Cleveland has been more or less controlled by Democrats and Democratic, liberal, progressive ideas for more than 100 years, starting with Mayor Tom L. Johnson. Those ideas have done nothing to save the shedding of more than half the city's population since 1950. I tried to build interest in libertarian ideas, but who am I, right? So, it's exciting that Drew Carey, one of Cleveland's most prominent favorite sons, who also left town for better opportunities, is the face of this Reason documentary. I don't think Cleveland would give it a serious look if it weren't Drew Carey.
On Monday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer put the series on the front page, above the fold. Here's an online version's highlights:
Cleveland's woes -- population loss, failing schools, lack of economic spark -- are no joke to comedian and native son Drew Carey, who advocates for less government, more competition and lower taxes to bring the city back.
Carey took time off from his gig as host of TV's "The Price Is Right" to help produce and star in a series of Web reports detailing Cleveland's woes and a number of proposed fixes that will be launched next week on reason.tv, the Internet arm of the nonpartisan, libertarian-leaning Reason Foundation, on whose board Carey serves.
Carey established reason.tv three years ago and has developed a number of short Web documentaries to highlight government's heavy-handedness. Now, the lens turns to his hometown with a six-part series called "Reason Saves Cleveland." It comes on the heels of Cleveland's "most miserable city" ranking by Forbes.com.
The series, reported and produced by reason.tv's editor Nick Gillespie, explores problems in Cleveland and other rust belt cities and offers solutions using examples from other cities -- such as Houston -- that are enjoying success and population growth.
Bottom line? As the Web site's motto reads, "Free minds and free markets." In other words, move out of the way, government. In a town like Cleveland, with big government bureaucracies, cumbersome regulations and old-school unions, the series argues, it's no wonder times are so tough.
Now, will Cleveland listen? Hard to say, especially in light of repeating failing policy for 100+ years. When I lived there, I always found myself muttering, "What will it take?" Maybe this is the thing. I hope so.