Boosters like to sell downtown revitalization as crucial to a region's economic interest -- but for most cities, that's rarely the case.
In his final column for a Phoenix paper, Tom Gibbons writes:
"The two occupations with the biggest boosters for subsidizing back-to-the-future downtown revitalization are university faculty and business journalists.
Then there's me. Despite having taught college classes and, for the past five years, toiling as business editor here, I just haven't gotten with the program."
"I have nothing against downtowns, or sports venues or arts centers or bio-tech. I think they add something to a city or a region. But let's not pretend that money we spend on these ventures will all come back to us with interest added. These subsidies are expenses, not investments. "