They said it was about Economic Development. They said that once we built those Quality of Life projects, companies would move to El Paso.
That’s what they said.
I couldn’t figure it out. How would all those recreational amenities bring new jobs to El Paso?
There are more than 100 cities in the U.S. with professional baseball. How many cities have a TopGolf? A Whole Foods? And what about that Great Wolf Lodge? How was that supposed to transform El Paso?
They said it was about Economic Development, but that’s not what they were thinking.
Today the scales fell from my eyes.
The fat cats woke up one morning and discovered that their kids didn’t want to stay in El Paso. The sons and daughters of our petite bourgeoisie wanted to move to Austin, or La Jolla. Even Houston.
And how could those fat cats deny them? Those kids had grown up with every imaginable benefit. Their parents didn’t know how to deny them the good life in some other city.
So they pitched those QOL projects as economic drivers. They got City Staff to jump on board, too. Look at all those Public Private Partnerships the City has got us involved in. The 380 agreements. The tax incentives. The Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones. Those Public Private Partnerships aren’t about drawing industry to El Paso. Those PPP’s are about building amenities to induce the scions of the wealthy to stay in El Paso.
Sure, they’re trying to stop El Paso’s Brain Drain. But not for your kids. Your kids are still going to have to go out of town for jobs. But the leisure class doesn’t need jobs. The leisure class just needs recreation.
At least that’s how it looks to me.