Monday, May 29, 2017

"What goes around, comes around"

Life has ways to create parallels ; just compare me and, how at my age, I'll be treated by the number crunchers putting together this year's budget. Promises be damned ; Social Security and Medicaid, Trump promised will not be cut. His proposed budget blatantly cuts what ? You guested right, Social Security and Medicaid. Bingo !

---Those in authority decided me, this old invalid bird is expendable, so if he needlessly dies, so what ? The rich need more bobbles to show off so, give them another tax cut ! The poor super rich need more and more money to have to buy elections.

A parallel is the Borough of Pottstown : post depression, pre-WW 2, Pottstown citizen's roll was long stable. Her industry was small businesses, employment was alright, her economic muscle was flexing, she saw few green lights in sight, but she was ripe for a change.

Then something happened : the great World War 2 spun into action. War is a glutton for the implements of carnage and the infusion of federal dollars for the defense industrial complex which lusted after machines and factories that arrived like a stampede in Pottstown and were like mana from heaven during the Big War.

Then - victory - swept the World : the Greatest Generation came home, fathers, brothers, aunts and uncles, all seeking good jobs ; factories large and small stuffed within their walls employees, especially ex-GI's, since the government subsidized their wages. Pottstown's population swelled to 32,000 people. Building homes and necessary public infrastructure seemed unstoppable. The suburbs ballooned : work, wages, taxes flowed ; we were the unquenchable engine of economic muscle for the county who sought our endorsement.

Watch out, "What goes up, must come down", the terrible '70's lit on Pottstown and her surrounds like a plague. One after another company either downsized or sold out. This pulsating industrial area began flaming out, taxes to the county dried up, and the borough's population kept declining until it now is about 22,000 people. Pottstown beware, the long knives of politicians want to carve a declining town into eatable bites. Resist and persist must become a town's motto.

But, it's the way Pottstown was perceived by citizens of the county and surrounding communities which told a tail, a tail I was familiar with, a tail similar what had happened to me. When a town or a person grows old and run down after a lifetime of work both seem to be expendable. Unlike, a person who is just laid to rest, a town must continue on, must allow itself to be rebuilt, must adopt new
leaders who think revitalization. But, politics play a vital roll. Just as with people who, during their life, created jobs and hired workers, but now, are old and in firmed and now are expendable ; towns can be revitalized and returned to high income producing engines.

On this Memorial Weekend work to make "Pottstown Great Again"!

Ronald C Downie

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