Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas From The City Of Greensboro: Proof Greensboro Sucks

Well it's Christmas Eve and for those who don't already know, today we learn that "Earnings in the Greensboro-High Point area are among the lowest in the country for the 18-to-34 age group."

Want more proof that Greensboro sucks?

Greensboro is not a safe city.

But it can't be that bad, can it?  For that I'm bringing back some information from some old posts that I'm sure Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan wishes I'd not bring back up again. Take for instance our very Internet connections which barely allow me to post this and you to write it. According to Susan Crawford–former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology and innovation:

"The rich are getting gouged, the poor are very often left out, and this means that we're creating, yet again, two Americas, and deepening inequality through this communications inequality."

 And where does Greensboro stand in these 2 American Internets? According to the map below taken from we fall in the bottom 50%.

The Greensboro City Council controls contracts with cable TV and Internet providers and can at the end of their contract revoke their right to do business here. The good news from Gizmodo is that there are no Pizza Deserts in Greensboro- a pizza desert being defined as any place where one has to travel more than 10 miles to buy a pizza.

On another positive note, if you can figure out how to use it this New Yorker interactive indicates the Greensboro area is a growing leader in craft beer production. Too bad Red Oak, Greensboro's largest craft beer brewery is located not in Greensboro but in Whitsett where they pay property taxes to the Town of Whitsett and buy their water from Burlington's Lake Macintosh. Hey, Councilman Zack Matheny, could that be one of those businesses Greensboro never lost because of Greensboro's higher tax rates? Just askin' that's all. You know, being that Red Oak used to be located in Greensboro.

Here's another via way of Gizmodo. The map of where Americans are moving indicates that people are flooding the Southland and North Carolina. That is: except for Greensboro. This city looks as barren as some of the mountain deserts of northern Arizona which, if you've ever been there, you know are mostly protected lands, national parks, Indian reservations and largely uninhabitable for average Americans.

Here's some interesting figures that Fec dug up in a piece titled Poverty In Greensboro:

"Mecklenburg and Greensboro have the largest shares of that poverty."

Haven't we spent the last 50 years trying to be like Charlotte/Mecklenburg? I guess Jim "Bobblehead" Melvin's dreams have finally come true. We're dirt poor just like Charlotte!

"Its poverty rate (2009-2011) counting off-campus college students: 20.1 percent."

That's right, what CEO in his right mind would move his company to any city where the poverty rate exceeds 20% and his company is bound to be overrun by uneducated and untrained applicants, criminals and beggars on every corner?

" Poverty has moved to the suburbs.

And North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District leads the nation, according to a report issued Thursday by the Brookings Institution, a public policy research group in Washington.

The district, which runs from Charlotte to parts of Greensboro and Winston-Salem, had the nation’s highest growth of poor suburban people between 2000 and 2011.

The number of poor people grew 663 percent."

I checked, 663% is not a typo. Greensboro can no longer afford to wait for the State and Federal governments to help us. Tomorrow 1.3 Million people will lose their unemployment benefits-- the Greensboro City Council must act now!

I first wrote that on July 12, 2013. Since then the Greensboro City Council has done nothing to promote economic development in Greensboro.

Greensboro ranked high on the list of Most Foreclosures For Sale, As reported on this blog, those foreclosures included now former Mayor Robbie Perkins' downtown condo and $1.3 Million Dollar home in Irving Park-- Greensboro's most exclusive neighborhood. Now you tell me, what CEO wants to hobnob with a bankrupt mayor who cheats on his wife, can't pay his bills and has the Securities and Exchange Commission breathing down his neck? Most CEOs I've ever heard of would prefer to stay as far away from the SEC as possible.

Why would any CEO move his company to Greensboro when the areas being pitched most by Greensboro are the highest crime areas?

Why would a CEO move his company to Greensboro when the of City of Greensboro is unable to provide documentation that their previous economic development projects for which citizens and corporations were taxed were in-fact a success? CEOs are number crunchers, they deal in facts, not fantasy.

And with that folks, I leave you to the original, Attention CEOs: Why You Don't Want To Bring Your Company And Your Family To Greensboro, North Carolina, AKA: Greensboro Sucks and bid you a happy New Year. If you live in Greensboro you're going to need it.

12% of our mortgages are ‘seriously underwater’ 

Greensboro was rated 175 out of 200 for comparable city's in 5 year job growth.

 33% Of Greensboro Urban Population Lives In Food Desert

  Greensboro Ranks bottom 10 in Equality of Opportunity Harvard Study. 

Greensboro is ranked a Transitional City, a city on the verge of failure, by the Demand Institute in Greensboro Fails Another Test. 

Greensboro #4 For Empty Industrial Parks You might think that a good thing except for the fact that our existing industrial parks are empty and our "leaders" are pushing to build more empty industrial parks.

Most Gerrymandered City In America? Yep, that too.

Greensboro at high risk of natural disasters.

Downtown Greensboro Not Safe For Pedestrians 

And now from my first list:

In terms of healthy living and life expectancy, Greensboro, North Carolina is rated the 2nd oldest City in America:

Speaking of old, the percentage of young workers in Greensboro ages 25 to 44 is only 28.2 percent, well below 33.6 percent in Raleigh and Durham. With no work force, why would you want to bring your companies here in the first place.

According to the Food Research and Action Center Greensboro is #2.The second hungriest city in America that is. Very troubling when you consider that agriculture is still North Carolina's #1 industry.

We're #4 in expensive car repairs: My idea to start a moped factory is looking better all the time. Too bad for Greensboro my partner bought the building in Burlington.

Greensboro is #1 in allergies "According to an annual report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Greensboro, NC has won the national crown as the nation’s fall allergy capital! "

Okay, I'm partially at fault, Greensboro is ranked number 4 For Ugliest Men in America  "A website called ranked Greensboro as one of the top eight ugliest cities for men. Number four to be exact."

Check this out: 5 NC cities make the top 50 most generous cities and Greensboro comes in at #72:  What's wrong with that picture?

But hey, we are the 2nd most religious.  How can it be that the second most religious city in America couldn't even make the top 50 in terms of generosity? Aren't the angels supposed to be watching over us?

Speaking of angels, Greensboro exports more capital than it imports. You won't find any angel investors here.

This is beginning to look like a really crappy place to live.

William Sydney Porter, aka O. Henry, Greensboro's most famous writer and the man for which several buildings, streets, schools, hotels, businesses and neighborhoods are named was a well known drinker and jail bird in his day. Of course he also coined the term, banana republic. Could it be he was in-fact describing he hometown and not Honduras as is generally presumed by readers of Cabbages and Kings?

By the same token, University of North Carolina at Greensboro Professor, Randall Jarrell, aka The Bat Poet, the first African American to ever be appointed United States Poet Laureate has yet to ever have anything in Greensboro named after him. Drink yourself to death, they name half the city after you, get run over by a car and Greensboro doesn't know you. Or, if you're a white drunk it's okay but let a black man have a few drinks too many and Greensboro will ostracize  him forever.

Speaking of getting run over by a car, while Greensboro's leaders like to make a really big deal about our extensive walking trails, Greensboro isn't ranked at Walk Friendly Communities. That's right, not ranked at all. Not even mentioned.

Greensboro comes in at #40 in Bicycling Magazine's list of Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities. I can tell you the editors there didn't put much effort into verifying their information. Yes, it's true, "A bicycle education program is taught to all fourth-graders, and some schools host bike rodeos. The mayor is an enthusiastic supporter of all cycling causes." but locally our Mayor is only known to ride on trails and the 4th grade bicycle safety program has been around since the 1950s and kids still ride bicycles on the wrong side of the road. Reality is: local bicyclists often complain Greensboro's streets are unsafe to ride on and street funds get diverted to projects no one wants to talk about.

As a matter of fact: To clear up the whole walking and biking thing,  rated Greensboro at 39 for walking and 40 for biking with the following comments:

"Greensboro has an average Walk Score of 39 with 269,666 residents.

Greensboro does not have many bike lanes.

The most walkable Greensboro ZIP codes are 27402, 27403 and 27408. "

For the most part, those are Greensboro's big money zip codes.

Feel safer in your car? Not so fast, Greensboro is the 7th most dangerous city in North Carolina to drive in.

All that traveling making you hungry? "Gallup reported that the Greensboro-High Point area contains the fourth highest percentage of residents in the country who say they do not have enough money for food" And yet we come in 10th highest in obesity? Looking at that religion/genorocity thing and the hunger/obesity thing it becomes pretty obvious Greensboro might also rank poorly on any scales measuring our ability to share. I wonder if anyone has ever studied that?

Didn't that other study say #2 for hunger? Oh well, two, four, who's counting calories, right?

Greensboro is #61 on the list of best and worst cities for Moms.We got beat by Charlotte, Raleigh and Durham again! And to think, this is a city that sells itself on quality of life issues?

Okay, how about something for Dad? We didn't even get on the list of Best Public Access Golf Courses and this city is covered up in golf courses. So much for Councilman Barber's First Tee of the Triad ever finding a good place to play.

Still single? Planning on staying that way? Then Greensboro just might be the place for you as Greensboro ranks sixth worst city for singles:

Of course it's hardly a wonder Greensboro's a bad place for singles when Greensboro is ranked the least sexy city in America.

Get out Kids, while you still can. Greensboro is not the place you want to grow old. Trust me, I learned that the hard way.

Gangs are still such a big problem that gangsta rappers are afraid to perform in Greensboro. Six out of 10 robberies go unsolved!

So what list didn't Greensboro make. Greensboro is not among the Top 100 Safest Cities in America  nor are we among the Top 100 public schools. Thinking about your property values? Greensboro is not among the Top 100 Highest Appreciating Cities in the U.S. Much of Greensboro is under water.

Forbes ranks Greensboro as one of the fastest growing cities in America. I'd take that with a grain of salt. Two years ago Forbes said Greensboro's economy was growing and employment was growing in leaps and bounds. Forbes was wrong about that too. Bad wrong.

 According to Economist, Professor Andrew Brod, with whom I almost never agree, the reason for Greensboro's growth is annexation:

"That’s because the growth includes a population bump of almost 10,000 from the 2008 annexation of The Cardinal, an upscale neighborhood near Piedmont Triad International Airport.

For that reason, Greensboro isn’t one of the fastest growing cities, said Andrew Brod, senior research fellow for the Center for Business and Economic Research at UNCG’s Bryan School of Business and Economics.

“As an analyst, I want numbers to make sense for people, or they’re going to start ignoring numbers,” Brod said. “It would be a mistake for civic leaders to think that things are going well.”

Andy hates it when he's forced to agree with me. Return to original post:

When you go to the ABC liquor store in Greensboro, your credit card gets hacked by a scammer. Damn, you can't even drink your troubles away in Greensboro without falling in a hole-- what next?

Sinkholes are common under Greensboro streets. Seems the aging water mains break with surprising regularity, wash all the rock and soil out from under the street then suddenly and without warning as you're driving your car down any major thoroughfare, poof! You're a goner!

Okay, lighten up, we finally made the Dave Barry Blog...  for a city council candidate with a felony record...

And our youth? Young Facebook users recently founded a group called Greensboro is Purgatory, with the motto "... if we try we get pulled right back."  Well, we are trying to keep our young people from leaving, right?

Last but not least: Greensboro gains international acclaim on racist websites and the Dredge Report for a Downtown riot that Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins claimed happened but in reality, never took place.

And if anyone believes a downtown performing arts center is going to turn any of this around you're an even bigger idiot than what I've been calling you for the last 2 years. So with all that said and being that Greensboro really has nothing that would make corporate CEOs and CFOs want to relocate their companies to Greensboro I ask you again, Why are Mayor Robbie Perkins, Roy Carroll, the Greensboro Partnership and the Piedmont Triad Partnership pushing for more shovel ready industrial parks we're never going to need? Why? Because they make money even if we lose.

So here's a better idea: why don't we change the conversation from attracting business to growing business from within, making the best with what little we have, co-ops, locally owned manufacturing, invest in our creative young minds, incentives (not grants or forgivable loans) to locally owned  manufacturing (not developers) entertainment districts, solar energy, low cost transportation, commercial scale aquaponics and other means to provide our citizens with what is needed and keep the profits in Greensboro.

That is, if Greensboro's leaders really care about economic development.

When you do, I'll go back to spending all my time writing poetry, fiction and building the first American made mopeds since the 1980s. And maybe, if Greensboro gets its act together we'll open a factory here as well.

 Greensboro is again the massage capital of NC. It ain't pretty folks. It's called prostitution, human trafficking and slave labor.

 The game maker,  Cranium, Inc., ranked Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, North Carolina as the 40th most fun city in the US. I don't know about Cranium's games but if they're no better than their geography... Distance from Greensboro to High Point 17.2 Miles. Distance From Greensboro to Winston-Salem 28.8 miles. Seriously folks, if by chance you're not from here and don't already know, you have to drive through the cities of Jamestown and Kernersville to get to High Point and Winston-Salem.

This just gets sadder as we go.

 Household earnings? At #97 and falling you'll not get Greensboro shoppers to spend much money with your business should you bring it here.

 Greensboro is #76 on the list of best cities in the US for small businesses. Raleigh came in at #4, Durham at #6 and Charlotte at #11. Of note, the best cities for small businesses are also the best cities for big businesses but if you're already in business you didn't need me to tell you that.

Greensboro is fast becoming the armpit of North Carolina.

 While a recent News & Record article announces that Greensboro's Cone Hospital system ranks 5th in the state among major hospitals, allow me to remind you there are less than 10 major hospitals in the State of North Carolina.

And according to the same report cited by the News & Record, Winston Salem beats  Greensboro hands down once again.

 Greensboro ranks  100th out of 102 markets in economic vitality. You'll never sell anything here.

 Greensboro has the unique distinction of being the city that killed the Livable Communities Act causing cities across the nation to suffer.

  A recent study by the Equality of Opportunity Project ranked Greensboro, North Carolina 95th out of the largest 100 cities in terms of citizens' ability towards upward mobility.

Greensboro ranks #3 on the list of hungriest places in America. Yeah, another list said 2 and yet another 4, still 2, 3 or 4 it sucks to be hungry.

Greensboro is 4th on the list of America's Emptiest Cities. Tell me again why we're building new industrial parks.

As was to be reported by the News & Record but what City Council wasn't counting on was Greensboro College School of Business Dean and economist William K. MacReynolds who said:

“The Greensboro-High Point metropolitan area is lagging behind employment growth in most areas of North Carolina,” said MacReynolds, founding dean of the college’s School of Business. “From September 2013, employment increased by only 0.2% compared with a statewide average growth of 2.2%.”

The state’s top two employment areas, the Charlotte and the Raleigh-Cary metropolitan areas, grew 2.6% and 3.2%, respectively.

“The employment numbers in Greensboro-High Point are troubling,” MacReynolds said. “Over the past year, the number of unemployed fell by 5,100. However, the number of jobs increased by only 2,100. The reason for this disparity is that more than 6,000 left the labor force altogether, having given up looking for productive work.”

As a matter of fact, Dean MacReynolds called it a "Wake up call."

Dean MacReynolds, a former  "...economist for the Federal Trade Commission, director of economic forecasting for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a Blue Chip Economics forecaster..." seems to have a much better grasp of real world economics. Besides, he links to the BLS Documents to prove his points.

But hey, at least we rank high at Zombie Surviveability. Too bad the Goth crowd doesn't feel welcome here, if they did the city might could capitalize on it.

Seriously though, rather than just complain I've worked out a plan while Mayor Vaughan and the City Council have failed to do so. I e-mailed my plan to Mayor Vaughan and all 8 members of City Council but to date have gotten no reply. I guess they really just don't give a damn.

Merry Christmas from the City of Greensboro...

Update: Janurary 12, 2015 Our first for the New Year, as reported by News & Record reporter, Joe Killian, UNCG makes prestigious list...of students looking for Sugar Daddies, Mommas:

"According to, UNCG is #36 on its annual list of "Fastest Growing Sugar Baby Schools."

The site matches people looking for a...ahem, "mutually beneficial arrangement."

Seeking Arrangement CEO Brandon Wade, who financed his MIT education through loans, thinks the site's growth on college campuses is down to students looking for creative ways to pay for college in a challenging environment.

“While other countries seek to create opportunity and provide a better start for students by abolishing tuition fees or at least lowering them to reasonable amounts, Congress continues to ignore the problem,” Wade said in a Monday press release. “The average debt is more than what most of these new graduates will make in a year.” 

That's right, what has long been Greensboro's most prestigious university is now home to high dollar hookers made possible in no small part with the help of UNCG Chancelor Linda Brady whose wild voyages into speculative real-estate ventures have pushed skyrocketing college costs through the stratosphere.

Update: February 3, 2015, Greensboro ranked one of the most dangerous cities in the nation. 

Update: May 4, 2015 Guilford County Worst Place To Grow Up. 

Update: September 2, 2015, Greensboro Top 10 Tourist Hating City

Update: October 24, 2015, According to the New York Times Greensboro Police Discriminate Against Minorities.  

Update: January 16, 2016, Coming soon to the New York Times, Greensboro Not Ranked For Future

Update: January 26, 2016,  Another List And Greensboro Ain't On It

Update: January 27, 2016,  Cities with jobs at risk from robots/automation = Greensboro Number Three

Update: February 10, 2016: WXII 12 says Greensboro is the 7th worst city for dating. 

Update: Febuary 15, 2016, JoeyG reports Greensboro failed to make the list of the 10 smartest municipalities in North Carolina even though 2 Guilford County communities, Summerfield and Oak Ridge did make the list.

"A report in the Triad Business Journal indicates that Oak Ridge and Summerfield rank among the ten smartest municipalities in North Carolina.

Surprisingly, Greensboro is not found on the list.

This, on the surface, seems entirely unexpected. Over the last two decades, I have noted a heaping portion of liberal condescension emanating from Greensboro. The Big Message has been that our "enlightened" city is much more cosmopolitan, much more wise, much more advanced than its smaller town counterparts. (Part of the reason, of course, is that we are bigger, and much more diverse and multicultural.)
But it all turns out not to be true."

Our thanks to JoeyG for pointing this out, we'll be sure to use it in the future.

Update: March 10, 2016, Roch Smith jr and point us to.

" GUILFORD COUNTY — A newly released report from the Guilford County health department says that the rate of sexually transmitted infections in the county are not only some of the highest in the state, but in the nation as well. The two most common communicable diseases in Guilford County are chlamydia and gonorrhea."

Another one we plan to use in the future.

Update: March 31, 2016. From  Greensboro Don't Need No Stinkin' Migrants:

"But while much of North Carolina seems to be growing, Greensboro continues to buck the trends showing a Net Migration Increase of only only 35 people per 10,000, a Domestic Net Migration Rate of 9 people per 10,000, a Total Net Migration of 2,640 people and a Domestic Migration of 675 people from July 2014 until July 2015."

Sad, isn't it?

Update: April 3, 2016 Greensboro 2044 of 2570 Cities In Money Management