Make El Paso Great Again

What do we want from El Paso?

If you say industry to alleviate the homeowners’ tax burden, I’m not buying it. We El Paosans will only fall for that the first fifty times. We’ve just about figured out you’re lying to us when you say that.

I think we’ve just about made sufficient investment to start looking for a return.


Industry’s not beating a path to our door. We’ve taxed ourselves out of that market. The best we can hope for is some labor-intensive businesses, like call centers. Nothing with expensive capital that the City and the School Districts can tax.

I know, it’s ugly. It’s repetitive. But it’s true.

We can try to educate ourselves out of the hole we’ve dug. But that’ll take what? Ten years, minimum? And after they’re educated, the smart kids will move to someplace where there are jobs.

No, before we start developing the labor force, we have to give El Pasoans a compelling reason to stay home.

We’ve got to show them how cool El Paso is.

Look at all the people in El Paso who haven’t left. Sure, inertia counts for some of it. But a lot of people see El Paso for what it is: a jewel. They work a little under scale (maybe a lot) because they like El Paso.

They think it’s cool.

But El Pasoans have a problem with cool. It’s this: You can’t fake cool. Acting cool and trying to be cool are the uncoolest things you can do.

Let me tell you a secret to cool.

Cool people are people who do cool things. So what’s cool? Electronic Dance Music? Making EDM is cool. Dancing to it, not so much. Making movies is cool. Watching movies is not. Competing in sports is cool. Watching sports, not.

Making beer is cool. Drinking beer, well, that’s kind of cool, too. But not as cool as making it.

Are you sensing a pattern? Making content is cool. Consuming content, not.

Doing things is cool. Watching people do things is not.

So how do we get there? I don’t know. Maybe we start taxing teevees, the way New York City did with sodas.

Or maybe we ask the local riches to finance some genius grants, money to help people doing things to keep doing them. Maybe, since it’s El Paso, we don’t call them genius grants. Maybe we call them ganas grants.

Or maybe we all just realize that El Paso should be a place where we do things, not just watch things.


  1. About the only thing that I do know is that it is long past time where we should offer big tax incentives to “new” businesses, that usually only stick around long enough to see the greener pastures right across the border. Think Tonka, RCA, and who knows how many others. We could stand to have a new city hall, but then, it seems to me that there are still some vacant buildings downtown that might be taken over with eminent domain. Nicely paved streets would be nice. An electric utility that encouraged solar and wind power would be nice. Just a few thoughts.

  2. Don’t understand why Richi boy, of all people is so negative on EP, yet so pro Juarez in all his posts. EP is great, and the night life el Richie boy so loves has been better here than ole Mexico for years… And I’ve been over to ole Mexico several times for dinner…ect … Line sucks home…screw it. More fun in EP

    1. I agree. The worst part about going over to Juarez is the line to get back. That’s why I walk, or take my bike.

      And I’m not negative on El Paso, except for the political shenanigans and our voracious local governments. Any true El Pasoan would hate the institutionalized corruption we have here.

      I never thought we had to spend a half a billion dollars to make El Paso habitable. I thought it was just fine the way it was.

      To me, your observations seem shallow, but maybe you didn’t have time to express yourself. Or maybe you’re a teevee watching lardass who took offense at the suggestion that you get off the couch and do something.

  3. Maybe I’m just not that aware of how the politics work here. If that’s the case, someone PLEASE educate me!!! With all of the things that get built/planned here, it seems that city council acts as if they have carte blanche to do as they choose for their “visions” of El Paso’s future. Do things like the planned arena, the Chihuahua Stadium, or anything else even get brought up for a vote with the people? Are there bond measures that get an “Aye” from the people to go through with these plans? What voice do the everyday citizens of El Paso have in all of this.

    Again, if I’m wrong, will someone correct me? It just seems that city council needs some reins put on them and El Paso needs a strong mayor to hold those reins to make sure the horse goes where it was voted to go.

    1. The ballpark got rammed through with barely any consultation with the taxpayers. The arena got put on a the Quality of Life bond ballot with a lot of other things, like library improvements and a Children’s Museum.

      You are not wrong when you say that “city council acts as if they have carte blanche to do as they please for their ‘visions’ of El Paso’s future.” There is an agenda behind the machinations of city government, driven by private interests with good intentions and a financial interest in their plan.

      At least I hope that they have good intentions.

      Bounce around the site. I think you’ll learn something about El Paso politics.

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