by Duluth News Tribune
January 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm in Duluth News Tribune
For more than two decades, Duluth’s population has stagnated around the 85,000 mark, but Mayor Don Ness aims to push that number notably northward during his tenure.
Tags: Business, city of Duluth, Duluth, Duluth Chamber, local 73 Comments »
I don’t want to sound negative, but how does he plan on doing that? Opening more Telemarketing Call Centers and getting better welfare? Come on we need real jobs in Duluth.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 56 8
Don’t knock the call centers. These are great jobs for the less skilled and educate portion of the work force. You conservatives complain about public assistance, then you complain about jobs. Do you even have a clue or are you going to keep disparaging Duluth’s good name. Shezzz.
Like or Dislike: 11 16
Personally I believe in the call centers as needed employment opportunities. Ever wonder why Duluth hasn’t brought to town other remote-location-friendly functions such as coupon redemption centers, rebate centers, or even manufacturers warrenty repair centers. In the case of the redemption/rebate centers the consumer is only too happy to pay the postage to get the documents to Duluth and the manufacturer has to pay postage to return the refund/rebate, which is not really location sensitive. We could be thinking outside of the box, but the idiot small-minded Democrat leadership doesn’t have the capability to see anything other than tourism.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 16 1
Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.
I just want to point out that I, Claire Kirch, did not write the above comment, which was written by a right-wing sock puppet who is trying to impersonate me on the Area Voice blog in a lame attempt to make progressives look bad. It’s sad that the podcaster who calls himself on Area Voices “Tony R” and his sock puppets, DFL Duluth Exposed, Pirate, Inspector Clouseau, and Torpedo8, would stoop so low, but it’s par for the course.
After all, the right-wing blog that Phony Tony R maintains is famous for making up or altering comments. It’s sad and pathetic that someone would dedicate his life to harassing and stalking another person online like this. I would ask that people not be taken in by this unbalanced person’s lack of honesty and integrity.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 8 24
Let me see,
(((looks real hard at …)))
“claire” and “ClaireKirch”
Nope, doesnt look like anyone is trying to impersonate you. clair and ClairKirch dont look anything alike.
Apparently, the other poster doesnt sound anything like you, so I dont think you have anything to worry about. Relax.
Like or Dislike: 15 1
ObamaNation, why don’t you explain to me then why this “claire”‘s original profile information listed a 1975 birthdate and a 55802 zip code, but has since been changed to the exact same information posted on my own profile?
I actually think, upon reflection, that the point made by this sock puppet — even though it’s an attempt to make me and progressives look bad — has validity. I think there’s a lot more honor in working at an honest job at a call center than there is devoting one’s life to stalking and harassing someone who that person has never met just because one doesn’t believe in other people having the Constitutional right to free speech.
Like or Dislike: 3 12
>”itâ€™s an attempt to make me and progressives look bad”
ClaireKirch, Seriously, they dont have to work very hard at it. IMHO, you do a pretty good job at that yourselves.
Look, I dont know you from Adam, and I dont think we have really ever traded messages. With the two differences in the names, nobody is going to confuse you with the other Claire.
P.S., Nobody looks at birth dates. Get a grip.
Like or Dislike: 11 3
ClairKirch: Please don’t take this the wrong way but could there be two Clairs in Duluth?
Like or Dislike: 11 0
Also Clair K, according to the Greater Downtown Council about 18000 people work in the downtown area (primarily the 55802 zip code) and that number doesn’t even count the people who live downtown. Someone COULD be posting from work downtown so their profile could be accurate. In any case don’t let the other Clair bother you. Just be your own person and speak your own mind. Although I generally disagree with the so-called progressive philosophy who knows, we might even agree on a subject occasionally, like call centers etc. People need employment opportunities and not everyone is qualified to be a brain surgeon so yes, (somewhat) unskilled jobs definitely serve a purpose, and a population segment.
Like or Dislike: 9 0
Grant, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it if this sock puppet hadn’t changed their profile info to mirror mine. I wasn’t even participating on Area Voices blogs at all, but then I discovered that this TonyR jerk and his sock puppets who obsess compulsively about me on that crazy right wing blog were accusing every single person who posted liberal or progressive comments on Area Voices of being me, using other screen names!
And now — and I am pretty sure it’s the same person, I can’t imagine that many people in Duluth care enough to stalk and harass me online — someone is trying to impersonate me by using my first name, which is pretty distinctive. I just find it annoying. I know someone else this happened to, and this kind of juvenile behavior distracts from the discussion.
But then, I think this troll doesn’t understand the Constitution at all, because he thinks free speech gives him the right to harass people.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 2 13
I have to agree that the call center jobs are nothing to sneeze at. Young people who are just entering the workforce have the highest unemployment rate. These entry level jobs are a perfect fit for someone looking to get into the workforce. Small towns in North Dakota were once filled with these call-centers, and now they have left mostly, because of laws that have been passed which made it harder to operate call centers in our state.
Don’t make the same mistakes we did in ND.
Like or Dislike: 5 1
I wouldn’t be surprised if Duluth gets a little boost in population when they release the 2010 Census data, considering how diligent they were at counting Minnesota’s population this year in order to keep 8 Congressional seats. Getting to 90,000 by 2020 doesn’t really sound like a lot, but it would be great if we could bring some more jobs to the area (landing Google Fiber wouldn’t hurt) and hopefully eventually getting back towards the 100,000 that makes a “big” city. It would be a work in progress for a long time, but it sure would be nice to see.
Like or Dislike: 6 15
Sounds good Tom. I would like to see good paying job growth and population in Duluth.
Can you please tell me how Google Fiber will help Duluth with positive population, job and economic growth?
Like or Dislike: 15 4
If you think that having the world’s fastest internet service wouldn’t bring businesses, and therefore jobs, and therefore residents, to the area, you’d have to be crazy.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 4 14
You did not tell me how Google Fiber will help Duluth with positive population, job and economic growth.
How will “the worldâ€™s fastest internet service” create new good paying jobs, add a tax producing population and increase the economic growth in Duluth?
Other areas have fast internet so how will Google Fiber help Duluth attract the quality productive growth vs. only replacing the current internet infrastructure?
Like or Dislike: 14 3
Did you READ my response? Or did you just randomly throw out a rebuttal repeating what you said last time? Google Fiber will be the world’s fastest internet….by far. Whatever city lands it is sure to see an increase in jobs. The internet service will be very attractive to businesses, especially those dealing in technology. Business owners aren’t stupid….they realize the advantages this would bring. If you want to sit here and deny it, go right ahead.
So, to answer your three part question:
Positive Population: More jobs = more people
Job Growth: More businesses = more jobs. Also, it is going to take a lot of work to install the Fiber lines. They need to hire people to do this.
Economic Growth: Google is looking to spend about a billion dollars to do this. If I need to explain to you how that is economic growth, you’re a lost hope.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 1 15
Be patient with me Tom as I am only looking for specifics and not generalizations.
Please define “the worldâ€™s fastest internet”. Are you talking a nanoseconds, milliseconds, megabytes or gigabytes? Fastest is like saying never or always. How much faster?
Are you telling me Google will spend a billion dollars in Duluth? If so, then the economic impact would be local, but I would like to know where I can verify this information. Otherwise, how much will Google really spend in Duluth?
I wonder if Duluthâ€™s reputation as a difficult place to do business enter in the decision making process. Construction costs are known to be about 24% higher, union strikes, permitting process problems, decaying infrastructure, high utility costs and so on.
I agree it would be enormous to land Google in Duluth, but if history is an indicator of the future, other cities are probably appear better from a corporate business perspective.
Like or Dislike: 11 1
So, after all that, you agree with me that it would help Duluth immensely. But to keep the argument going, you switch the subject to how Google would benefit from going somewhere else. I swear, I don’t know why I even try to have competent discussions with some people on this site sometimes….
Like or Dislike: 0 8
Why do you not answer my questions? I will post them again but first share some other information for the readers.
Microsoft purchased Great Plains Software, an independent company located in Fargo, North Dakota. It was one of the first accounting packages in the USA that was designed and written to be multi-user and to run under Windows as 32 bit software. In late 2000, Microsoft announced the purchase of Great Plains Software for $1.1 billion. This acquisition was completed in April 2001. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Dynamics_GP
Microsoft is not coming to Duluth. Such statements are pure unsubstantiated pie in the sky speculation.
I previous asked you the following two questions. If you truly want a “competent discussion” as you stated, then demonstrate the competence you seek. Again, here are the questions.
1. Please define â€œthe worldâ€™s fastest internetâ€. Are you talking a nanoseconds, milliseconds, megabytes or gigabytes? Fastest is like saying never or always. How much faster?
2. Are you telling me Google will spend a billion dollars in Duluth? If so, then the economic impact would be local, but I would like to know where I can verify this information. Otherwise, how much will Google really spend in Duluth?
Like or Dislike: 9 1
I agree with Tom. If a high-profile company were to take a chance on Duluth — like Microsoft did in Fargo — I am confident other companies and individuals would follow suit.
And what is the reason that a company like Microsoft doesn’t want to take a chance with Duluth? Could it possibly be because of the policies that are already in place, and the 1,384 hurdles they would have to jump through? Nah….that really can’t be it. Could you tell me why than, a company like Microsoft won’t take a chance on Duluth?
Like or Dislike: 8 0
I don’t see it happening unless the NIMBYs pack their bags and hit the road. Taxes will have to go up, and the city will have to spend money to make it happen.
Like or Dislike: 7 13
Don’t we have an election at the end of this year that includes the mayor’s office? How’s he going to cram 5000 more people into the city by November? Granted, he’s DFL and that means Duluthians will continue to re-elect him until he’s dead if that’s what he wants. But hypothetically his term ends a year from now.
Like or Dislike: 19 10
It’s too late. Duluth no longer maintains the population to sustain the type of business that is needed to make Duluth grow, and, there are way too many obstacles to overcome.
You dont have a workforce population
With your high taxes, you dont make it attractive to relocate
High heating bills
Poor work ethic
I could go on and on, but Duluth, you’re better at chasing business away, than attracting it. You have so much more practice.
Too bad you liberals didnt listen a few years ago.
Hot debate. What do you think? 38 24
Precicely right. You might refer to it as “critical mass” for things to happen. Duluth has fallen below the critical mass level and will continue to decline until local leaders snag a real employer to bring real jobs to Duluth. BTW: Duluth could probably have bought a small enterprise and moved it to Duluth for the money it spent on that dump of a theater Donny pressed to buy.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 20 5
I don’t think the work force problem is as bad as you think.
I believe there is an enormous reservoir of people in the Twin Cites who would move up here in a heart beat if they could make a living here.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 29 0
>”there is an enormous reservoir of people in the Twin Cites”
Yup, but no body is going to move to Duluth and wait for a business to come in.
Likewise, no business is going to relocate there if they dont have a functional base of reliable workers.
Duluth has put herself in a Catch 22 situation. Business looks at Duluth and sees a failure behind every tree. The ONLY thing that Ne$$ can do is encourage more tourism based jobs and with the predicted $5 per gallon cost of gasoline this year, I think that would even be a poor course of action.
I dont know what Duluth is going to do, It’s really so sad. Is there no one up there that can make fiscally sound decisions?
Like or Dislike: 14 0
Duluth is well on its way to becoming another Grand Marais, in both the economy and population.
Like or Dislike: 13 1
Among the many reasons business stay away from Duluth, lack of workforce (within 2 hours drive time) is not the worst.
5,000 more, no matter who they are or what (good or bad) they contribute!
Like or Dislike: 12 10
That’s funny!! No new industries but lots of Chicago/Detroit/ St.Louis drug dealers and welfare receipients. I would like 5000 hard working people not just anybody. Lower taxes for business, fix the streets and help only the really needy and stop the environmental naysayers from stopping job growth projects.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 39 4
I can’t even expound on anything more that’s already been said. Unless the crack trade spikes, or we get city leaders to tell the NIMBY’s and hippies to shove it, there’s no way this will happen.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 23 4
A noble cause indeed! Dream-on Mr Ness!
What a pipedream Donny!
Can you imagine DFL Duluthâ€™s population without the current Social Industrial Complex structure?
Felons get out of jail and locate here. St. Louis County, CHUM, the Union Gospel, etcâ€¦, all support the after prison support of sex offenders in DFL Duluth.
People get off the bus from other crime ridden cities seeking a better life in DFL Duluth. They bring limited life skills and too often crime follows them.
Can you vision the DFL Duluth population without all the group homes?
How many AFSCME jobs are there at the Wet House that provides more housing for drunkards walking about downtown like zombies? Is this DFL Duluth commerce and how Donny and David Ross are going to raise the population?
AFSCME benefits most from the social programs in DFL Duluth.
Letâ€™s build new schools and people will move here! Oh yes, people without a job. This is the DFL Duluth definition of commerce, the DFL Duluth Social Industrial Complex. Without it, DFL Duluth would have a population of fewer than 50,000.
Now think of this, how many of us are here with the ability to pay the taxes and fees to keep this fraud going?
You havenâ€™t seen nothing yet on how Donny and the DFL regime are going to get at what remains in your back pocket to buy more votes to stay in power. â€œCutsâ€ is a four letter word for the AFSCME run politicians in DFL Duluth.
Hot debate. What do you think? 25 11
GOD shut up already DFL, you sound like s broken record! You have a problem, you use your real name and tell us about it, don’t be such a CHICKEN SH*T and hide like an A**HOLE and spew your cr*p all over the place.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 0 19
He’s got just as much right to come in here and express his/her opinion just as much as YOU do, Lefty.
Dont become one of those willing to silence the opposing voice.
Like or Dislike: 10 1
Lefty: You upset because DFL Exposed tells it like it is? If the truth bothers you so much perhaps you should work to change things for the better. Fact of the matter is the far left libs HAVE INDEED ruined Duluth. It will not benefit you by insulting people who tell the truth and then hide your head in the sand.
Like or Dislike: 12 1
Does anyone belive there is a viable canidate that can beat ness? I hope so but cann’t think of anyone that would win and I dislike donny with a passion.
Like or Dislike: 9 7
In the 2007 election, Ness barely beat Charlie Bell, a man with decades of proven and effective civic leadership and business success. With roughly 30,000 votes cast, Ness finished about 1400 votes ahead of Bell. But just before the election, the News Tribune effectively and predictably attacked Bell after Bell had the audacity to tell the truth about Duluth’s welfare parasites and out-of-town drug dealers and gangsta wannabes. Race had never been mentioned, but the News Tribune played it that way and local liberals had a field day with it. In a campaign that appeared at least close, or even had Bell slightly ahead, that’s all it took. I doubt he has much desire to subject himself again to that kind of personal attack. I wish he would, but why should he?
Hot debate. What do you think? 22 8
Even if you elected Bell, it wouldn’t make any difference. You wouldn’t like him, either.
Like or Dislike: 6 13
Sure I would. I voted for him last time and I’d vote for him again if he chose to run. And of course I’d hold him accountable for his actions as I would any politician.
Charlie Bell made a racist statement when he talked about people who “don’t fit Duluth’s typical profile” walking the streets. He claimed the city was being over run with people from Chicago, Detroit, even Mississippi (Mississippi?). I’ll have to dig up his exact comment. It was indeed offensive to many, and understandably so.
He, in a previous campaign against Bergson for mayor, lost my vote after denigrating Bergson for not having a college degree, which struck me as elitist.
I’m glad Don Ness won the election. He’s a much better mayor than Charlie Bell would have been. It’s too bad you righties are too mired in your ideological quicksand to see it.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 7 27
I’m glad to see you using your real name, on this post.
James Oberstar also made a racist comment and also paid the price.
Good luck on winning the DCB Lifetime Blogging Achievement Award. I’m pulling for you!
Like or Dislike: 13 4
Am I the only one who thinks “Inspector Clouseau” is ridiculous, a fricking chicken sh*t coward who is afraid to use his own name giving sh*t to someone who has more guts in her little finger than this sock puppet has in his entire body?
Hey Chicken Sh*t Clouseau: do us all a favor. stop being such a jerk. Coward.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 0 18
Iâ€™m glad to see you using your real name, on this post.
Good luck on winning the DCB Lifetime Blogging Achievement Award. Iâ€™m pulling for you!
Like or Dislike: 15 5
That’s pretty funny coming from a sock puppet! Danny, give it up already, you are so damn tiresome, with your “Tony R,” “Pirate,” “DFL Duluth Exposed” and “Torpedo8″ sock puppets! Ehy don’t you go back to that right wing blog you run that is too extreme and demented for the real Tea Partiers in town, and make comments or alter the comments other people are posting, or something stupid like that? When someone dedicates his life to stalking and harassing a stranger, it’s time to rethink one’s priorities!
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 2 16
Leftie, nice to see you call out someone for not using their real name, while you don’t use your real name either. Typical liberal.
Wow that was the pot calling the kettle black!
Like or Dislike: 6 0
Dan H. is correct. The “Bell is a Racist” headline above the fold on the front page was a huge factor. The racist claim was made by Herb Bergson.
5,000 more people is certainly attainable, but it’s the type of people that comes into question. Will they be solid citizens who work hard take responsibility for themselves? Or will they be more of the slackers who feed off the system? That’s the million dollar question.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 20 2
I have to agree with Dan H….. and Mike Switzer too. While there were several appropriate comments about the population ‘movement’……Gaining Residents who are Hard Working at Legal Jobs and are not leeching off the system (whoever said THAT contributes has all the Wrong Priorities) will not be possible until a Large Business that can offer Benefits as a Large Employer who employs Full Time Peeps.
Hey, I’m all for Any New Business…..but what good is it when the small businesses don’t have to provide health care and use Part Time employees? Don’t get me wrong…….it works well for the College Students…. but those with a family to support need a Big Business to locate here.
And whoever asked Donny if he was going to use his “streetlight fee program” as an enticement for big business to locate here hit the nail on the head.
As it stands…..the Hospitals/Health Care Providers and Government employ Most Duluthians.
We Seriously need to Diversify and LURE (entrap, lol, if you will) a Truly Big Business…..be it Publishing, Manufacturing….WHATEVER…..
This has become a Mom and Pop city with Mom and Pop business…..low wages with no bennies. That may work for Mom and Pop…..but the Kids are Starving!
Like or Dislike: 11 7
By ‘Kids’ ….I meant Mom and Pops ‘dependents’ (employees)
People don’t want to just ‘survive’…..they want to Live and Thrive. That takes Full Time Employment with good Bennies…..No one should be afraid of getting Sick and Missing One Day of work with No Pay etc…….let alone worry about a doctor bill if they need medication dispensed etc……
re street light fee comment….that was on the Dave Montgomery article about increasing the Business Owners Fee on Streetlights…..
Like or Dislike: 6 6
Another point to consider is my generation (the baby boomers) is at retirement age. When my wife finally retires we are moving out of Duluth (yes, good news to some of you) for a warmer climate. I suspect that we are not alone among the baby boomers in having those feelings, so Duluth can expect a bit of an exodus over the next few years as more and more boomers retire. That exodus will offset some, maybe all, of the gains that Donny boy is hoping to see materialize. I expect it will also depress the housing market somewhat, further eroding the tax base. Makes Donnys’ dream even more difficult to achieve.
Grant….I find myself really agreeing with your comments. Your “critical mass” comment is spot on in my opinion. While I applaud the mayors efforts as we all should, we’ve been on the downhill slide so long and hemoraged so many decent hardworking people while seemingly attracting the “wrong” type of people (yes that sounds bad….but just read the newspaper about so many of the crimes and draw your own conclusion….so many have no real local ties). We have to start somewhere and as I said, I’m all for the mayors efforts, but it will be a LONG time before we reach the “critical mass” to self perpetuate our climb out of years of business loss and nimby thinking that seems all to prevalent around here.
Another of your comments rings true with me. You mentioned in the next few years a lot of people (productive people) will be retiring and moving out. I can’t count the number of people who’ve mentioned to me over the past few years that once they retire they will be moving to warmer climes….let’s face it, the climate isn’t a real “selling” factor in Duluth’s favor.
Let’s just hope that things work out for everyone’s sake…..a lot of work needs to be done, attitudes need to change markedly andpeople need to shed some of their “nimby” attitude.
One of my favorite nimby stories. I can’t recall the neighborhood it was in, but it was one of the Duluth neighborhoods a few years ago. The city had planned on upgrading (new utilities and paving etc…) the street which was a pot-hole filled mess with patch upon patch to the point where none of the original asphalt was even revealed anymore. I remember quite a number of the residents were against the project….and seveal of them stated that they liked it just as it was since it kept extra traffic off their street and kept the speed of traffic down. Keep in mind this was a residential street….not a major street. I read that comment several times and thought to myself….wow, I think I’ve just stepped through the “looking glass”. Here we are in a city with crumbling infastructure, our (Duluth’s) roads are some of the worst I’ve seen anywhere (taken as a whole with some obvious exceptions) and when the opportunity presents itself to improve something that needs improvement….it’s shot down.
Imagine how our highway system would be if we all has this attitude…..it’s a frightening prospect if these types were in charge.
Like or Dislike: 12 5
Yes, because we are below the “critical mass” even small-time local businesses are having a hard time surviving. You need an adequate population with disposable income to support a variety of local businesses. Lacking the “critical mass” needed, you can certainly expect to see more and more local businesses close their doors. That will mean more jobs lost, more pople looking at moving out of town, and even more of a gap between Duluths population and a sustaining “critical mass”. To bring in welfare clients does nothing for the critical mass because that group of people do not have adequate disposable income to help support a variety of businesses in any real meaningful way.
Like or Dislike: 13 0
I honestly do not beleive that there has been a “mass exodous” of families from Duluth… the reality is that families are having fewer children. In the 50′s and 60′s it was not unusual for a family to have four or five kids, now a family with three is considered to be large. Duluth has a lot to offer…it’s not about more drinking establishments which appeal to yuppies, it’s not about more blue collar jobs, it’s not a problem with the unions… it’s a problem with smaller family units…get to work!
>”the reality is that families are having fewer children”
Actually, thats not the way things work in the real world. If that were true, your population growth would have only slowed or stagnated. The reality of it all is Duluth’s population has consistently dropped year after year.
Obama, You’re partially right in this case. Taking a biology class at a local college allowed me to see that infact people are having less children today. But due to ( i hope i’m using the correct term) inertia, it will take 50+ years for population to actually start shrinking. This is partially due to people living longer but also that in the US people are having on average 2.2 kids per family. That is a +.2 replacement rate based on 2 kids replacing 2 parents. Now multiply that by 300million and see why our population hasnt decreased yet. Places like Europe are at about 1.8 and ARE actually beginning to lose population as the older generations die out.
Like or Dislike: 5 3
Cities can only grow where new housing can be built and where is there a desirable spot to build a new home in Duluth? Duluth suburbs grew 13% between 1990 and 2000 which is faster than the national rate. Many people opt for suburbs like Hermantown where relatively inexpensive acreage is available & birds of a feather flock together. New houses are more common in the suburbs while nearly half of Duluth’s housing stock is 60 years of age or older. Duluth has some of the highest building and related permit fees for new construction in the area which also retards growth.
Interesting that Duluthâ€™s population would have declined between 1990 and 2000 if not for the significant growth in the age group 18-24 years of age. Duluth university and college enrollment represents about 18% of its total population.
Duluth’s job picture doesn’t bode well for the future and it will be a significant challenge. The heavy industrial core was lost decades ago. Those jobs were replaced by tourism and the politics, unions and anti-business sentiment limits attracting new businesses. Unfortunately unless Duluth can find a way to annex suburbs or Mayor Ness can magically grow its population, each remaining taxpayer will pay an increasingly larger share of the cost for government.
Look, I would like to see Duluth’s population climb up to a higher number also. But the way the future job trends are, I see Duluth (within the next few decades) becoming closer to Hibbing’s current population rather than Duluth’s population when times were (sort of) good. Social conditions are no longer what they once were, and the kinds of jobs that will attract the educated, middle/upper class workers of tomorrow won’t be here because they are typically going to be masters or higher educated, science and high skilled, and typically these people want to be where things happen, and money is going to be made. Since many of these people are also young and haven’t had (or don’t want) kids, they will be single and want to meet other single, young, professional adults. The one thing about Duluth is, if you are out of college, have a masters degree and are single, you’ll never find anyone here (or if you do, it’s luck) – many people I’ve known got tired of never meeting anyone here that they did their 2-3 years in a starter job and left as soon as possible. This is a great place to come after getting married or having kids; it’s a miserable place to be single and childless.
This fall I was in an area that was similar to Duluth, but it had one real strong point: four other cities of greater or equal size, within a half hour or hour radius of each other. Duluth’s weakness has always been the fact that this is the end of the line – there’s nothing past here that would attract these graduates – and even worse – if they do find that dream job here, it’s almost certain that if they lose that job, they won’t find another. The hesitation to buy a home/condo here is huge, because again, we don’t have other cities nearby that would have an equal match of jobs in case one is lost here. Duluth is pretty much it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Duluth, but I think we might need to figure out how to be a quality city with who we currently have here rather than figuring out how to be a larger city. Because I just don’t see the draw to get those professional people here unless they already have some connection to Duluth or have parents here.
Like or Dislike: 14 4
I know, let’s open some more group homes, or how about another wet house, or we could expand the aquarium and wait for all the tourists to come and hope they’ll plan to stay. Perhaps we can let everyone know about our great planning for the NorShore Theater, that will bring ‘em in. Better still, lets have more gay pride parades and GBLT events, maybe they’ll all stay and have children. That will take care of the declining school situation as well. Oh, the possibilities are endless…,
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 24 2
Pandering to factionalized minority interests is the only thing this city has left. This is the result of 50 years of socialist far-left Democrat leadership for this city. Ever wonder what Independent or (heaven forbid) Republican leadership could have done with this city? I can guarentee we wouldn’t have the anti-business reputation if either of those camps had been given a chance. Probably less “problem” people too. Maybe Duluth would have stood a fighting chance, but voters dumbed-down by our failing local education system keep electing the same type of Democrat fools over and oiver and you expect better results? Get real!!!
Like or Dislike: 14 2
Come on now fellow pirates!
Do any of you think a career politician named Donny Ne$$ can bring Duluth’s WORKING population up? I don’t think so, UNLESS there’s significant policy change from major political change in DFL Duluth. Just another swashbuckling fact about this town.
This is not even close to being difficult. I expect the population to increase dramatically in the next couple of years. I’d be willing to wager that we’re going to see 20,000 new welfare recipients from Gary, Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, etc….
Like or Dislike: 15 2
Our country’s years of real economic growth and job creation are long gone. The only two industries that are still making money for this country are the arms industry and the investment finance sector, neither of which really help out the average U.S. citizen.
While I do think Don is a great guy, the only way I can see Duluth exceeding 90,000 would be if we had a national water shortage. But until that happens, we are going to need to learn how this city is going to function with a stagnant or even declining population. Every city in the U.S. will have to. Government will have to change, businesses will have to change… It’s much more complicated than just the welfare, or the “hippies”, or any of that.
Merv: I find myself actually agreeing with much of what you said. I would like to think however that the era of real job creation is just stagnating for a time. With governmental policy change, as you mentioned, things could turn around nicely. Perhaps we need borders and adequate tarriffs on cheap imports so American companies could produce items we need. Sure we will pay more for those items, but that is the basic mindset change the American people need to make to assure our Countries viability and security. Our country has become a country of consumers. And consumers of cheaply made foreign products at that!! Our water resource is the next natural resource this region will exploit, but it is readily renewable. We just have to be smart this time in the use of that resource.
Merv….I agree with you too. I’ve always thought that the only way (well the only way I can imagine at this point anyway) for Duluth (and the general area around Duluth) to really grow is if there are vast water shortages in the now growing parts of the country. We do have water as a resource around here.
However….with the ever growing technology with regard to salt water desalination…..I think before we ever get to that point where the water situation is critical in the growing areas, desalination projects will be moving forward and at least mitigate the problem. So I guess you could say, once again, Duluth is on the “cusp” of success with our abundance of water….but will success really come to pass ? Who knows…,but I can guess.
Grant2010, I agree with you there. And, of course, I always ending up with Merv Furgler.
*That* is what’s wrong with our society. We’re so concerned with getting a good deal, saving a buck, we’ve undermined our own economy while China’s economy is exploding. Don’t blame liberals — blame all of us. Look at the local independent bookstore that’s shutting down — making Canal Place a less interesting place to visit. How many of us have browsed inside Northern Lights, but then gone home and ordered books from Amazon, to save a few dollars? What about e-books, how many of us own e-books? And then we don’t realize what we’ve lost until our downtown area is full of empty storefronts, while the chain stores up at the mall are thriving.
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ClairKirch: Undermined our Country…all to save an occasional buck. Sad isn’t it?
Wow, it’s a rare day where I find myself agreeing with the folks on this forum. But indeed, I absolutely think that we need to impose tariffs and trade restrictions, and start rebuilding our local economy. While China is flooding our markets with cheap t-shirts and toilet seats, the U.S. is flooding foreign markets like Mexico with cheap, subsidized corn and cotton, causing millions of their farmers to go unemployed. Our current system of free trade has just one goal: Find the producer who’s willing to produce a good for the lowest price.
Under this system, we will never see the revival of the “mom and pop” shop, or new industries, or any of that here in the USA. Unfortunately, imposing trade barriers is incredibly unpopular amongst today’s conservatives, as it is seen to be “non-business friendly.” On the other hand, I recognize that Obama is nothing more than a shill for Wall Street, and so I don’t expect any “Change” from the Democrats either. This is why I suspect that the days of real economic growth and job creation, at least in this country, are long gone.
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Used to have a “mom and pop” store could not compete with the big stores. Had to work 12plus hours a day 7 days a week just to make it. Everyone over 50 can remember corner stores on every corner. At that time people had 1 car and that was laid up in the winter now people have atleast 2-3 vehicles and the MALL has taken over. Why would I go to the downtown area with verylimited stores pay for parking when I can go to the mall shopin many stores eat be warm inside and not pay for parking. Downtowns are dead and not just in Duluth. It would be great to get another steel plant, diamond tool etc it is not going to happen. Why would our population increase? our youg are moving my daughter now lives in FL and has a good job. She is a lawyer when she got into school I told her that she would not make money here Mpls was the closest and if she was to move why not go warm, this was a great area to grow up in -Norton Park but job oppertunites are very limited
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I think as long as we offer better welfare services than they do in Chicago, we will have no problem attaining 90,000 people. I see that Illinois is raising income taxes 66% next year, maybe we can reach 100,000 by 2020. Unfortunately, the amount of jobs will probably be the same and average wage less by then as well.
Good for Donny! Dream big!
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