. This is partly true, with qualification. People are sold on the idea of the manor in the country, but when they get there and the “manor” is on a 1/4 acre lot 5 miles from a grocery and 40 miles from their jobs, many are unhappy. My experience having spent most of my life in first a rural area that became a bedroom commuunity, but having spent substantial periods living in several major cities is that the suburb is not a natural human habitat and without government/construction companies making the decisions on transportation, people would choose more human scale built environment.
The second thing is the changed attitude about civic buildings and public space. Throughout history, civic buildings and public spaces have been revered as a reflection of the citizens served by them. Now, with crabbiness and often dim, short-sightedness, there is a noisy element that would like to see all public operations take place in temporary metal buildings. Again, the smart ALECs perhaps foster this sentiment to force government to rent.
It is distressing to constantly see people saying, “we used to be like that.” I believe we can be that way again.

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