American Morning

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January 26th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Dying town in need of stimulus

Editor's Note: All week, CNN examines the stimulus and looks at one of the greatest areas of concern for Americans: the economy. Today, we talked to a mayor in Pennsylvania whose town is in need of a stimulus. And tomorrow on American Morning, can a $5.5 million resort town restoration project be a good use of stimulus aid? We find out why one woman is grateful the government is spending the money.

You would be hard pressed to find a town more in need of economic stimulus than Braddock, Pennsylvania.

It was the site of Andrew Carnegie's first steel mill, a thriving industry town of around 20,000 people. Now, 3,000 remain. Unemployment is sky high, and on Sunday, the town's biggest employer will close.

The mayor of Braddock, John Fetterman, joined us on Tuesday's American Morning to explain why his town desperately needs a stimulus.

Complete coverage: The Stimulus Project


Filed under: Economy • The Stimulus Project
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. JEFFREY POTTS

    John, it seems to me that after the congress passes a stimulus package, regardless of the vote makeup, state politicians would be negligent for not trying to get their share! After all, taxpayers in every state need to share in the re-distribution of our tax dollars. When the legislation is passed and signed by the President, each state should get their fare share. The argument regarding who voted for it is irrelevant when the deed is done!

    February 18, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  2. Carrie

    And those of you who are blaming this and blaming that, you ARE the problem.

    January 31, 2010 at 4:05 am |
  3. Carrie

    The steel mills are done. What you have to offer is INCREDIBLY CHEAP HOUSING near a medical facility and some shopping. Senior housing! You have millions of seniors living in expensive homes, but who are cash poor, but who still want to own–don't want to rent. They can do it in this town!!!! For what they can buy a house for here is less than rent, and their Social Security and pensions can easily make their mortgages and utilities. The peace of mind that could offer many struggling retirees could be a huge benefit. And business would have to grow up around them. Better shopping, coffee shops, book stores, satellite installation, home repair, yard services, legal services for trusts and wills and estates, veterinary services for their pets, furnishings, any number of small businesses. And they could give back to the schools in terms of Foster Grandparents or like contributions. Don't ask for a handout from the government, ask for grants to make homes senior friendly, ask for tax credits for seniors who buy there! Think!

    January 31, 2010 at 4:04 am |
  4. LoveMyJava

    I get a good chuckle from those of you out there who blame Obama for everything. Your misguided illusions that the USA was in GREAT shape before Obama took over really are entertaining. Dubya and his cronies caused so much economic damage and killed the morale of this country... not to mention the untold jillions of dollars on the Iraq mess. Why do the conservatives not remember that waste of money? Oh YES.... because they dont take responsibility and it doesn't fit their agenda. Silly me, what WAS I thinking....

    January 29, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  5. pacoder

    Re: Sam Prentiss

    > Don't you consider it wasteful to abandon an entire town? I certainly do.

    How is that less wasteful then continuing to pour money into a place whose infrastructure is shot and without huge influxes of dollars has no way to improve it's lot?

    It is NOT apathetic and it's not shameful. It is rational, logical, and prudent as far as I'm concerned.

    How about a good argument as to how it's prudent to save this town instead of spending the bulk of your comment judgmentally name calling those with a different opinion?

    It's no wonder our country is in such dire straits, we can't even have a simple political discourse without it devolving into name calling and label affixing. It's like 4th grade recess.

    January 29, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  6. Al

    If anyone wants to see some dead or dying towns, go to Michigan, the worlds RUST belt. A few years Ago Michigan basically built all of the worlds automobiles, yes, these were union jobs, i have had several Union jobs, ond of them as a Firefighter in Lansing Mi., a city that lost the Oldsmobile, Fisher body, Motor wheel and numerous other jobs. These jobs were not lost because of the union. These jobs were lost because of TOYOTA and America's politicians. Sometime back in the 50's the Toyota came to America. Although they were not built to American standards, because of our own politicians, who more than likely were rewarded for their generousity to the Japanese, these poorly built, and consequently cheaper cars became a way of life for Americans. It was the automobile industry that created the middle class, which in turn helped everyone else climb the ladder to a better life. The Republicans have always been against unions. Ronald Reagan began the demise of the unions when he fired ALL of the Air Traffic Controllers a few years ago. Corporate America has never liked unions. Once Regan got the ball rolling, from thereon the unions have been declining, another thank you to R. Regan. There is plenty of fault to go around, Bill Clinton gave us NAFTA, G. Bush gave us CAFTA, together they spelled SHAFTA for the American worker. I can only wonder what this great country will be in another 50 years. Perhaps by then the people in Haita will be sending relief supplies to the citizens of a once great country.

    January 29, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  7. mark

    Capitalism is a system based on trial and error, winners and losers. It's a simple system if left alone, but it is inclined to promote criminal exploitation. The government has a responsibility to maintain a level playing field, and when it abdicates that responsibility based on cronyism and collusion with those who seek to "game the system", the electorate is left "holding the bag." The collusion and cronyism knows no party affiliation, it is by design bipartisan. Throwing stones at each others glass house by condeming the ideology of your opponent plays right into the hands of the criminals who don't want the attention focused on their self serving agenda... the short term, manipulated accumulation of generational wealth and power. Politicians and their beaurocrat mimridons sell the snake oil and hope to get out of town before people recover from their stupor and hang them from the nearest tree. What is so astounding to me is that so many people who have sipped the snake oil of gov't collusion and corruption are calmoring for more and more of it like addicts begging for a fix. They sweat and scratch and moan about how unfair life is. And all the while the gov't is right there to hand out free needles to the helpless, uneducated, uninformed, emotion driven electorate that wallows in self pity and begs rather than produces.
    Take responsibility for your own life for pete's sake, and demand accountability from your elected officials. Have the guts to "get clean" and start recovering from this self imposed malaise. Move, retrain, take some risk and start a business. Rediscover the pride of personal responsibility and start being an American, and not some punk gov't controlled schmuck who sucks up to some "group think" mentality.

    January 29, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  8. mark

    Capitalism is a system based on trial and error, winners and losers. It's a simple system if left alone, but it is inclined to promote criminal exploitation. The government has a responsibility to maintain a level playing field, and when it abdicates that responsibility based on cronyism and collusion with those who seek to "game the system", the electorate is left "holding the bag." The collusion and cronyism knows no party affiliation, it is by design bipartisan. Throwing stones at each others glass house by condeming the ideology of your opponent plays right into the hands of the criminals who don't want the attention focused on their self serving agenda... the short term, manipulated accumulation of generational wealth and power. Politicians and their beaurocrat mimridons sell the snake oil and hope to get out of town before people recover from their stupor and hang them from the nearest tree. What is so astounding to me is that so many people who have sipped the snake oil of gov't collusion and corruption are calmoring for more and more of it like addicts begging for a fix. They sweating and scratch and moan about how unfair life is. And all the while the gov't is right there to hand out free needles to the helpless, uneducated, uninformed, emotion driven electorate that wallows in self pity and begs rather than produces.
    Take responsibility for your own life for pete's sake, and demand accountability from your elected officials. Have the guts to "get clean" and start recovering from this self imposed malaise. Move, retrain, take some risk and start a business. Rediscover the pride of personal responsibility and start being an American, and not some punk gov't controlled schmuck who sucks up to some "group think" mentality.

    January 29, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  9. duvallone

    The steel industry died due to Japanese competition, and our auto industry is going the same way, aided by the bloated union benefits. How Obama thinks we are going to be doubling our exports in 5 years I have no idea. I am wondering what are exports are anyway? Are we still manufacturing goods people want to buy? If so, how, given the high corporate taxes in this country. Americans have to struggle to compete with the ball and chain of high taxes dragging at their heels. About Braddock, sad story, and happening all over America. Time to move. Set up a welfare office there and it may see a regrowth in its population.

    January 29, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  10. Jim

    Braddock's steel mill is still there. US Steel's Edgar Thompson works, Andrew Carnegie's first steel mill is still alive and well in Braddock. The one that they reference as closing is the old Homstead Works which is located the next town over and is being developed into an industrial park. But the reality is, thanks to advances in technology (not shipping jobs overseas), the steel mill needs only 600 employees to do the job that once required over 10,000. It is also interesting to note that Braddock's population has been declining since the 1920s when mill workers started buying cars and no longer needed to walk to the mill.

    Finally, one of the reasons the hospital is closing is that it had a terrible reputation in the community. Talk to most people who live around it and they will go to other area hospitals before going to that one.

    January 29, 2010 at 9:47 am |
  11. Stephanie

    David
    I totally agree with you. I grew up approx. 6 miles from Braddock during the Reagan years, and let me say ALL the steel mills shut down, EVERYONE in this region lost their jobs, and subsequiently their homes and their very way of life. The reason why jobs go overseas is because of capitalism. Yes, all Republicans think this way. They equate capitalism with being an American. The greed that accompanies capitalism is going to be the downfall of us all.

    January 29, 2010 at 7:19 am |
  12. Inmywinne

    So how many newly created jobs are filled by the un-employed versus a company just juggling existing employees?

    January 28, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  13. Sam Prentiss

    Let the town die? Sheesh, I understand that the changing world we live in makes it impractical to "rebuild" an entire town, but you're missing the point. Towns like this one die because of the gradual reallocation of resources elsewhere, completely disregarding the amount of investment and infrastructure that is already in place. Some of it is economics, but a lot of it is poor judgement and flawed ethics. Don't you consider it wasteful to abandon an entire town? I certainly do.

    This is whats wrong... apathy bordering on animosity, poor attitudes and an unwillingness to affect positive change for others. Does it make you feel superior to dole out this kind of advice, an unimaginitive argument demanding that people come to their senses, "move on" and abandon their homes, their communities? Let me know how that works when they come to your town competing for jobs. A lot of people from less fortunate countries already do that, but for us to contribute to that same situation in our country, to do it to our own people, is really shameful. Move_Forward_CA, you're a really bad person.

    January 28, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  14. Deanna1

    First let me say I no nothing about PA, I drove thru there once only so, I'll be honest up front. But, one has to ask yourself this..didn't the owner of the steel mill have a vision about the town in the first place? He must have seen ore in the mountains, an opportunity to start this mill. This again will be the answer for the Mayor to build the city again. Walk about the town, what do you see? IF the rivers are still clean and good, perhaps you can bring in some sort of recreation, boating, swimming, fishing ..charge a fee to use the facilities. Does one have access to the Mountains, again use as hiking, recreation and charge a fee. Build up a few blocks of downtown filled with antiques shops , art shops, a few fashion shops, and good resturant overlooking the mountain range...people, especially tourist love these quaint little places. But, do something...don't just sit and whine about yesterday, The owner of the steel mill saw a mountain filled with ore and did something about it, employing many people..one must think "What can this town be in the future".

    January 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  15. Pizen

    Move Forward is right. If there is no need for the town, the town withers up and goes away. The hospital is closing because there's no need for a 300,000 sq foot hospital in a town of 3,000. Sure it's sad – folks at one time had their great union jobs that paid well and provided the great benefits, and then competition from non-union entities showed that similar products could be producted a lot more cheaply. Unions had their place at one time, and they deserve credit for improving the workplace. But they got out of hand and they priced themselves out of a market that developing areas were just entering. Lamentable, but predictable.

    January 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  16. Jon

    What have you been smoking, Crusader; and where can I get some? The big push to ship all our manufacturing jobs overseas is beloved of the Republican Party - it weakens unions, fattens corporate profits, and helps to make sure that members of the lower classes don't move up the social ladder and compete for pwerful positions and wealth with those in the privileged classes... and I could go on. Take off your blinders of bias, my friend. You don't understand what socialism is; so be careful how you toss that word around as a buzzword for anything that you don't like.

    January 28, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  17. Ruth in Ohio

    What really is sad is the effect politicians have on this country.This country use to be something,really proud country,proud people,proud to have a job,make a decent wage,live in a small comfortable house . I would not say WE, middle class people made a lot of money ,our parents never went on vacations ,they saved money ,we never went without food ,clothing or shelter. We were never GIVEN anything. When I became a parent of two children, I also raised my children on this theory, the only difference, I made sure they went onto college knowing that the jobs I had would no longer be the future and to live within their means.I have NEVER relied on the government in all my years of working and I certainly would never rely on a politician to help me. I have paid taxes, paid into social security,paid my bills,saved for my retirement ,never got a break on fixing the house I am living in,no money for new windows,insulation,energy efficientcy on a furnace etc..Every town in this country is in trouble and it begins with the politicians of this country,they have sold us down the river(Mexico) up the river(Canada) and across the river(China) and I am going to spend my retirement paying off a debt THEY have created on money I have left ......God help us all!!!!

    January 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  18. Hdiaz

    Oh, where oh where are our Stimulus dollars going$$$ Shout Repubicans from the corner of the room in the dark!!! Oh, now you want Stimulus money...but I thought that Obamba made a very bad decision...now we have all of this mounting debt!!! (Like we didn't before!) Oh, I thought Republicans said that the Stimulus was not going to create jobs! I thought you all didn't see the need for a Stimulus in the first place. Oh, now I see whose asking for Stimulus money...because you need to rebuild your dying town! Change of heart? Oh, I see, because the economy and the lack of industry in your town is disheartning and miserable, and you are in the brink of diseaster! Oh, I see...Oh, maybe we need to pour money back into the economy to regenerate the economy? Oh, I see!

    January 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  19. crabman

    time to rethink the way you live and the way you vote people. maybe your town wouldn't be in the position your in

    January 28, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  20. CB

    I am so tired of hearing how everyone needs our tax dollars to save their cause. We are a broke nation, very few strip malls around the country have more than two or three occupied stores. Why no try doing something as simple as contacting local colleges and offering a challenge for students and professors to come up with how they can turn this town green. College kids love volunteering because it helps with their resume. What is that old expression, ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country? Whatever happended to we instead of me? This town sounds promising, I hope articles like this help attract green developers to that area. I think their greatest resource is the river.

    January 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
  21. Vicky Bevis

    Actually Move forward Ca. is right. I'll bet not one person on here knows that steel workers used to get 13 weeks paid vacatione every 5 yrs. Ck. it out. Unions had their place, but now is not it..

    January 28, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  22. Vicky Bevis

    Carrie: You are the only person I know that has made this suggestion. My husband & I have been back here in coal country doing just that for going on 5 yrs. It is a stroke of genius to find a place where taxes are 1/3 of what tthey are over East, other things are greatly reduced ( my vet bill is incredible compared to what I WAS paying ), it has almost NO crime, cheap housing,, much less traffic, 3 great state lakes for fishing or swiming with NO crowding & as far as health care is concerned, there's UPMC or the Cleveland Clinic. People are so much more friendly & we have REAL neighbors for the 1st time in many yrs. BTW, we know others who have retired from Indianapolis, Cleveland, & other major places who are back here also .Low population numbers mean no new schools aka higher real estate taxes. Ohio even gives seniors a reduced rate on their real estate taxes. And since we are considered a part of Appalachia, most of the things done around here are paid for with State/Federal $, so, in effect, we operate on someone else's nickel.

    If cities can't find businesses who want to come in ( most of everything has been outsourcing for many yrs., so where are these NEW jobs they are counting on? Our steel industry saw it coming almost 30 yrs ago.), why not spend their very limited $ on attracting we Boomers to retire back where we grew up. Like it or not, we ARE getting older & need/or will need most of what I mentioned to have a quality retirement.

    January 28, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  23. Bill

    Ask Obama for the trillions he gave to the wealthy bankers who paid him off...

    Maybe they'll give poor taxpayers another loan with their own money.

    January 28, 2010 at 11:52 am |
  24. Katie

    We have a home for sale there now - 227 Hawkins Ave, North Braddock, PA 15104. It's $4,275. Less than a used car!

    January 28, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  25. David

    Crusader,

    How is sending jobs overseas socialistic? It's the opposite! It is the result of pure capitalism! It's the big companies realizing that they can get cheaper labor and materials outside of the country, so that's what they do. If you want to prevent sending jobs overseas, you have to have government regulation! That's the opposite of Reaganomics. It is capitalism that is driving these towns to the brink of extinction. Ever heard of a company called Wal-Mart? Man, you need an education in economics. Do all Republicans think this way?

    January 28, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  26. Dave

    Just have the Mayor of Braddock get ahold of the President of ETEC. That is the Company President Obama touted as TRIPLING it's workforce because of the Stimuless Bill. What he left out is the Company only has 15 employees. In 2010 is will hire around 27 with the HELP of a Stimuless GRANT of just under 100 MILLION DOLLARS. Costing the TAX PAYERS about $3, 666, 666.70 for each of the 27 New Jobs Created. Now thats cost effective government at it's best.

    January 28, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  27. Jon

    I am also a native of Pittsburgh and as a recent college graduate found the job market around Western PA to be bad. I had to move in order to find a job and never expected I was entitled to one. Towns like Braddock that have lost their primary employers and have a hard choice to reinvent or essentially die. I certainly can't fiault the mayor for fighting for his town. Pittsburgh has attempted and somewhat succeeded in reinventing itself from a steel town. I think lobbying Harrisburg for possible tax breaks for business, retraining the workforce to become skilled and attracting new employers and encouraging homegrown entrepreneurship are what the town should focus on.

    January 28, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  28. ginger

    If this were a foreign country you would get all the help you need

    January 28, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  29. bill

    hi from Australia,houses for 2000 Carrie,more than happy to move my family there,u make a good point

    January 28, 2010 at 3:22 am |
  30. Kathy

    The union workers are not to blame it is the creedy corporations that feed on the tax payers. Those steel mills went a long time ago. The middle class will be no more in 20years. I work in a union and I have a college education and deserve every dime of the 42,000 a years I make and if you think that is to much for someone to make then you must live in a place where everything is free!

    January 27, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
  31. Paul

    There are mining ghost towns all over the west because either their resource ran out or it was no longer profitable. The same goes for this small town. No amount of stimulus can help that. It would only prolong the inevitable. Diversification is the key for any city.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  32. Herb

    David, I agree with you in regards to personal accountability. We ALL need to hold ourselves to a high standard and stop expecting Uncle Sam to take care of us. As we are painfully aware, the politicians will only take care of their own. Only when we, the voting public, have decided to make SERIOUS changes with our votes will government change for the better. Towns like this perish as a direct result of NAFTA and other programs that outsource American jobs. Such is the perils of a capitalism society that only looks at the dollar on the bottom line. Today-money..but tomorrow-Braddock.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  33. John Morgan

    Politicians help themselves and their minions. Stop paying taxes and stimulate yourself, folks. Stop being helpless.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  34. laner

    Please don't move to the South after your town does. All these folks wan to move to the south for opportunities, then next thing you know, they say this place would be great if we just had democrat party members elected more and unions...they forget why they lost their last jobs and killed their last town very fast. We don't want our towns to die...

    January 27, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  35. Cindy

    Wow, easy for you to say Move_Forward_CA. I'm pretty sure you are demanding "too much money" for your job in California, ain'tya? What's the deal with bagging on unions these days anyway? You can thank labor organization for minimum wage, weekends, OSHA, paid vacations, paid sick time and health benefits. Thanks to our union forefathers (and mothers) companies today offer fair compensation and benefits to their employees rather than risk being organized against. Before unions, most jobs in America were...let's see...oh yeah, in sweat shops. Just like in India where they break your knees for trying to organize. Why would you advocate for even MORE power to corporations and less power to the vast majority – workers?

    January 27, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  36. david

    Towns die,industry dies and employees move on. The steel industry has been in a decline since the 70-80's because of imports from Japan,China and Canada. Textiles have been in the same position during the same period for the same reasons and so on. You are not entitled to a job, but you can work in one and educate yourself in the event your job/employer disappears. I will not support anyone that does not take the steps necessary to prepare for their employment future.

    I've raised four children to be self sufficient and they have educated and covered the costs with their own initiative. They worked in retail after school functions where complete. They work in college to pay for some expenses beyond the scholarships . They continued after graduation for advanced degrees to improve their employment future.

    People need to accept responsibility for their actions or inaction's relating to their future because I will not vote to support you.

    Retired @ 55.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  37. Mike

    Simply getting stimulus money won't help, because the town cannot be what it was. Reinvention is what is needed. If they need to bring in outside experts to help with new ideas, then spend money on that, but simply keeping the town on life-support will not help. The leaders need to put their heads together and think of ways to attract business and reshape their economy.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  38. Roy

    Everyone needs to let go of the pre-recession train of thought. The trickle down theory applied very much during the pre recession years from jobs in the financial sector to who knows what? It took years of planning to gut America of it's wealth. Job well done crooks! Has anyone done an honest study of how many lives were destroyed by the corruption and greed of the elite in America. I for one have watched my great lady liberty fall to her knees in utter despair. Folks, there is only one thing that is going to stop this madness. Among us as citizens are smart educated people who have the ability to get us out of this mess. In case you haven't noticed, the bleeding of America
    's middle is still full speed ahead. Can we LEGALLY organize a 30 million Americans march on D.C? We have to stop the evil now.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  39. Jerry, Fredonia PA

    This is news??
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Cleveland, OH
    Youngstown, OH
    Morgantown, WV
    and the list goes on...

    This has been the rust belt for 30 years now. And still someone is expecting a hand out? I repeatedly watch local 'economic development' efforts try 70 year old ideas that failed in the next city over, and the one next to that, and the one next to that...

    I suggest we spend some 'stimulous money' on finding out why these communities need stimulous money in the first place. Which in the end should conclude that the ideas, methods, and execution of 'economic development' in appalachia are fundementaly flawed, repeatedly fail, and should be stopped.

    Or we could spend half of that money on education around here and the next generation would have the tools to figure it out for themselves.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  40. John in MN

    Roman, I agree with you! As for the comments that "Move Foreward CA" made, typical far-right wing blather. So we are just supposed to accept that our "high paying" union jobs are gone forever, and we are supposed to happily trudge off to WalMart or various fast-food chains(i.e. the service industry) for our jobs to make a living, while we materialistically survive by sending billions of dollars to China for the crap products they make that we so readily consume? Wow! What a great and rewarding life! What an elitist putz ..

    January 27, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  41. Kevin

    Amen, Lonely Lib. Amen.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  42. Marty W

    The sad case is...this town no longer produces anything of value for the US economy. Any stiumulus spending here is literally pouring money down the drain in the form of a loan that can never be paid back and it will only prolong the inevitable abandonment of this town.

    Cities across the country need to analyze what they do to bring in money from other areas/overseas, this is what injects the money multiplier into a local economy. Texas has oil, Florida has tourists, Washington State has Microsoft, LA has film, etc...

    The only way a locale can bring in money when it doesn't produce anything is to be the location of a government service, like military bases, or Washington D.C.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  43. michael rae

    just let the town die. coproations dont have any mercy for the folks they employ when the work goes you get layed off and are forced to make adjustments. Why do cities and coporations think tax payers have money to bail them out everytime they get up to there eyeballs in debt. I dont see the government coming in to save me from myself.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  44. b schatt

    This is where stimulus would work, together with improving our national parks, infrastructure, especially bridges, taking care of our homeless (train, retrain, hospitalize, treat) and those who are working but still can't afford rent.
    Giving $8000 to new home buyers, how about giving me that sum to pay down my principal. Leting us deduct the interest on our credit cards for 3 years and prevent banks and other financial institutions from increasing the interest rates on both morthages and credit cards together with adding fees for moving your money from one account to another, etc. would probably do more for the average American than all this pie in the sky crap we keep hearing about.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  45. Justin

    Murtha's airport was apparently a higher priority...

    January 27, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  46. Justin

    Lonely Libertarian, the US military's logistical support in Haiti is just as, if not more, important than the charitable donations. That would be a case of a government helping people.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  47. wjm

    Hear, hear, Roman!

    January 27, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  48. james edwards

    yes its sad-they give stimulas to banks but nothing to save the heartland of america. america gradually slipping into the haves and havenots.wake up them millionaire senators so they can take off those primrose glasses ,before america is gone.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  49. Crusader

    Live and Let Die. This is the result for sending jobs overseas Liberals. Bring back Reganomics if you want to prosper, or small towns will die and consilidate inside larger ones with Rural exisitance becoming non existent.

    We need to stop importing and get off track of Obamaonics of Socialization, and start innovating, creating, servicing and producing, not consuming and waiting on handouts.

    You'll see more of this if we dont get off this Obama track and reverse course.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  50. ronvan

    Although I can understand this situation & can feel the pain, the problem is where does this stop? Is this the ONLY town in the country with this problem? Don't think so. If you provide $$$$ for them then why not the rest?

    January 27, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  51. t3342left

    Carrie.....I like your thinking. Could take it a step further and make supporting retirees/senior the town business.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  52. Lisa

    Nice comment Roman, Butler, PA.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  53. ray lafrance

    according to the G.A.O. we the people do not need a raise...but do they need a raise ?

    January 27, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  54. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool, NY

    What a great story of what is happening now across the nation. The Government in its quest to make everyone dependant on Big brother, Imagine if the Government did NOT take so much of your hard earned money in taxes everyday? Communities like Braddock would actually have the money in their pockets to help themselves.
    Governments do NOT help people, it is people who help people, look at the earthquake needs, and they are being met with private donations. Just think how much more we all could help if the money we earned did not go to a federal Government to the tune of more than 50 % of total earnings. Think of the good people would be empowered to have if they had the money they earned in their pockets. And they had the power to choose who, where, and when to help people.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  55. Carrie

    I read about this town! Artists were moving in and buying things for next to nothing. The article was, I think, in Rolling Stone about two years ago.

    I don't want to sound harsh, because I am currently living in a town that, in 1985, nearly died. The tuna was overfished and overnight people lost their jobs in droves. And when they left, they couldn't sell their homes so they just walked away. The thing is, the fisheries are still pretty much gone. That era has passed. They are trying things with tourism but the brunt of that blow over 20 years ago still smarts here. Sometimes it happens that things change so profoundly that towns just die. There are ghost towns all around the West where there used to be 10000 people! Industries change and people move on. Detroit, WV and PA, the Old West, things change. People get hurt when they do, but they have always changed. Now, in Detroit, you can get a house for $2000. And people ARE buying them, bit by bit. Perhaps Braddock can advertise this. Retirees, for instance. To sell their old homes in bloated areas and buy a perfectly good Braddock home for, what, $10,000? They'll have pensions and Social Security coming in, will need service people, stores, etc. Baby Boomers are an immense part of the population now. Give them a cheap, quiet place to call home.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:10 am |
  56. mama panda

    Roman, I like your thinking!

    January 27, 2010 at 1:51 am |
  57. jim vicalvi

    The truth is, this town is to small to buy off the politicians in Congress to get any help. And. our substandard supreme court just made sure that that will happen for a long time. I just won der how they got paid off!!

    January 26, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  58. Move_Forward_CA

    You don't need a stimulus, you need to move. The steel mill is not going to reopen. Your unionized factory jobs are gone because you insisted on too much money. America is no longer a second world conuntry where everything in produced. We are now a first world country where everything is bought. Move on. Get trained for a better job, and let the town die.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  59. Roman, Butler, Pa

    Since I am a native to Pittsburgh, I feel the pain of the Mayor of Braddock. I now live thirty some miles away from Pittsburgh and developers are destroying too much of God's green earth. Instead of expanding this country into oblivion, some of the stimulus money ought to be directed to towns like Braddock to bring developers back into these plighted areas and rebuild and make it a place where people want to live. It's close to the City of Pittsburgh and the rivers are a great attraction. And, this should be done all across the country. Developers have done enough damage to the ecosystem. Time to redirect their passion back into the cities.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:50 pm |