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.


  1. Based on what l’ve seen for quite some time now, l don’t believe the people in this town ever had any brains to begin with. OK, maybe if you go back to the ’60s when E.P. actually had higher than average national wages, then you would be correct. But the dumbing down of our immigration system changed that.

  2. If any business or corporation interested in looking at El Paso as a destination for manufacturing, industrial, construction, assembly or any wealth-producing , job creating, trade enhancing purpose, they would be driven away by the taxes, lack of education, inability to speak fluently in English by a large majority, and inability to have/develop a good work ethic. The venues and QOL projects are just masking the problems and obstacles, while offering “bribes” in the way of TIRVs, PPP, tax forgiveness, and lucrative land swaps. About the only thing El Paso has going for it nowadays is news stories about the border.

  3. “Dumbing down of our immigration system” says Anonymous !!!
    I’m going to use my real name because I have a pair of cojones. The above comment sounds like a real racist/asshole. I am a graduate of Cathedral High School where I was student council president as well as editor of the school newspaper my senior year. I received my degree in Advertising from a University in California and worked in that field for less than a year because I was given an opportunity to sell medical devices. I did it for 34 years, my last company I was with them for 30 years. I retired at age 55 because I became a multi-millionaire and was burnt out. I now own 4 rental properties. I’m not saying this to brag, but to put this message to “anonymous!!! into perspective. I currently live in San Antonio, where I’ve lived for 37 years.

    Of the 4 student council members are as follows: Victor Arias, who received his MBA from Stanford and works as a partner for executive recruitment. He sits on Stanford’s board and was chosen as an outstanding UTEP alumnus where he got his B.S. He lives in Dallas. Gerry Kimmitt is a partner for a presitigous law firm in Houston. W. David Myers is a Professor at Fordham teaching theology as well as having several books. Most of them in German. He received his B.A. from Notre Dame and his Masters and PhD from Yale. He lives in New York City. My high school girlfriend, who I still keep in touch with, is a Professor of Architecture at UPenn, an Ivy League school. She received her B.S and Masters in Engineering from Rice and resides in Philadelphia.
    My nephew graduated from Notre Dame where he received a fencing scholarship and where the fencing team won the NCAA Championship in Fencing. He now lives in San Diego. My cousin, Ruben Norte, an El Paso native, moved to California where he received 3 Emmy’s for his work in the film industry.
    The point I am making is that there has been a HUGE brain drain over the years from El Paso. And, we are NOT part of the dumbing down of the immigration system. We all came from somewhere, and we could NOT do what we have all done living in El Paso. There were never, and still aren’t, the kinds of opportunities we all achieved if we had stayed in El Paso. And, there are literally thousands of Native El Pasoans who are like what I have described. Yes, we would have liked to have stayed, close to family and our beloved El Paso. Its just that, we’re part of the “brain drain.”

    Rich, keep up the good work! I appreciate your insights and comments.

    1. Arthur, congratulations on identifying yourself as being predominately male, in an era where multiple genders seem to be the norm. I am happy you and many other El Pasoans saw the writing on the wall long before it became apparent to the current generations, and left to achieve your goals. When your parents, grandparents and other relatives immigrated, it was to assimilate and educate to the highest standards. Same with my ancestors who waited many years before being allowed in, and the other side who waited many years to be accepted as persons rather than native artifacts. However, I disagree with your use of the racist vernacular. White, Black, yellow- those are the races. All other is ethnicity. El Paso has many distinguished alumni. El Paso also has a history of using immigration quotas to fulfill cotton picking, landscaping, construction, and other traditionally blue collar trades, while discouraging others who might be better if educated. You only have to look how the traditional jobs and careers within the apparel industry were destroyed and entire generations reduced to eking out a meager existence, all because the apparel owners moved overseas, and left the former workers without an education, transition training to new positions, or even the hope of succeeding in an increasingly technology-driven world. That was the dumbing down of immigration. Coupled with various administrations’ re-interpolation of immigration quotas and laws (Dems as guilty as Repubs), immigration was driven by the headline politics and not the needs of the individuals or the country. Want to make a difference and not be considered ethnically biased? Bring a major medical technology manufacturer and supplier to El Paso without tax forgiveness, special treatments, favored trading, box seats for a minor league game. I tried. Couldn’t even get into see reps when they found out it was a weapons manufacturer. Don’t throw the racist tag around. You cheapen the term for when it really applies.

    2. Whoa! Art, please be careful, that ego of yours is so bloated it might burst any moment. The hundreds of childish insults you threw at me are in fact mildly amusing, lt’s just too bad you have no facts to back it up. Yeah, l guess it’s just a coincidence that E.P. is (once again) voted as the 4th dumbest town in the U.S. l almost feel sorry for you because you were foolish enough (arrogance) to let the world know what an egotistical, simple minded putz you truly are. ‘Well, l’m using my real name, so l must be right about everything.’ How does that overly used cliche’ go again – l thank God for my enemies.

      1. I think Mr. Adjemian’s point it that the “dumbing down of the immigration system” isn’t to blame for our Brain Drain. If there were more opportunity here, El Paso would attract smarter immigrants, from everywhere. Instead, El Paso’s best and brightest are choosing to emigrate to places where opportunities exist.

        People don’t like to move. El Paso is culturally unique, and many people appreciate that uniqueness and might stay here even if staying here meant making less money.

        But people, especially smart and capable people, don’t like being bullied. That don’t like being lied to. They don’t like people with deep pockets telling them that black is white and the sky is yellow, and that a bunch of shiny amenities are going to transform El Paso into an economic powerhouse.

        There are a lot of places, and people can move to wherever they want, and since 2012, El Paso hasn’t been one of those places. El Paso is a place people move from.

        If you meet someone at a party, you don’t ask them “Where are you from?” You ask them “What high school did you go to?”

        How sad is that?

        City government has a bad attitude, and they’ve shown no inclination to change.

        1. Rich, we left in 1977 and didn’t return until 2003. Visited a few times in the interim. It seemed even in 2003 the city was in a steep decline. Manufacturing and apparel jobs had evaporated. ASARCO had been shuttered. FT Bliss relegated to a small training command. Refinery for sale. Even transportation had declined. But the city pressed on even then with these QOL deals, and the tax rebates for businesses that didn’t survive two years. Seems like they haven’t learned from history. Now you have the central El Paso crowd moving out to the edges again, and “they” are proclaiming a housing boom. Can’t be a boom when you look at the vacancy rate in Central and Northeast. No, we don’t like being lied to. Whether its “the Army is coming”, and they have for now, or ignoring a broken education system, the problems continue. And the City, including whoever holds Mayor, and City Council, as well as County Commissioners, seem to want to spend their way out of the decline. One has only to look at others that have tried that- Detroit, Chicago, Stockton CA, LA(?), or any of the bankrupt cities- and you can see the end result. Problem is, in El PAso, that makes it ripe for crime from across the river to flourish here. What the heck, graft and corruption already flourish here like over there, may as well get the rest. It’s why we moved out a month ago.

  4. I’ve been peeing on my cactus ? lately and have experienced remarkable results.

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