Number 2

shark_t607I don’t know how I missed this the first time around — alcohol is suspected — but thanks to The Billy Pulpit, I’m all caught up (and so are you!):

Congratulations, Miami-Dade! You’re home to two of the five worst-run cities in the country.

The rankings come from which used a number of factors to determine the list. Gross metropolitan product, public debt, unemployment rates, violent crime, poverty, home prices, the number of insured people, graduation rates, credit ratings and foreclosures were all considered.

The two are Miami and Hialeah, of course.  But the article notes that at least in Miami’s case, there’s some cause for celebration: Last year it finished numero uno.   The details:

2. Miami, Fla.

  • Population: 408,760
  • Credit rating: A2, negative outlook
  • Violent crime per 1,000 people: 11.98 (12th highest)
  • Unemployment rate: 12.4% (17th highest)

Between 2007 and 2011, the median home value in Miami fell by 43.5%. Additionally, the city had one of the nation’s lowest median household incomes, at under $29,000, while 31% of residents lived below the poverty line — nearly twice the U.S. rate of 15.9%. Despite the difficult economic conditions Miamians faced, the city joined with Miami-Dade County to pay for almost 80% of the more-than $600 million cost of building a new baseball stadium for the Miami Marlins. The deal has caused significant uproar. While taxpayers pay extremely high costs to service the stadium debt, the team has traded many of its top players. In 2011, the SEC launched an investigation into the agreement.

Not mentioned: the school system, traffic management,  and temperament of the population.  The latter is too subjective, I guess, and after all, temperament isn’t entirely attributable to government.

If you want to feel better about this, consider the city’s consistency as a failed metropolis.  Miami has been a laughingstock for as long as anybody can remember, a place where civic values are measured by the number of freight trains not stolen (yet) by its leaders.  One set of boobs and criminals replaces another, but all share the same mission:  loot the Treasury, beat the rap, and vanish from sight.

Exception: Joke Orollo, back to plague Doral.  A new city!  Virgin territory ripe for pillaging!

Ah, well.  The weather is wonderful.

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4 Responses to Number 2

  1. julesagray says:

    Hey…at least you’re not living in the murder cap (so far) of 2013–chicago–shit’s like the fucking wild west here.

  2. The school system here is actually pretty good compared to other cities of the same size. It’s solvent, they didn’t lay off any full-time teachers or cut back arts and music programs when they trimmed the budget, they got rid of some deadwood downtown, they’ve picked up some pretty hefty grants and recognitions, and test scores are getting better. It’s got a lot of work yet to do, but when you compare it to Detroit, for example, or Chicago, it’s doing well. (Full disclosure: I work for it.)

    • Flaming Yon says:

      @Mustang Bobby: There’s a long way to go. Miami still has a terrible graduation rate, and the reason the test scores are getting so much better is they were so low to start with. My own experience with the system as a teaching artist isn’t very good either: I see unmotivated teachers, crumbling facilities, non-functional computers and hardware, and almost no sense of decorum anywhere. Maybe it’s like this all over?

      • Oh, I agree there’s a long way to go. But the bond issue passed back in November is aimed toward fixing the facilities since the state took all the capital funding and sent it to charter schools, and they just got several grants and donations — one grant worth $32 million — to upgrade the technology and put wireless in every school. It will take years, but it’s a start. As for the unmotivated teachers, it’s tough to feel drive without parental support — something the district is trying hard to change through community engagement. Also, when you have elected officials belittling the time and dedication the teachers put in and the pitiful salaries — after at least five years of college, would you take an entry-level job for under $40,000 a year? — and the long hours, motivation is tough. As for decorum, well, I taught for several years in some very exclusive prep schools, including one here in Miami, and the decorum at each place was lousy. The difference there was the sense of entitlement and privilege; students and parents viewed faculty as servants, and the kids got away with whatever kids could get away with.

        There is a long way to go here. But compared to other school systems I’ve seen, including big cities (Detroit) and rural Kansas, we’re doing better than a lot of people think.

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