My latest op-ed, title above, appeared in The Virginian-Pilot Thursday.
For the first time in years, I missed the presentation of the State of the Region Report. (Yes work gets in the way of my having fun 😦 ) But I did read through it (available here). As always, lots of information in there. What caught my eye, though, was the comment about the displacement effect. I’ve seen the same referred to as the substitution effect, whereby, due to limited resources, you simply substitute spending your money at one place with spending it at another. I recall becoming aware of the term when Norfolk was trying to bring a professional sports team to the area; the concept itself is common sense.
Not that our decision-makers pay any attention.
Our system literally forces cities to compete against each other, rather than cooperate. It doesn’t matter what the item is. Each city is its own little fiefdom.
It’s why our transportation is so bad. For years, the folks couldn’t agree on the priority of projects.
It’s why every city has – or wants – a convention center.
It’s why Portsmouth is defending the tolls on the tunnel pretty much by itself.
It’s why the latest proposal for a regional sanitation district – which would save nearly $1 billion – is going nowhere.
And it’s a shame.
My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot every week, usually on Thursdays. You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the PilotOnline.com homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot.Follow @vpaige