1 min read
Posted on 01.11.10
  • 1 min read
  • Posted on 01.11.10

More on today's Post-Dispatch editorial about the earnings tax:

The Post's central point is that people who live or work in the City of St. Louis unfairly shoulder the lion's share of the region's poverty and social challenges.

That is true. The City is home to almost all of the region's homeless services, even though roughly half of the people who are homeless come to the City somewhere else. The poverty and crime rates are higher in the City than in region. Average graduation rates and test scores are lower. Health outcomes are worse.

There is a consequence for this difference. Because the City spends so much of its budget on public safety, there is less for needed infrastructure, neighborhood improvement, and job creation.

It is certainly true that some of the historic factors for this situation were the City's fault. Setting its borders so that it could ever expand helped concentrate poverty in the City. However, many other factors were beyond our control.

Social justice and poverty should not ' and cannot — be the sole responsibility of people who choose to live and work in the City, or the inner part of St. Louis County. Leaving it that way is, as the Post argues, unfair ' and it is not going to work in the long-term.

It is time to start making the sorts of regional and statewide changes that will burnish St. Louis's image and increase our competitiveness.