And that's exactly the problem with these "most livable" contests, countered Jake Haulk, president of the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy.Tell us what you really think, Dan. Charlotte does have some serious economic problems right now. And, I wouldn't pay much attention to the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy. But can't we find a middle ground concerning Pittsburgh's economic redevelopment? This battle royale between boosters and bashers is on full display over at Pittsblog. Mike Madison makes a reasonable critique and you'd think he'd insulted the honor of Pittsburgh. I just noticed that something similar is going on in Lexington, KY. There isn't any room for civil discourse or outsider perspectives. That leaves us with polemics. The libertarians of Southwestern PA must always rain on the parade and the status quo politicians gild the turds.
"Livability is in the eye of the beholder," he said, noting surveys tend to overvalue cultural institutions -- which benefit relatively few people -- and undervalue economic indicators such as job growth and low taxes, which benefit many. Places like Charlotte, N.C., attracted people for that reason, he said.
"I would think that livability would have to do with finding a good job. If you're just looking at cultural things, sure, Pittsburgh is a nice place to live, if you can afford to send your kids to private schools or live in the suburbs and pay high taxes for good schools, but people tend to go where they can find work."
Nonsense, said Mr. Onorato.
"No one is claiming Pittsburgh is perfect," he said, noting that Mr. Haulk "bragged a few years ago about how great Charlotte is, and now Charlotte is in total collapse."
I'll echo part of Mike's retort to the peanut gallery by way of a suggestion for our common cause: