Jackson No. 3 'Best Bang-for-the-Buck' City | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Jackson No. 3 'Best Bang-for-the-Buck' City

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The unemployment rate in Hinds County was 8.8 percent in November.

Americans are thinking differently when evaluating cities where they might settle down and raise a family. In the wake of the real-estate bubble and in the midst of major unemployment, places like Jackson are looking darn good. So good, in fact, that Forbes.com has rated Jackson the third best "bang-for-the-buck" city out of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the country.

"[W]ith home prices nationwide down 29 percent from their 2006 peak, according to Case Schiller, areas that were left behind during the home-building and home-buying craze suddenly look more attractive," Forbes states. "Buying an affordable home in a city with a stable housing market, among other pluses like reasonable property taxes and minimal travel time to work, is the new definition of bang for the buck."

John Jenkins, president of the Jackson Association of Realtors, said the ranking reflects Jackson's successful weathering of the global economic recession. "We've had a stable economy, but that really speaks for our home prices—our recovery and the fact that we didn't decline as much as some other areas of the country," Jenkins said.

Low real-estate taxes, an affordable, stable housing market, commuting time, unemployment rates and foreclosure rates were among the nine factors Forbes looked at to determine their rankings. At No. 3, Jackson joins five other southern cities in the top 10, and nine in the top 20: Little Rock, Ark. (2); Augusta, Ga. (5); McAllen, Texas (7); Chattanooga, Tenn. (8); Columbia, S.C. (12); Baton Rouge, La. (16); Palm Bay, Fla. (18); and Greenville, S.C. (20).

Leading the country on Forbes' list is Omaha, Neb., which has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 4.9 percent. Little Rock, No. 2, ranks higher than Jackson on a few indices, including housing affordability, unemployment and job forecast. Rounding out the top five cities is Des Moines, Iowa, at No. 4.

Ben Allen, president of Downtown Jackson partners, said that the Forbes ranking adds to Jackson's growing pile of good news.

"When Katrina hit, all these developers came here because of all the tax breaks and incentives," Allen said. "Well, when they got here they saw that it's a very attractive area. This is the same thing the market research people for these major companies—major developers—have been saying for years. I'm just glad it's becoming public knowledge. Of course we're thrilled with it, but it doesn't surprise me at all."

At the other end of the spectrum, Los Angeles comes in dead last. The five least "desirable" areas in the country (from best to worst) are: Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.; Chicago; New York City; Miami; and Los Angeles.

"This further emboldens us to be proud of ourselves and understand that we are on the rebound," Allen said.

Read the whole story here.

Previous Comments

ID
153873
Comment

Meantime, The Clarion-Ledger's top five headlines on its site right now are: 1. (Top Story) Woods apologizes for 'transgressions' Tiger Woods says he has let his family down and regrets "those transgressions with all of my heart." - 9:28 am 2. Mom accused in baby's death A 22-year-old mother pregnant with her fourth child only recently regained custody of the 1-year-old daughter she is accused of killing, authorities said. - 10:46 pm 3. Miss. child's death prompts crib recall - 12:56 pm 4. Jury may get Jackson murder case today - 12:07 pm 5. Madison County chamber has new chief - 11:53 am OK, we get the crib recall, but is there any positive news out there about the city the Ledger is based in? And don't forget that business story lead I tweeted a couple days ago from the Sunday Ledger: "As the potential renaissance for Jackson continues...." Potential? They really, really need to get their heads out of the sand on what is happening in Jackson. No thanks to them and their crime sensationalism, of course.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-02T13:59:10-06:00
ID
153875
Comment

What's the over/under on the number od days it will take the C-L to report this?

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-12-02T14:05:52-06:00
ID
153877
Comment

Let's hope that every media outlet that ran the bogus "dangerous" headlines recently will report this. Not holding my breath, though.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-02T14:07:58-06:00
ID
153879
Comment

Can I add that it is *remarkable* to me that The Clarion-Ledger considers the Tiger Woods affair their "top story." And they wonder why they're losing market share so quickly.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-02T14:09:51-06:00
ID
153888
Comment

I honestly do not understand the Forbes logic or methodology. My wife has been unemployed for a year because she is "overqualified" for anything here. I.E. no one wants to pay a decent wage. Unemployment rates are calculated according to who is "actively seeking a job for the past 6 months"- it does not count people who take temp jobs or minimum wage to survive. It does not, therefore, account for standard of living. Our unemplyment rate is nearly 30% if we eliminate this propgandistic Federal formula. No one that I know has taken the CL seriously for decades; that is a dead horse that has been beaten to the point of obliteration. Indeed, I do not know anyone under the age of 50 that actually reads the CL except for employment ads (of which there are very few.)

Author
revdrstewart
Date
2009-12-02T15:07:51-06:00
ID
153889
Comment

Ya'lls got your groove on. That's for sure. But there is more to come.

Author
atlntaexile
Date
2009-12-02T15:08:13-06:00
ID
153890
Comment

I checked a few other Gannett papers...the Tennesean has the Tiger Woods story on their top headlines. The Tallahassee Democrat, Des Moines Register and Lansing State Journal (Michigan) doesn't.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-12-02T15:09:04-06:00
ID
153892
Comment

I actually was thinking about this prior to your comments Donna as soon as I received the JFP Daily. I'm so glad Tiger Woods isn't news to you guys. Because, my lawd, it's everywhere on every single news page I have come across today. At lunch at Peaches today it was on every new station as "breaking news". Maybe a blog or something, but a main story it is not. Especially when there is something as positive as what is reported here that should clearly be the lead story. Gotta say....those folk over there seem to be bucking against us. And Golden Eagle, my bet is that NOW that it's here, they'll probably go ahead and put it up. Certainly before morning. Stand up and take a bow Jacktown. I agree with Mr. Allen wholeheartedly. We are on the rebound.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-02T15:22:43-06:00
ID
153893
Comment

BTW, just noticed this at the bottom of The Clarion-Ledger's front page in the box listing all the sections available: Communities Clinton Madison Rankin Northeast Jackson That's it. I left no "communities" out. That's what's up there. They truly are no different than the Northside Sun these days when it comes to cherrypicking "communities" they serve.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-02T15:23:30-06:00
ID
153894
Comment

Queen, I'm not sure why a paper like the Ledger would put that at the top of the site. Do they really think people are coming to a regional news outlet for news that is all over the Web and cable news. It's that kind of thinking that has tanked daily newspapers. Of course it's not a major story. It's sensationalism, pure and simple. They may or may not post about this great Jackson news, though. If we break something, they often either ignore it or wait several days and put it up. (There has been a series of Jerry Mitchell Sunday page 1 stories that followed Adam's by more than a week.) Maybe they think if they wait long enough, people will forget. We, on the other hand, do what's traditionally called a second-day or analysis piece when some other outlet breaks important news first. Often, that story has much more in it, and it doesn't matter who broke it. Don't get me wrong: we like to "break" stories and do it all the time. But just because someone else gets it first doesn't mean it's not news. The Ledger has pounded those Morgan-Quitno "dangerous" rankings into the ground for years. (Worse before and after Melton reign, but still.) I can't imagine that all this good news will get equal billing, even if they are now trying to climb belatedly onto the Jackson Renaissance bandwagon (they ridiculously said it would never happen until crime went away, remember?). Even that story last Sunday had to put "potential" in the lead sentence, which was absurd from a writing standpoint. How can a "potential Renaissance" be "continuing"?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-02T15:29:42-06:00
ID
153895
Comment

[Site's acting wiggy, btw. My post disappeared, then came back. I apologize if the bug bites one of you, too. Is Mercury in retrograde again!?]

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-02T15:31:21-06:00
ID
153896
Comment

Wow, a week later; that's simply shameful. I haven't paid that much attention to the turn around. But I certainly will this time.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-02T15:39:41-06:00
ID
153903
Comment

Donna-the communities boxes are direct links to the MC Herald, Clinton News, Rankin Ledger and the Northeast Ledger. If you had another paper wouldn't you have a link to it on the JFP site? The Woods story in on the frontpages of the NY Times,LA Times,Wall Street Journal and Washington Post websites too. What's the big deal about it being on the front of the CL website? Gonna bash on them too.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-12-02T15:54:40-06:00
ID
153907
Comment

In the interest of fairness, C-L did cover the death of the State Health Officer, Ed Thompson and that was a good look. He's the best one we've had...at least in my experience. He deserved a story and I don't recall seeing that covered here. That's Mississippi news if I've ever seen it. It is to state employees and to every single resident who ever has to go to the doctor or who was concerned about West Nile or H1N1 or any other health issues.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-02T15:59:39-06:00
ID
153908
Comment

I know, Bubba. Sure, I'll be happy to, uh, "bash" those other papers for sensationalistic news coverage. However, arguably all the one you mention are national papers; the Ledger can't even call itself local. It doesn't know what it is. As for the links to those papers, that is obviously true. But you might be missing the point. Where's the Northwest Ledger? South Jackson Ledger? West Jackson Ledger? If you and other apologists for the Ledger can't understand the harm they've done (and tried to do) to this community, and many of our local businesses (see MIPA/TDN, etc.) it's useless for me to try to point it out. They must be held accountable for the trash-talk about Jackson. And the choice of top stories, not to mention the unbelievable racist garbage they allow the worst examples of Mississippians to post over there, is part of the trash-talk.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-02T16:00:28-06:00
ID
153909
Comment

K, y'all. I gotta finish prep for my Tougaloo class tonight. Behave! Peace.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-02T16:01:20-06:00
ID
153913
Comment

No comment? Was Dr. Thompson's death not news?

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-02T16:09:23-06:00
ID
153914
Comment

"The Woods story in on the frontpages of the NY Times,LA Times,Wall Street Journal and Washington Post websites too." and this is suppose to be journalism.....? Ouch. Bottom of second page at best.

Author
atlntaexile
Date
2009-12-02T16:10:55-06:00
ID
153918
Comment

I was a little surprised that Dr. Thompson's death wasn't reported here also, Queen. As for all the coverage of Lil' Tiger elsewhere, its indicative of the shallowness of our culture. Tiger was a world-class competitor with a squeaky clean image who never carried himself publicly like the celeb-sluts that routinely grace the covers of tabloids. He's probably the last person many people figured would be caught up in an affair scandal. And like it or not many people love to see someone at the top take a tumble.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-12-02T16:28:36-06:00
ID
153920
Comment

Best bang for the buck! The C-L was probably ready to run with that as a headline before they realized it didn't mean we had cheap ammunition in Jackson.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-12-02T17:18:17-06:00
ID
153921
Comment

Come on now. Is it necessary to bring brother "Shoeless" Tiger Wood into this story. He has enough problem with women coming out the woodworks and telling all about heir affairs. When will young player learn courting is for a reason: to discern how fast she can runs, can she shoot a gun, slang a knife with precision, has she shot or stabbed anybody to death before, can she use a 9 iron and keep her head down, arms straight and follow through, et al. It's not a good idea to have to learn these things in a crisis situation because you won't like the outcome.

Author
Walt
Date
2009-12-02T17:33:47-06:00
ID
153928
Comment

Walt, what is it with you and mentioning Tiger in every post? Good lord, this isn't a tabloid. In actual news, it's good to see Jackson making progress. You think they got the award for booting Melton? :)

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-02T22:16:59-06:00
ID
153929
Comment

Did someone say Tiger? "The Black part of Tiger made him buy a Cadillac, the Asian part of him made him crash it" - Wanda Sykes- LOL

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-12-02T23:29:21-06:00
ID
153931
Comment

That wasn't funny.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-03T06:45:51-06:00
ID
153932
Comment

of course it was

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-12-03T07:49:07-06:00
ID
153933
Comment

Only to you, maybe. I'm still not getting why Sykes and Lopez (who did the same joke at virtually the same time) can alledgedly tell racist jokes and everyone just ignore it. Let a more mainstream comedian try it, and they'd be flogged.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-03T08:17:17-06:00
ID
153934
Comment

It's because there's a considerable amount of truth in most stereotypes. They don't get started out of the blue, no matter what the PC police say.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-12-03T08:38:50-06:00
ID
153935
Comment

and thus.....the conversation about Tiger that we considered to be so new-worthy-less....begins.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-03T08:54:00-06:00
ID
153937
Comment

To get this back on topic, Harvey Johnson and other city leaders need to pounce on this good news and shout it from the hills as soon as possible.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-12-03T09:20:38-06:00
ID
153938
Comment

Yeah...well, there has been a lot of excellent coverage for Jackson nationwide in the last couple of months and I haven't seen or heard the Mayor mention it...but as I have often stated....i never SEE the Mayor - guess I just don't frequent the places he pops in. But I have to applaud Ben Allen because he's the best cheerleader Jackson could ask for. Just think what direction this city would be going in if Ben was Mayor. No one can deny his passion and dedication to the city of Jackson. And if they did, it would simply be salt-throwing.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-03T09:42:39-06:00
ID
153939
Comment

Speaking of Harvey, how do you feel his first few months have gone?

Author
QB
Date
2009-12-03T10:38:41-06:00
ID
153940
Comment

Donna, what's up with the unbridled hatred of all that C-L? It appears to be a big case of little sibling syndrome, and that instead of touting your own achievements within the community, you instead continually put down the Ledger. Your readers are here and reading JFP.com, there's no need to feed the sheep every time. It gets old. That being said, I would completely support Ben Allen in a run for Mayor, but there's no way he would be elected, for he was once Ward 1 alderman. Gasp!

Author
RobbieR
Date
2009-12-03T10:39:08-06:00
ID
153941
Comment

Ben's been a great ambassador for the city. Maybe he should've ran for mayor. He knows how the sell the city. I know a lot of people won't vote for him because he's a white and Republican, but I look at what a person brings to the table first, not their race and party.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-12-03T10:45:12-06:00
ID
153942
Comment

Rex, I'm curious, are there instances in which your personal liberties, or rights, or opportunities have been thwarted by the "PC Police" as you put it? Has this impeded your success or fulfillment in specific ways?

Author
Izzy
Date
2009-12-03T10:46:12-06:00
ID
153943
Comment

Speaking of Harvey, how do you feel his first few months have gone? So far, he hasn't really done much for me to really give a fair assessment. However, I do like his idea for the Hwy. 80 corridor. I know a lot of people think it's a waste of time to do a study of the area, but it's the best way to go about determining how best to redevelop the area. BTW, the C-L has yet to report this story.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-12-03T10:48:24-06:00
ID
153944
Comment

Iz- I'm not so thin skinned as to let the PC crowd dictate what I do or say. I do, however, find that mindset to run contrary to freedom of thought and expression.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-12-03T10:53:58-06:00
ID
153945
Comment

That's interesting, Rex, as I see it the other way. To me, the multicultural movement of the past few decades has allowed more voices into the mix, rather than less. In music education, for example, kids can now learn about Blues music, world music, and music by women composers whereas before there were not these options.

Author
Izzy
Date
2009-12-03T11:01:30-06:00
ID
153946
Comment

Rex&Izzy: Does this mean racist jokes are back in?

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-03T11:11:49-06:00
ID
153947
Comment

Ben's been a great ambassador for the city. Maybe he should've ran for mayor. He knows how the sell the city. I know a lot of people won't vote for him because he's a white and Republican, but I look at what a person brings to the table first, not their race and party. <<<

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-03T11:28:09-06:00
ID
153948
Comment

sorry - got off topic there. What I really think is amazing is how Jackson is turning out to be this phoenix rising - when other cities are getting slammed by the recession, Jackson is coming out ahead. Somehow the time lag in our regrowth is now working in our favor.

Author
Izzy
Date
2009-12-03T11:30:32-06:00
ID
153949
Comment

btw - great pic, Lizzie!

Author
Izzy
Date
2009-12-03T11:31:22-06:00
ID
153950
Comment

Queen, the mayor's office sent out a big release on the last round of big, positive Jackson news, which we posted (doubt any other media outlet did). I don't know that they knew about this one until we reported it. That was a racist joke by Sykes, and not funny. I can say that and still understand how a person of color can "get away with" a joke like that and not the majority white culture. Our history of oppression has made some things tougher for us to get away with -- as it should. That said, no more Tiger/Sykes talk here please. Someone can start a community blog post if you'd like, but this thread is about Jackson, and the positive and negative coverage of it. Let's stay focused on that here.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-03T11:35:51-06:00
ID
153951
Comment

what was the last round of big, positive Jackson news?

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-03T11:39:24-06:00
ID
153952
Comment

The King Edward is opening the week after next!

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-12-03T11:41:15-06:00
ID
153953
Comment

"That said, no more Tiger/Sykes talk here please" thank you.........

Author
atlntaexile
Date
2009-12-03T11:46:18-06:00
ID
153954
Comment

Donna, what's up with the unbridled hatred of all that C-L? Robbie, I always love it when someone new asks us why we criticize The Clarion-Ledger because it gives me a new opportunity to make an important media-literacy point. First of all, it is not "hatred." I work very hard not to hate (which, admittedly, the Ledger tested when they tried to take many of our distributions points away back in 2006. But local publications won that battle, and it was so worth it. Thank you, Ledger). However, trying to stay Zen about Goliath does not mean that I believe we should be compliant sheep that never speak up about organizations that hurt the community, as I believe the Ledger has done with its ongoing bad and/or lacking coverage of very important issues in our community, from Two Lakes, to Melton, to tort reform, and much more. Part of the tradition of "alternative" media is to help people have a language to criticize inadequate media institutions in our communities, and people thank us for it constantly here (much, much more often than we're criticized for doing it). So it has nothing to do with any kind of smaller sibling B.S. It's much more important than that, and we will continue to do media criticism as long as we're here. So pull up a chair and stay a while. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-03T11:53:01-06:00
ID
153955
Comment

Queen, Jackson has ranked high on a series of eco-devo type studies of late. They're just pouring in. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-03T11:53:45-06:00
ID
153957
Comment

Ms. Ladd, does the high ranking on eco-devo studies include the EPA Superfund site in Flowood that was contravertially declared "cleared" back in 1996? According to the report itself several tons of PCB's and other heavy metal contaminants are moving into the Jackson water table and will not be gone for decades. Someone with influence needs to put pressure on the EPA to continue monitoring the site.

Author
revdrstewart
Date
2009-12-03T12:11:52-06:00
ID
153961
Comment

Oh yes, Donna, I am well aware. I was just wondering which of those accomplishments and mentions specifically came to you from the Mayor's office. But I suppose it's insignificant really. As long as the good news is spread.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-03T13:44:35-06:00
ID
153962
Comment

Queen, If I had to choose between Jackson'e current mayor being a cheerleader in guise of either Frank melton or Ben Allen, or a top planner, administrator, financially responsible leader like Mayor Johnson, I would choose Mayor Johnson. I bet Mayor Johnson is working overtime to re-institute the administrative, planning, and financial controls he had put into place during his first two terms. Controls that were either abandoned or dismantled during the Melton administration. He is also probabbly working overtime conceptualizing and initiating programs to re-prime the economic development, infrastructure and arts related engine he had created during his first two terms. So what would Ben Allen be cheering about in his proposed new role of Mayor? Why the accomplishments of Mayor Johnson. How soon we seem to have forgotten the accomplishments of the Johnson Administration. Convention Center Expansion of the Water Plant to supply Nissan Union Station Renovation Artistic Renovation of Mill Street Bridges, Creation of Mill/Capital St. Plaza Capital Street Farmers Market Infrastructure (not open yet) Renovations to City Gyms Renovations to City Tennis Centers Renovations to City Golf Courses Renovations to Mynelle Gardens Renovations to Police and Court Building Renovation of City Hall Scheduled replacenet and up-sizing of decades old water lines Art Center Energy System Upgrades Smith Robert Museum Upgrades Farish Street Entertainment Center Infrastructure upgrades Implementation of the Commercial Facade Upgrade Loan program The list goes on. As a person whose professional career is in the planning, designing, financing, constrcution and management of infrastructure, economic development and economic diversity projects, I understand that it takses a LONG time to get these projects completed and/or implemented. Mayor Johnson is a proven master at this process as evidenced by the short list of his accomplishments listed above When Mayor Johnson wasn't moving fast enough in his appointments to the JPS school board, JFP editors and bloggers were quick to criticize. I have yet to see any editorial or blogger comments on the quality of the people Mayor Johnson recently appointed to the JPS Board. Ben Allen definitely has talents and accomplishments in his arena, and he probably has what it takes to be a good Mayor. He certainly has the energy, integrity and talent to do so. But for now, my advice Queen, be happy Melton's administration has run its course and pray and cheer for our current Mayor..... as long and as loud as you can. No Mayor Johnson has not hoisted a "Mission Accomplished" banner on the streets of Jackson. he understands taht the job of economic and community development is an never ending process where the targets are always moving. He needs a little stroking and appreciation don't you think? Why doesn't the JFP host a thank you function for Mayor Johnson at one of its "Progessive Class" and "Creative Class" functions? I'd get out of my sick bed to attend that. And JFP could control the guest list this time!

Author
FrankMickens
Date
2009-12-03T13:47:44-06:00
ID
153968
Comment

Frank: Jackson isn't a Potemkin village. It's a town with a big problem which has easy solutions. Out of that list of seventeen programs, most are for looks. Looks are deceiving. I'd kill to see some economic upgrades, rather than new paint on a building.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-03T14:16:48-06:00
ID
153969
Comment

Okay Frank I don't have time to read another one of your analytical peices....and to each it's own. I was making a complimentary statement about the fact that Ben Allen is dedicated to his city - very proud and very vocal about it...way much more than the current Mayor or Frank Melton to be honest with you. If that was all it took to be a mayor then I could run for office; and would. And I DO NOT need you to give me advice on the city of Jackson. I have that under control thank you very much sir. Harvey Johnson has plenty enough folks blowing smoke up his ass...I'm sure the fact that I choose not to won't make or break him...IF that's waht I was saying I was choosing to do. It's not! So, please carefully remove yourself from my path because the post I made was not to run the dude out of office. I've seen enough of Harvey to have an opinion; it's not like he wasn't mayor before Frank. I simply pointed out what I thought was happening. And if you dared to comprehend what you read, I SAID, I hope it's not so and that we shall see. If that doesn't seem to you that I am offering the man hope to succeed, then that's your issue not mine. You take everything so seriously. EVERYTHING. Geesh dude lighten up. Take a chill pill or something. Are you sure you're not Mayor Johnson in disguise or something. My goodness. No one's attacking YOUR mayor since you act like he only governs your street and your house and none of the rest of us Jacksonians have any right to any opinion at all. It's laughable. Do you come on this site just to be contrary and rude. UGH!!!!

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-03T14:34:24-06:00
ID
153971
Comment

FYI: If i still had the edit comment option I'd delete all that up there and just say....I'm aware of what Mayor Johnson has done for Jackson, Frank. Thanks for pointing that out to me. You continue to provide such thought provoking information. Thanks. Yeah...that's what I'd say.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-03T14:53:28-06:00
ID
153972
Comment

Iron, As the capitalists are always saying, and I agree, government is not and cannot be the economic engine for a sustainable economy. What government can do is prime the pump, in a capitalistic economic system, by investing in long term infrastructure, research, education and community services. This pump priming results in a healthy, educated populace, or as the capitalists call them, work force capable of both producing and consuming the output of the private sector. On the national level ALL of American industry is to this day heavially subsidized with public pump priming dollars. And I'm not talking about any of the cash associated with the recent Bush Recession. For example, government provides the subsidies to train and hire aqnd equip professors in the health related research fields so private industry can later "cherry pick" the best and the brightest. Private industry most often provides grants which supplement the salaries paid to the professors and researchers by the colleges and universities. Hiring is kept to a minimum to keep private industry from having to pay those dreaded health and retirement benefits. Another national example is the public option system we have successfully had for years in the delivery of mail and packages. You can either use the public option US Postal Service to send a letter for less than a dollar, or you have the private option of paying FedEx "cherry picking" fee of $6 to $8 to deliver the letter. No one complains about this as being socialist and we know FedEx will never charge less than a dollar to deliver a letter to Toomsuba, MS. Locally, all a government and Mayor can do is to create and maintain the legal, educational, physical infrastructure and quality of life amenities that will attract AND KEEP privately owned economic development entrepreneurs. Got a beach, mountain range, great climate or other natural wonder? Build public roads, water and sewer to it and they will come. No natural wonders?.. legalize gambling and prostitution and they will come. Or say, by coincidence and happenstance, you have five major medical centers/hospitals in a concentrated area, then provide exemplary public lighting, roads, water, sewer, fire and police protection to make the area both user and resident friendly, and they will come. Iron, I agree looks can be deceiving. However, looksalso serve as the window to the mindset and soul of a country, state, city or community, family or person. It is human nature to assocaite a discheveled appearance to non-professionalism, slovenly work ethic, etc. They won't come. Too many other better choices are available. Presidents, governors and mayors are not elected to primarily be economic development gurus. They are elected to be positive stewards of both the public resources and the public welfare. They are not elected to be entrepreneurial risk takers and in fact legislation exists to prevent then from doing so...that whole pesky checks and balances thing. Iron you say there are easy solutions. What are they?

Author
FrankMickens
Date
2009-12-03T14:56:53-06:00
ID
153973
Comment

Queen. Send me the chill pill. I'll add it to the 25 or so I'ma already taking every day.

Author
FrankMickens
Date
2009-12-03T15:04:47-06:00
ID
153974
Comment

Frank, I don't have any. As you can probably tell, I should be taking them myself. :-)

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-03T15:31:57-06:00
ID
153975
Comment

Dude, I passed Economics. Relax. :) My point is simply this: Harvey hasn't done anything for economics. Sure, it's nice to see the place cleaner and all that. I'm not confusing it with a happy, vibrant economically charged city however.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-03T15:51:19-06:00
ID
153977
Comment

Ironghost, you said "Harvey hasn't done anything for economics." My question to you is: What about Haley Barbour? What exactly has he done for this STATE? Jackson is a part of the STATE of MS, you know.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-12-03T16:32:20-06:00
ID
153979
Comment

Oh lawd...why did I even mention the word Mayor...I take it back, I take it back....

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-03T17:05:08-06:00
ID
153980
Comment

Jess: We're arguing Mayors, not Governors. Relax. :) Queen: You opened the can of worms, you have to pay for them! :)

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-03T17:52:05-06:00
ID
153981
Comment

Iron, The point of my economics comments was to emphasis that, in my opinion, a Mayor cannot do anything on his own for economics other than to create an atmosphere where entrepreneurs would be willing to invest. Remember when Times Square and 42nd Street in New York City was synoymous with bums, derelicts, adult movie houses and prostitution? Mayor Giullani cleaned it up and Disney moved right in In my opinion Mayor Johnson could (and probably is already) work on the following economic development projects. 1) Work with the state legislature to pass bills to allow Jackson, or any community, to consolidate abandoned residential and commercial properties into larger economically feasible tracts for sale to private developers. 2) Get involved early and work with the Corps to ensure that the proposed Pearl River Levee Improvements include recreational and commercial development features that would attract people to visit Jackson as part of our "destination city" tourism package. 3) Work with JPS and Entergy to open up Lake Hico as a Community Park with boating, swimming, fishing, nature trails etc.. 4) Work with Tougaloo to create a partnership between the Smith Robertson Museum/Faish Street Entertainment Complex and the proposed Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. At a minimum create a shuttle service between the two venues. 5) Work with the MSU School of Architecture to design and create a massive skate park, model airplane, rock climbing complex in the area of Smith Wills Park. Lease it out to a private operator. 6) Work with the Chamber, Restaurant Association, and Convention Center to raise money to support JSU's athletics programs. When JSU's football team was winning, the stadium, the hotels and the watering holes stayed full. It takes money for facilities, top coaches, and trainers. 7) Expand Jackson's past and successful efforts too attract regional and national softball, touch football and youth football tournaments to Jackson's public park facilities. Just a few ideas, but if you notice the key words are "work with" others. Don't fight the decisions to place the Civil Rights Museum at Tougaloo, or improve the Pearl River Levees instead of digging Lake o Lakes. Use that energy to move forward in the current political and economic landscape. On the other hand, a mayor can certainly repel entrepreneurs if his policies and personal posture portrays a basic distrust and disrespect towards business people and business interests.

Author
FrankMickens
Date
2009-12-03T17:58:26-06:00
ID
153987
Comment

this might be sorta cruel but....what Jackson needs is a few well placed obituaries. Get more of the "old guard" in the ground and the new blood up and running things. It's already underway and the progres is evident.... I'm just "sayin"

Author
atlntaexile
Date
2009-12-04T08:26:38-06:00
ID
153988
Comment

oh and I'm not talking about the progressive guard like Ben and the folks of his calibre. Alot of the "hold back" "protect my turf" crowd seems to have run up to Madison and out to Rankin anyway. That left the field more open, that's for sure. But it still takes time.

Author
atlntaexile
Date
2009-12-04T08:39:21-06:00
ID
153989
Comment

Get more of the "old guard" in the ground and the new blood up and running things. It's already underway and the progres is evident....

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-04T08:48:32-06:00
ID
153992
Comment

"Another national example is the public option system we have successfully had for years in the delivery of mail and packages. You can either use the public option US Postal Service to send a letter for less than a dollar, or you have the private option of paying FedEx" Anytime you use the United States Postal service as an example of success, you lose all credibility. They lost 2 billion dollars last quarter, and I don't believe they have operated at a profit in the last 5 years. Yeah, that's real success, Frank.

Author
RobbieR
Date
2009-12-04T09:22:52-06:00
ID
153993
Comment

The problem in the last election is that many old-guard ideas were front and center for people that Johnson defeated. Two Lakes, for instance, is a really dated concept cooked up by men with would-be (private) waterfront property. There is a much more progressive way to use the Pearl River for economic development then recreating another motor-book reservoir named after a racist. To put it bluntly. ;-) The most progressive thing Johnson could do at this juncture is come out in favor of creative-class ideas about green space and the use of the outdoors to attract *young* professionals, and announce that the city is giving up on the Two Lakes project. That whole thing is a symbol of the backward thinking some people don't want to let go of for the city, no matter who tells them. For God's sake, Andre Duany (sp?) came down here in the charrette and criticized the Lakes idea, but they still wouldn't let it go. It's sad to watch Jackson be held hostage to the ideas of a few, who often have those plans in order to perhaps enrich themselves or their own property value. Either we're going to be progressive or we're not. Melton just talked a big game and fooled too many people who were apparently too preoccupied to see the very clear writing on the wall before he was elected. Hopefully, we're going to be smarter on that front (as we were in the last city mayor's election) -- but the people still lining up behind McGowan over a plan that ain't gonna happen doesn't build my confidence on it. We fool too easily around here. We can change that.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-04T09:33:20-06:00
ID
153994
Comment

And Iron, no need to keep repeating "relax." Unless someone is really speaking out of turn (in which case one of us will address it), saying "relax" to people who dare to disagree with you is just condescending. State your views, and let others state theirs. Passion is welcome here. Frankly, people have "relaxed" for too long in our city and state. It's time to fully wake up and engage.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-04T09:35:15-06:00
ID
153997
Comment

Melton just talked a big game and fooled too many people who were apparently too preoccupied to see the very clear writing on the wall before he was elected. Hopefully, we're going to be smarter on that front (as we were in the last city mayor's election) This is a matter of opinion. You say preoccupied, I say ignorant to what others seem to claim now that they knew the entire time; OR, hopeful that we could experience change and newness. It kills me when people say they knew what Frank would do before he got into office, well they should have been more vocal. They should have done more and said more. Because Mr. Melton had very successful campaign and had many supporters throughout the city. Where were all these "know-it-alls" prior to the election?

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-04T10:36:59-06:00
ID
153998
Comment

RobbieR, The US Postal Service, the US Military, the Interstate Highway System,i.e., all government programs, are not designed or intended to make a profit. They are designed to promote the general welfare and provide services to the residents of our country. Wall Street, the home mortgage industry, Enron, WorldCom, the insurance industry, etc. are/were designed to make a profit. And I agree that they should be as the profit motive is proven to be the surest way to unlock human ingenuity and energy. Please be careful and do not confuse the promotion of public good with the profit motive. Or would you be happy to pay $8.00 to FedEx all of your letters. It certainly would be profitable, but not for you.

Author
FrankMickens
Date
2009-12-04T11:52:33-06:00
ID
154000
Comment

Well, Queen, we knew Melton was going to be a terrible mayor and tried to warn people repeatedly. ;-) Some others -- like, say, Derrick Johnson -- did, too, and also tried to warn people. And there are many, many people in the community, especially the African American community, who need how much a problem he was, and people (other than some of us) wouldn't listen to them. He told people of all races what they wanted to hear, and promised them the moon, and they fell in line. I'm not saying people should beat themselves up for it, but they should learn. And we have other people in the community right now doing the same thing that people are buying hook, line and sinker. You should can't say we don't have any gullible people here in leadership and business roles who mean well, but fall in behind some real problematic sorts. And to me, naivete and wanting to believe the best about people who have already proved themselves is no excuse. You're asking for trouble, and we sure did get it with Melton, right on schedule. The really infuriating ones were the ones who had the information about Melton, such as much of the local media, and could have used it to warn people. I was on a panel with Grace Simmons at Jackson State after the election, and when asked why they didn't report more about the real Melton before the election, she said that people didn't want to hear it. So, instead of telling people the truth about things like the Meridian lawsuit (which they were wrapped up in), the Ledger endorsed him and made him sound like some sort of hero cowboy, when they all the information they needed right in their own files to know what he was really like. And people wonder why we continue to educate the public about the problems with The Clarion-Ledger and other media.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-04T13:28:58-06:00
ID
154001
Comment

Donna, I know Derrick. Never had a conversation with him about Frank Melton. I know you, never had a conversation with you about Frank Melton -- prior to him taking office that is. I assume that you are speaking about JFP when you say "WE". I know several people on your staff, I have never had a conversation with anyone who tried to "warn" me not to vote for Frank Melton. Oh, I hear it all the time now. Now that he's gone and so clearly was the wrong man for the job. But I know plenty of people who simply believe this man was best for the job, me being one of them and I have regretted casting my vote for him. If has nothing to do with people like you who continue to try and throw salt at those of us who believed Melton because you were so inclined not to believe him. And again, stop telling me what African Americans think and feel and should do. I am an African American Donna. I think I'd have a little more of a natural ability to know what African American's think and feel. Contrary to what you think everyone doesn't read nor do they have access to this website or to your publication. It's a whole lot of people out there who can't even read this publication. So were you in the streets knocking on doors telling those old women who believed that Frank would keep the drug dealers out of their neighborhoods, that Frank wasn't what he proclaimed to be? Of course you'll say you did that too. Well if you and Derrick and so many African Americans in the Jackson area did that then how in the hell did the man get elected?

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-04T14:04:11-06:00
ID
154002
Comment

Queen, I had never met you before Melton was elected so we couldn't have talked about it one-on-one, but I did talk about it to every one in site, and warn them, including many people we both know. Besides that, all of our warnings are all over this site and our paper's archives. We did everything in our power then to get people not to elect Melton based on very clear warnings that it was going to be a disaster. That is simply fact. And again, stop telling me what African Americans think and feel and should do I didn't do that, so I would appreciate you not putting words into my mouth that I didn't say. And I cannot allow you to invalidate everything that many African Americans did say to me and the paper during Melton's election; I am in the business of talking to people of all races. That's what I do for a living. The fact that you're also black has nothing to do with what other African Americans made very clear to me. You are one African American, and I respect your opinions immensely and adore you. But neither you nor I can speak for everyone of any race, and I agree with you that neither one of us should try to. If you re-read my post, you'll see that I wasn't doing that. I was answering your charge that people didn't know what Melton was about before he was elected. Many did, and that is fact, regardless of anyone's race. It doesn't help, and can actually hurt, to say now that nobody could have known. Yes, we could have known, and many people did. Well if you and Derrick and so many African Americans in the Jackson area did that then how in the hell did the man get elected? That's easy, Queen. People didn't listen. Many people of all races bought his bizarre promises and rhetoric. That's what demagogues do: sell you a bill of goods based on emotion. And I'm not throwing salt; I am discussing just as you are. As I said before, there is no reason to beat up the everyday citizen who bought the bill of goods if they didn't have the information, which is certainly true for the majority of people out there. However, those who *knew* and pushed him anyway (especially those of us in the business of getting and dispensing information) should truly be ashamed. Many are. Others aren't. Those are the people who deserve a bit of salt in their eyes, not people like you who apparently believed in someone who was lying to you. That happens to good people. So please don't take it personally. It's not meant that way.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-04T14:35:36-06:00
ID
154004
Comment

Point taken. And seems like to me that we'd met before, but hey, I could certainly be wrong. Stranger things have happened. Speaking from experience, and I do tend to get very personal about this voting for Melton thing here because it's a discussion that has been had many, many times before. I still don't see anything even in hindsight that could have let me know that Melton was not the man for the job until "after" he got into the position. I wasn't privvy to the information that you must have had, Donna. How I missed it, God only knows. All I know is that I saw a man with new energy and what seemed to be a passion about getting this city on a different track than the one it had been on previously. Which to me sounded good. I will also testify that because of the mistake I made in voting for Melton, I was able to recognize that part of him that I wouldn't want to see in another elected official. Which is the reason I chose to back the person I selected for Mayor this time around. i suppose one could say that my decision was based on emotion - matter of fact that's the best way to put it. And like you suggested, we have to learn from that. I did. I will never cast a vote for anyone who even remotely seems to be the kind of candidate that Frank was. I know what to look for now. Fact is that we never really know what we're getting into. I have trouble believing that Frank won because people didn't listen. You have to know and recognize that some people just didn't know, Donna, I mean commo now. It can't be that hard to fathom. Even after all this that has happened, there are still people who disagree that he wasn't the right person for the job, so that doesn't mean even they didn't listen. It means they disagree. Which they have every right to do. We may suffer for it. But they have every right to disagree, that's why we vote. Good points, though, thanks for breaking it down for me.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-04T14:59:57-06:00
ID
154006
Comment

Thanks, Queen. (Big hug.) I know that some people didn't know; I said that. ;-) It's the ones who had the info who let us down. As for me and the JFP, you must not have been reading much of us then. It was the early days, so we didn't have the strong readership we do now. Now, people hopefully would know that we weren't joshing them. When we come out against a candidate or a cause (like Two Lakes) or a war (Iraq) strong, it's because we've done our homework, and we prove that over and over again. We're never "against" something to be against it. We believe in being "for" things first, but some things/people are just too scary to ignore. The reason I respond strongly to any implication that no one knew how bad Melton could be is because (a) it's not true and (b) because the community needs to learn the lesson. (It hadn't by the last DA's race, for instance). There are some scary people out in our community, and some people are easily fooled by them, especially if they stroke their egos (which Melton tried to do with me, to no avail). I pray people will get more proactive about watching for the signs. One big sign: How they treat/talk about women. There are many others, of course.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-04T15:28:30-06:00
ID
154011
Comment

To return this to great news about Jackson; if you haven't seen our 2009 Boom Jackson, here's the flip book. Be proud! Pass it around! http://www.boomjackson.com/boom-jackson-2009/

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-04T16:15:51-06:00
ID
154015
Comment

Ah well, I suppose you just know a whole other group of Jacksonians than I know...maybe that's it. Many people don't even get a chance to speak to these candidates prior to the elections. They don't happen to be in the same places. I've heard the womanizing stories about one or two of the candidates, I can't say that I believe them because I haven't ever heard it myself and I am one of those people who happen to be in the same places as some of these candidates. So, I tend to believe that there are people who just aren't aware. I'm done with that though. I recognize your attempt to move on and I concur. Got the Boom Jackson, and it's booming of course! You guys/gals do a great job! Keep it up!

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-04T17:16:36-06:00
ID
154017
Comment

The people I'm talking about, Queen, had dealt directly with Melton in various ways over the years, some young, some older. Not during the campaign. Otherwise, though, I always love discussing issues with you, even when we disagree. We respect each other, and that is such a key to good conversation. Thank you for being you, and I'm so happy for you and Kaze. All the toasts to y'all by your family members was simply one of the most lovely, touching things I've ever witnessed. I feel very privileged to know you two. The up side of the Melton debacle is the city seems much stronger and much less willing to go along with the people who bash the city and the positive efforts being made for their own selfish purposes. At this point, the negativity that's out there only brings attention to the positive works being done by those being bashed, and makes the whiners look very small. And that's a glorious thing. Cheers, sweet thang. ;-D

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-04T17:25:44-06:00
ID
154087
Comment

Fox 40 just reported this story, almost a week later. I don't know if the other TV media have reported this, but I do know that the C-L hasn't, at least that I'm aware of.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-12-07T21:16:40-06:00

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