The same fate seems to be true of the adoptive city I've come to love. Wall Street, Hollywood, and the Silicone Valley could all relocate to Philadelphia and the national circuit would still be dubbing us the next Detroit.
Why? Well, twenty years ago it would have been because we were the next Detroit. But today it's because we are one of the few major cities that didn't spend the last twenty years royally fucking up.
Yeah, I said it. Philly did good.
News Observer writer, Hope Yen spent way too many words on an article that tries to claim that Philadelphia is a city of fleeing residents and a collapsing job market. Then goes on to point out that we're doing better than Los-freaking-Angeles. She ends what sounds like a mental patient's manifesto with the point that Philadelphia's college educated immigrants are twice those without high school degrees. Nothing says "doom" like an educated populace.
What a tool.
She claims that residents are fleeing the city despite the first population growth in half a century. Mid-wage jobs? According to Yen they're imploding. Does Chicago or Washington, D.C. have an abundance of mid-wage jobs? Probably. People have to shop somewhere. But those working at the DuPont Circle Gap aren't living downtown, they're commuting from towns closer to the Ohio state line than the District of Columbia.
Philadelphia bucks Yen's national norm that says "how dare a hotel clerk live amongst the skyscrapers."
And it's infuriating.
She makes perhaps one valid point but it's laden with misinterpreted statistics. Philadelphia's economy has not recovered as well as it has in other cities. But Yen ignores why: Philadelphia's economy didn't do a giant pratfall. We didn't spend the early 2000s building ubiquitous condo towers that no one could afford. Philadelphia isn't a skyline of empty apartment buildings finally finding tenants a decade later.
If that Yen's economic recovery, then Philadelphia never needed it. We're building now, pragmatically.
But that's not what Yen's article is about. Like countless others, Philadelphia is Yen's go-to city for journalists and readers rationalizing their $4000 Georgetown rent. Detroit and Cleveland are too easy. No one from D.C. or San Francisco can relate. But Philadelphia, we're relevant. We're relatable. And we help a lot of people indentured to their mortgages elsewhere feel better about it by looking at nothing but screwed data that says Philadelphia sucks.
Yen's article is just self-coddling, "let's go after Philly because my city screwed itself" horse shit. And you know what? I love that this horse shit is out there, because it keeps those who ruined D.C., Manhattan, and San Francisco out of my back yard.
Okay. Done ranting. Go Iggles.