March 24, 2018

The Dying of the Light in St. Louis

Timothy Birdnow

My brother Brian sends this to a writer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Dear Doug Moore,
I read your very interesting piece in the PD this morning and found it insightful and correct. I do, however, have one quibble. You say, "The St. Louis region has seen its population drop steadily since 1960, when it was ranked ninth in the US."

The fact of the matter is that St. Louis has seen its population drop steadily since 1950, when it was the eighth largest city in the country. In fact, most of the urban historians conclude that the St. Louis population topped out at nearly 870,000 citizens in the late 1940s. The beginning of the suburban migration dropped the city population to 856,000 in 1950, and that number fell to 750,000 in 1960. As far as our national ranking, St. Louis was the nation's fourth largest city from 1890-1920, when we fell to sixth behind Cleveland, and the booming Motor City, Detroit.

So, St. Louis has seen a nearly seventy-year population decline, and a nearly century long decline in national status among our nation's leading cities. A depressing tale, to be sure, but sometimes the truth hurts, doesn't it!

Best Regards,
Brian E. Birdnow

I would add one important point; the decline in St. Louis began shortly after the Democrats tookk permanent control of the city. The last Republican mayor of St. Louis was Aloys P. Kaufman, who ended his term in 1949. (By the way, I attended high school with his grandson, who is a fan of this website.)
The destructive decline of St. Louis followed the hegemony of the Democrats, who have run St. Louis completely intot the ground.

High taxes, bad schools, an environment unfriendly to business (St. Louis has the City Earnings Tax, which applies to people who either live or work in the city - including tmeporarily, like ball players - and to businesses. Better to do everything outside of the city limits), high crime rates, Inefficient services, all have contributed to the demise of a once great city. Sadly, the city fathers are clueless to the problems and even more clueless to the solutions. They think that the answer to crime, for instance, is more "community dialogue" rather than stricter enforcement. Or take sex trafficking; St. Louis is one of the capitals of the sex trade, and it is so because we happily recruited Albanian "refugees" to fill the emptying middle class neighborhoods when that group left. The end result was the Albanian mafia - perhaps the worst organized crime outfit ever, the guys who displaced the Sicilians - moved in. Being Moslems, they saw it as their right to sexually enslave Christian and Jewish women, so now St. Louis is a hub of sexual slavery. Pro-immigrant policies made that happen.

Good job!

And, as Mr. Moore points out:

"Also contributing to the region’s one-rung drop, to 21st place, is the loss of nearly 1,500 people in St. Louis County, the second year in a row there has been a decline after five years of small growth were recorded. The Metro East’s two largest counties, Madison and St. Clair, also saw slight dips."
end excerpt.

That's because everyone left St. Louis City, and now St. Louis County is essentially the same group of people. White flight was significant first in the City and now in the County, with middle class whites moving ever farther from the core. For those who do not know, St. Louis is a "free city" meaning it is it's own county, not part of St. Louis county. That is likely to change in the future as the County becomes an extension of the City, and the city's fortunes continue their horrible decline.

That's not to say there aren't wonderful things about St. Louis. This is a city with a lot going for it, and I live here for a reason. But for every pro there is a con (most of whom have been released from prison due to overcrowding) and I can see why young people would not want to stay here. And St. Louis is spectacularly without imagination, at least at the leadership level. Their biggest event is the generically named Fair St. Louis over the Independence Day weekend. St. Louis killed the Strassenfest, a German street festival in August, because they didn't want to clean up after another festival after Fair Stl. They figured a German fest (which predated the Fair) wasn't inclusive enough, so they just killed it. They are laboring now to kill off the St. Patrick's Day parade by promoting Mardi Gras - a terrible idea for a city this far north. It is usually freezing cold in February when it is held, but the powers that be thought it a good idea since St. Pats day is also "non-inclusive". This year they banned coolers and bottles at the St. Pats Day parade, making it much drier (don't know if any venders were allowed there or not) and killing the tailgate party atmosphere. (People used to set up tents, even bring in their own porta-potties, bring generators, kegs of beer, etc.) Prior to this year they tried to limit drinking by supplying insufficient toilet facilities, but people found a way around that (I remember one year everyone was climbing into a huge construction dumpster to urinate). Banning booze at an Irish festival is a fast way to kill it. They have to know that. But they have decided Mardi Gras is the "spring" festival, and they are going to have their way.

I remember when the last Mayor of St. Louis, Francis Slay, was interviewed on the radio. When asked about repealing the business unfriendly City Earninsg Tax Slay said we shouldnb't be asking what we can do for business but rather be asking what business can do for us. Typical Democrat. And then everyone wonders why the City is dying.

So, until the Democrats are out of power the City will continue to decline, and so will St. Louis County.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:04 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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