Saturday, January 14, 2017

Will Greensboro Continue to Buy What the Council is Selling?

     Gso Growth and Developmental Trend Report @greensborocity #GoodforGreensboro #soGso.  Poverty down 4 pts.  Median income up $1K.  Developmental plans at pre-recession levels and much more!!
                                                         Posted on Facebook, January 3, 2017 at 3:13 p.m.
                                                         by Greensboro Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughn

     I am sure that the last thing you want to be reminded of 5 days before the Presidential inauguration is that this, 2017, is an election year.  Quite frankly for the residents of Greensboro it is more important than the 2016 election.  Our local city elections are held during "off years" and more often than not appear to go unnoticed by the local electorate.  11.5% of registered Greensboro voters is all that bothered to show up to vote in our municipal election in 2015.  No new council members were elected as the 11.5% that showed up were those that for the most part were somehow satisfied with the status quo.  Greensboro of course is and always has been a "blue" city.  Even though the council positions are deemed to be "non-partisan", everybody knows who is who and are frequently reminded by those who are incumbents so voters that vote "party" instead of results won't screw up the club.
     North Carolina's economic numbers improved the past few years though it appeared to me that   Greensboro is being left behind, possibly in part to our Mayor and Council's on going pissing contest with the General Assembly.  Greensboro has ranked at or near the top of some economic categories that certainly are not indicators of governmental success the past several years.  So, when I read our Mayor's Facebook post (above) I interpreted it to mean that maybe Greensboro was actually starting to trend upward despite our Mayor and City Council's best efforts to continue with their failed and historically ineffective progressive philosophy.  And unlike virtually everyone that read that post, I decided not to just take the Mayor's word for it and actually read the report for myself.  The actual numbers did not support the Mayor's post; at least not if you read the entire report and actually investigated the numbers.
     One of the things I like about how this report is written is that it provides comparative numbers for similar size cities in North Carolina.  As you may know, lots of comparisons have been made with Durham recently as our council full of social elitists attempt to sell us on the idea that a Greensboro Performing Arts Center will enhance our community as it has Durham's and will be every bit as successful.  I have taken the position that Greensboro has far more needs than another elitist play toy and does not have some of the advantages that Durham enjoys that makes their PAC more viable.  The numbers in this report bares that out.
     Let's start with wages.  Those who have money will spend it on some form of entertainment.  According to the Developmental and Trend Report (DTR) referenced by the Mayor the average wages in Greensboro are up the past year $1,230 ($44,520 to $45,750).  On its' face that would look okay.  However, that figure places us last when compared to Durham, Winston-Salem and Raleigh.  Further, our average wage according to this same and similar reports on our city website states that our average wage in 1990 was $36, 628.  This would appear to be an increase of approximately $9K the past 25 years.  Appearances can be deceiving.  When factoring in inflation (converting 1990 dollars into 2015 dollars) our wages have fallen off significantly.  Using an inflation factoring website ( $36,628 in 1990 equates to $66,423 in 2015.  By reverse, the celebrated "$1K" increase to $45, 750 in 2015 equates to $25,228 in 1990. An argument can be made that average wages in Greensboro went down more than $10K the past 25 years and probably as much as $20K,
     What's that?  It's going on everywhere you say?  Okay, let's check Durham.  In 1990, average wage in Durham was $35,024 which equates to $$63,514 today.  This report documents Durham's current average wage as $66,042.  In reverse that number equates to $36,418.  Durham has virtually kept up in this department.  In my opinion there is nothing to celebrate in these figures on average wages in Greensboro.
     To put this in a little perspective, Police Officers, Firefighters, Teachers, Emergency Services personnel and the vast majority of city employees make much less on average than what the average wage "should" be.
     Unemployment rate is another category that Greensboro has led the state in the past several years.  As we know, these numbers have been the subject of suspicion based on the apparent manipulation by progressive governments.  The DTR lists Greensboro's unemployment rate as approximately 5.5%.  Several of my fellow local bloggers have opined the policies of this council and city government that are not only harmful to businesses staying open but also discouraging new businesses from coming here.  This council and city staff seem to rely entirely on retail and continuously concentrate on frills.  They are out of touch with citizens that have to and need to work for a living.  Of course if you look at the make up of our council, very few of them understand "work".  Do I believe that figure of 5.5%?
     The DTR lists Greensboro's population at 285,344.  School children make up 84,221 of that number; 72,196* in Guilford County Schools, 3,660** in 7 charter schools and 8.365*** in private schools.  Approximately 50% of those students live in Greensboro (42,110) with approximately another 16,000**** preschool age children.  Subtracting these numbers from the total population there are approximately 227,234 working age adults.  The DTR reports that 136,841 Greensboro residents are employed.  That leaves 90,393 unemployed citizens; 40% of the population that is NOT working.  Is that extra 33% all retired?  Disabled?  Or are we using the federal government's "voodoo" math to tell us that all is well?
     If you do not believe the accuracy of the unemployment rate number (and I don't) then how can we possibly believe the reported drop in poverty percentage when it appears that a large percentage of our population has been conveniently ignored?
     Even with these numbers, the DTR is reporting a 10% employment growth in Greensboro between 2010-2015.  The DTR reports Durham's employment growth as 27%.  While Durham's majority of growth in jobs are reported to be in the fields of technology, health services, professional and scientific services, Greensboro's largest increase was in the field of "other services", described as the fields similar to equipment repair, advocacy and pet services.  It is little wonder that Greensboro ranks poorly as a city that people can start a career in.
     Tuesday I had the pleasure of meeting an African American young woman who is a recent graduate from North Carolina A&T with a four year degree in Economics.  She is originally from Minnesota and located here for her last couple of years of high school to establish residency that would help her with tuition.  For years this city enjoyed population growth from out of town or state college students who liked Greensboro so much they stayed after graduation.  I expressed to this young lady that it has become very unusual the past 20 years for graduates to stay here due to the lack of job opportunities. She politely informed me that she leaves in two weeks because of that very thing.
     This has become the norm; high school students leaving town for college no longer return.  College students no longer stay.  According to the DTR only 36.3% of Greensboro's population is between the ages of 20-44. down almost 5% since 2010.  Under the current conditions it will get worse.  Forbes refers us to the website where a panel of university employees in the field of job resources ranked the largest 150 cities in the United States as best to worst in ability to start a career in.  The results for 2016; Raleigh 6th, Charlotte 22nd, Durham 42nd, Greensboro 83rd, Winston-Salem 87th, Fayetteville 99th.
     They are no longer coming, they are no longer staying.  The city is becoming older, poorer and there is no changes being considered that will correct either.  Yet we believe this city can support frills like a performing arts center when our citizens make $21,000 less a year on average than the city they are trying to emulate; and we haven't even begun to discuss the surrounding areas like Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Cary and all the other supporting areas that make Durham's performing arts center a success.
     This city council needs direction and leadership.  This citizenry needs to lose its' apathy.  Stop letting elitists and social antagonists control our city.  Too many of our Greensboro residents are suffering financially and are being taken advantage of socially.  Our City Council in general and our Mayor in particular need to stop worrying about who the President is, what the General Assembly is doing and address the business of the City of Greensboro.  Stop emphasizing social issues in an effort to divert attention from our poor local economy.  Unfortunately, I have no confidence in your ability to do this.
     Change in these philosophies or improvement in leadership will not happen unless voters show up in less than 10 months to reconfigure and eliminate the mundane and ineffective make up of this council.  Greensboro needs leadership; badly.  Stop with the smokescreens and slight of hand and address Greensboro's problems.  If you are so void of ideas and unwilling to change your unsuccessful policies and practices ( and your record says that you are) step aside.  You are killing this city.


****  this figure is approximated by taking the average of students in each grade and multiplying that number by 5 (for ages 0-4) to estimate the number of preschool children in our population.            


  1. We need a city council with the guts to stand up to the thug scum at the Greensboro police officers associaton. The city council needs reminding that they are in charge of the police and not the other way around.

    If they are so worried about officer morale then they need to work for public oversight of their own Department so activists like me don't have to keep on showing the people how corrupt you guys are. fix your problems and we will stop protesting whether that takes 6 weeks or 30 years we are not going away

    Mega uncle tom Justin outling is unsuitable for office. Same thing goes for those useless bloated drunk conservatives Mike Barber and Tony Wilkins

    Its funny to hear an anti union moron bitch about low wages and the resulting crime and poverty.

    But in less than a week we will be under white supremacist Soviet rule thanks to the puppet regime the American people are stupid enough to allow into office despite the fact that Trump is The Biggest Loser of them all with three million fewer votes Than Crooked Hillary

    You still haven't commented on what an anti-communist stooge like you is doing to accept the fact that the orange racist that you voted for it's so far up pootey poots ass that they plan to marry in the spring

    Learn Russian

    And the economic decline that you talked about has been proven to be caused by a lack of Union power and worker rights. elected officials from both parties have sold this country out to the ruling class to make sure the agenda is maximum profit and a complete disregard for worker welfare.

    Until we remind the so-called ruling class that they are outnumbered millions of times over and thus the people are actually the ones in charge the wealth inequality that you mentioned in your article will continue and expand.

    Nyuck Nyuck Nyuck

    Make sure and keep your eye on the news this week we will be searching your department for the files connected to the Travis Cole racist attacks and make sure and watch the city council meeting officer black beater has a very special message for the thugs at the Greensboro Police Officers Association your get-out-of-jail-free card is getting revoked

    Make sure and let me know if you plan on running for city council again haha so I can make sure and let all the people that you're trying to trick into voting for you what kind of an anti citizen Pro police brutality scumbag you are

    Gee it was hard to find room to post on here having to swim through all those comments from your Legions a blind followers and sheeple.

    You voted for a sex offender who made lewd comments about underage girls which also makes him a pedophile. I had to make sure and take the first shot with the inevitable sex offender Hysteria that is your singular tired and boring defense for my comments.

  2. So you have missed me. What does any of the nonsense you just typed have to do with the article? I doubt you even read it. Unions? Yeah, right. Come to think about it, you do favor Rosie O'Donnell; just a little heavier. So when do you leave for Canada?

    1. I plan on staying here and continuing to wage war against white supremacy and conservative morons you'll have to make up some kind of excuse to Kill Me Maybe you a certain cop could pretend I was a mentally ill Asian lady and shoot me

    2. The definition of economic racism is supplying all the money for business development to one side of the city but completely ignoring another side of the city which happens to be where all the poor and black people live. The city gives money to the people that need it the least and deprive it from those who need it the most.

  3. Same old lines. Nothing new, constructive or effective. Nobody will ever take you seriously because all you do is talk. You have no evidence to back up anything you say. We get it. Brian doesnt like the police. Brian is a bully. Brian thinks he can talk mean and intimidate. But Brian is ineffective because everyone sees Brian acting like a clown. You and all the other left wingers should have learned that your rhetoric is tired. You have no solutions. Just hate. Try working for a change; maybe it will improve your self esteem. Or better yet; try coming up with solutions other than your constant advocacy of violence. If not, just keep on being irrelevant.

    1. You are the one advocating violence that's also known as police brutality

  4. No sir. You have advocated violence and resistance against any authority and its on your Facebook page for all to see. And you have been adamant about it. Stuff like this is what America has had to put up with the past 8 years. The looney extreme left has had their day in the sun. It is over. No more police belligerance, no more racially dividing the country and no more of the bullying that advocates free speech then seeks to deny it to any dissenters from left wing extremist nut bags. Your day is done. Hit the toad and take your poster pin up Nancy Pelosi with you.

    Im bored. Comment all you want so that everyone knows you to be the hate filled, BCC puppet clown that you are. Im done with you and will never respond to you again unless it is face to face. People that spread hate have no place in this world. You are the biggest hater of them all.

    1. No more police resistance that must mean the clampdown is coming faster than this here I guess this would be the fourth Reich

    2. When we meet "face to face" make sure that you are on your very best behavior and that you are polite towards me.

      You are a pupett of the Greensboro Police Department who will pretend that any form police brutality is somehow Justified because the person didn't "obey"

      Thanks for admitting that I've argued you into a corner so you are accepting defeat graciously

  5. In case you missed the city council meeting

  6. It cold and early here in Poland (location undisclosed). I am glad you posted another blog post. I applaud the city workers who want to unionize, however, since North Carolina is a right to work state it may be an empty gesture by the city.

    If your readers who do not know, just because there is now a city union, they will have no way to bargain for higher wages, better compensation, or much of anything. In other words there would be no collective bargaining. From a few city worker I know, I have been informed that city policy prohibits any type of worker slow down or strike. Again, I applaud the city workers and I know my friends are going to be mad at me for saying sorry in advance RK

    Without collective bargaining, the workers can demand all they want, however the city can basically say "so sorry what leverage do you have to do anything"? The answer is nothing.

    And as a final note, if you are reading this Rev. Ferguson; you made me feel American pride in your speech. It was funny to hear many members of the chamber mumble through the preamble. I love your strong and can do stance, and you should be admired for wanting people to remember what our country is founded upon. I think everyone who attends a council meeting should be handed a copy of the constitution and maybe they will appreciate what our country is....the greatest one on earth.

  7. Nice article. Well thought out, clear, and relevant. Where are the youth going and how can you retain them? Two excellent questions. Good read.

    1. Yoo must do better on your sarchasm, you sound serious. This clown is none of what you describe. He thinks voting for an orange, racist SEX OFFENDER who has been sued hundreds of times for treating his workers like garbage is somehow going to improve things for the working class.

      Its funny to hear anti union morons talk about low pay. the answer is simple.

  8. Hey Mark. Once Cone Mills and Lorillard closed or cut back that caused a huge hole for folks with limited education. High School grads are going off to school and no longer returning because there are no career type jobs. College grads from our schools here no longer make Greensboro home. Business regs and taxes are higher here than most cities and the council is losing its' tax base as only 51% now own homes. With no new business and folks that can afford to get out going it is leaving quite a void.

    1. giving tax breaks to lazy moocher billionaire corporations is not the answer. Just like a republinazi, wanting to give tax revenue to those who can afford to pay it. Deadbeats.

      Cut police spending save the tax revenue that way.

      Stronger unions would have kept the jobs here. A company that respects and fears its workforce pays well.