Drew Carey Series on Saving Cleveland (UPDATES)


“Put bluntly, (public school) failure attracts more money than success.” – Thomas Sowell

I love Drew Carey. He’s one of my favorite people as well as a great, insightful comedian.
He’s come up with a documentary about Cleveland, one of my hometowns, in which he outlines solutions to the economic disaster created by years of neglect and incompetent politicians.

Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey is an original Reason.tv documentary series that will air during the week of March 15-19.
Link to the webpage:

Featuring sitcom legend, Price Is Right host, and proud Clevelander Drew Carey, each 10-minute episode investigates and analyzes the problems that turned Cleveland from the nation’s sixth-largest city in 1950 into today’s “Mistake On The Lake.”

Like all too many American cities, Cleveland seems locked into a death spiral, shedding people, jobs, and dreams like nobody’s business. When it comes to education, business climate, redevelopment, and more, Clevelanders have come to expect the worse. Is a renaissance possible? Of course it is, but only if the city’s leaders and residents are willing to learn from other cities such as Houston, Chicago, Oakland, and Indianapolis. And only if they’re willing to try new approaches to old problems.

Reason.tv’s Nick Gillespie narrates and talks with educators, elected officials, businesspeople, policy experts, and residents from all walks of life. Stay tuned for a documentary series that maps a route back to prosperity and growth not just for Cleveland but for other once-great American cities.

Reason Saves Cleveland with Drew Carey is written and produced by Paul Feine; camera and editing by Roger Richards and Alex Manning; music by the Cleveland band Cats on Holiday.

Full release schedule:

Episode 1: The Decline of a Once-Great City (March 15)



Sixty years ago, Cleveland was a booming city full of promise, opportunity, and people. Today, the city’s population is less half of what it was in its prime and it ranks as one of the poorest big cities in the United States. Hometown hero Drew Carey reflects on how the city became “the mistake on the lake” and wonders about the city’s future. Is a Cleveland renaissance possible or is the city doomed to long, slow death?

Episode 2: Fix the Schools (March 15)



Ten Ideas to Fix Cleveland’s Schools:

Cleveland’s public schools are failing to prepare students for their future and as a result, all parents who can afford to have been fleeing to the suburbs for decades. Yet some urban schools, like Think College Now in Oakland, California are finding out that a combination of administrative autonomy and accountability can lead to amazing results. Within Cleveland’s own boundaries, charter schools are booming and delivering quality education at a fraction of the cost of traditional public schools. Does Cleveland have what it takes to fundamentally reform its K-12 education system and become a leader in 21st-century education?

Episode 3: Privatize It (March 16)



Should cities be in the business of running businesses ranging from convention centers to farmers markets? Selling off golf courses, contracting out parking concessions, and all manner of public-private partnerships are generating billions of dollars in revenue and dramatically improving city services in places such as Chicago and Indianapolis. Will Cleveland’s elected officials learn the right lessons in time?

Episode 4: Take Care of Business (March 17)



After World War II, Cleveland was booming, thanks to its leadership role in heavy industry and a business-friendly climate. Today, the city’s high taxes and onerous regulatory demands make it nearly impossible for new businesses to set up shop while choking the life out of existing companies. While relatively laissez-faire cities such as Houston are growing even during the current recession, Cleveland remains stuck in a rut. How can city officials make the city a more welcoming place for entrepreneurs to thrive?

Episode 5: Encourage Bottom-Up Development (March 18)



Cleveland has spent billions on big-ticket urban redevelopment efforts including heavily subsidized sports stadiums and convention centers that have utterly failed to revitalize the city’s economy. Should the city be pouring even more money into and pinning yet higher hopes on long-odds mega-projects? Or should they realize that bottom-up projects driven by the actual residents and private-sector investors are the best was to build a vibrant city for the long haul?

Episode 6: Bring Back the People (March 19)



No city can exist without people, and Cleveland has lost more than half its population since the 1950s. Yet the city still boasts amazingly affordable neighborhoods, down-to-earth charm, a rich history, a stunning and varied landscape, and diverse ethnic and cultural scenes. How can Cleveland can become a destination where people flock to pursue their personal versions of the American Dream?

Carey’s solutions are common sense. Which means no politician will listen. Don’t rely on the government; its bureaucratic stupidity prevents it from doing anything constructive. It’s up to the citizens to change and improve the community.

I was born in Cleveland and grew up in and around the area. I love the town, but in order to fix what’s wrong (the economy), we have to get rid of the democratic stronghold that’s hostile to business. I blogged about this before, so I’ll repost some of it here.

I live approximately 30 miles west of Cleveland in a town called Lorain. I spent 30 years in the United States Army, and each trip home on leave, I saw more and more deterioration.
I have watched my town go from a reasonably employed and populated flourishing place, to a virtual ghost town. The Steel Mill and the Ford Plant are barely existing. Many of the businesses in the downtown area have been boarded up and long gone. The Lakefront area, prime for development and recreation, is languishing. The sad fact is that many of the residents are complacent to the point of being comatose.
The once thriving industrial base was wiped out, in part, by unions. Businesses and corporations have no incentive to invest in this area, and who can blame them? The Lorain City government throws up so many roadblocks in the form of high taxes, red tape, and bureaucratic stupidity, that unless we throw all of them out and start over, they’ll be no resurgence for this town.
……The Democrats have sold brain-dead constituents a rancid bill of goods, and they keep buying it.

Those cultural and entertainment venues featured in the documentary represent some of the best-kept secrets of the city.  

This is how we fix my town: give businesses the tax incentives to build, invest, and employ here.

Get rid of the corruptocrats who are more interested in stuffing their pockets with our funds than helping the community.

Crackdown on unions—they’re nothing more than a mafioso and do nothing to improve worker’s plight or the economy.

Elect business friendly officials who understand the potential and opportunity to get Cleveland back on track to being successful again.

Get rid of the over-restrictive zoning. It stymies growth and causes business owners to leave for greener pastures.

Until and unless North East Ohio, as a whole, is ready to make those changes, this area will continue to languish for years.

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