Thursday, March 22, 2018

Confidence. Missing in Action

I was talking about the state of the union the other day and realized that I have no confidence in either it or those who are responsible for the long term needs of the greater union.

The reality is while job growth is up the level of wages has stagnated to a point that here in the "It" City the "It" City found out that a majority of home owners had won their property tax increase dispute and in turn the City coffers will be less as a result.

In order to win said battle you need income verification.  The City of Nashville has been building a ton of tall skinny's, massive Apartments and bigger mini mansions throughout the area.  The cost of said real estate has increased and in turn one would think that a bunch of rich folks are just taking over Nashville so that there is no problem with anyone coughing up a check to pay for increased services and needs throughout this newly "it" City.

Nashville is regularly celebrated for its booming economy, but you might not know it from the city's budget talks Monday.
Metro government is facing a shortfall in the next budget because property tax revenue collections are $20 million to $25 million lower this year than projected. It comes after a record number of Nashvillians were successful in appealing their higher assessments following last year's historic reappraisal.
That all could mean no expanded services this year for Nashville residents.
Kicking off his first round of budget hearings with city department heads Monday morning, Mayor David Briley discussed the fiscal challenges that might seem unlikely given all the construction cranes, new homes and high-rises in Nashville.
For the two previous years, the city's revenue under former Mayor Megan Barry grew by $220 million, allowing the city to make major investments and avoid cuts.
But this year, overall revenue growth has flattened ahead of the 2018-19 budget, which will be proposed later this spring. As a result, the mayor has asked city department directors to prepare for a "status quo" budget. 

Well as I said in my last post when you play tag and you are "it" you run around to try to get someone  else to be it.  That tag is never long lasting and after the game you are exhausted from running your ass off chasing someone. No wonder "It' took to the sewers to get his tags it makes it a lot easier just standing in one place and calling people over to you.

What this means is that many here are not as well off financially as one would think.  Even (whoever the fuck they are) declared Nashville #6 for startups.  After I stopped laughing I found their criteria and the one comment that they did make was the lack of educated workforce given the number of schools in the area.  Uh yes I know this is the Nashville conundrum and constant contradiction you find here and always will.  The schools are set up in the public sector to not compete with the private sector to maintain the status quo and keep the rich rich and the white people a ladder rung above the other colors.  

**For the record according to LinkedIn  Amazon is across the board the number one place to work in America which would make Seattle the best place to live in America.  And once again it is the rich white man saving America.  Or destroying it.  Pick one. Don't tell anyone that in Nashville they will just get angry and accept it as fact. 

The Tennessean found in a recent survey that confidence in the schools here is not great.   And have found them stagnant.  I know I am in them daily and today is one of the "good" schools. The Teacher here is a transplant from Indiana, home of Mike Pence the whitest man in America.  He came here as Pence decimated the STEM program and Nashville in its ever pretense of being forward thinking claims to have schools that are totally  STEAMING of STEM so he came here to set up shop.    They are steaming alright.  I told him the must read book of the year was Emily Chang's, Brotopia, about Silicon Valley.  He said his wife would get mad at him for bringing another book home that he would never read and then I mentioned it was about the history behind tech and that it was women who began the industry, and the first coder was a woman, the NSA founded by women and the reality it was a female dominated industry until the 60s and then the men came in and took over.  Hence the odd sexual names for hardware and that the first JPEG image used a Playboy centerfold.  Then he seemed interested.  I did not tell him about the sex parties and crazy shit that defines the Broculture of the Valley as he seems like that would be his wet dream.

But all I kept thinking as I waited for this WAM (white asshole male) to leave is that this guy is an asshole.  He spoke of racism, witch hunts and others when it came to throwing down all the current language and positions on people who have been of late accused of being racist, crazed sexist pigs and whatever other shit we monkeys throw from our cages when riled up.   I just nodded and smiled and said: "Yes but we can agree Harvey Weinstein was a serial predator and crazed rapist."  We agreed. See you can find something to agree upon even when you are stuck in a room with an asshole. We all gots to takes some shits sometime and some of us just throw it to see what sticks.

By the way we have been in a room together for over two hours never once did he ask my name nor introduce nor refer to me by any name other than "Sub" when addressing the kids before he left for the field trip.  I am guessing that while he has only been here a few years he has managed to take on the native persona of inhospitably or the heartland folks are like the folks here - rude.So I have to stick with that year timeline from now or I will be assimilated!

The hard truth that the City budget has not yet included schools and I don't see that current shortfall that the Director of Schools has found due to under enrollment finding that pad of cash from current Mayor Briley anytime soon.  Briley is pro education but he seems smart and less of a show pony that the Slattern was.   But that 7.5M is a hefty gap to fill and the city won't be buying his lunch anytime soon.

And what this also says that the majority of residents here and now are not making the income that could support said property rise. So much for the real estate boon.  Clearly the rich don't live here.  They live here just not full time and those who do live in Williamson County who just raised their sales tax to pay for schools.   So there you go.

My Lyft driver this morning has moved here from Alabama or some other redneck Southern state (I truly am at the point I just blend them together) for IT work in the health care industry and on days off he drives so clearly he is not making enough money.  And in turn he is against the transit bill I suspect because it will affect his second gig but also that the majority of it comes from sales tax an already regressive system that is killing the poor.   When I said that Seattle has the same income tax structure as Nashville - aka zero - but that funding for transit is always approved and that the City has the very system that Nashville aspires to but nowhere near the population or income base that would support it.   He is of course a moron, I only meet morons,  and thinks that private enterprise should take on the bulk of the transit needs and Warren Buffet own most of the Railroads so he could do it.  I was happy that conversation ended thankfully as it was a short ride in the wee hours so I did not have to fill time thanks to the ever increasing problem of Nashville traffic that I think people enjoy to be angry about but just accept.  That is the Southern conundrum.  It just is what it is until a rich white man comes along to fix all societal ills.

I just cannot have a reasonable dialog with people who have nothing to compare things to, have no experience outside their world and their knowledge is confined to Facebook.  Well clearly that Facebook is a just a trove of information and none of it legitimate.  Confidence wanes folks with each day I wander into the world.

I have no confidence that I will get out of here with functioning teeth but that seems to be changing and largely because once again I started to ask questions versus just being angry and accepting, like everyone else does here.  I finally get that persona and fight to avoid it.  

Confidence means having respect and trust.  Who do you respect and trust? Name three.  Not family and do people really have that attitudes towards family members not named Trump and they certainly don't.   The First family is more like the other families in America than we think.  If one good thing came from living in Nashville was learning that.

Confidence I have little but I do believe that we will get through this. How and when I have no idea but we will and will it be better.  Probably not but it will be different in a way that even that will be better.

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