The tale of Scranton’s Chamber of Commerce is one of not being much of a chamber of commerce. The people I have spoken to are quite adamant that the Scranton Chamber of Commerce does far more to harm Scranton than to help it.
Chamber of No Commerce
There is this recurring story we keep getting. It goes something like this: The Scranton Chamber of Commerce purposely keeps out good businesses because they do not want to disrupt the ways things are done in Scranton. How are things done in Scranton? You know the nepotism, malfeasance, and corruption, the way that’s done. But this may provoke the question, why would the Scranton Chamber of Commerce want to keep Scranton with low paying jobs? Well, let’s go back in history a bit. During the age of Rome, the Roman people were so technologically advanced that they could build pipes from a water source all the way to the city. Nevertheless, they did not utilize this ability as much as they should. The reason being is because it would create social disruption. The people in power have a stake in the people being deprived and did not want to upset this hierarchy. It is the same thing in Scranton. It is easier for the people in power in Scranton to stay in power if there are no outsiders to challenge their way of doing things. It is the old “We don’t take too kindly to outsiders” mantra. The creation of good jobs would potentially bring outsiders who will not stand for the “way things are done here” in Scranton.
Thus, the Scranton chamber of Commerce is in essence working to keep the Scranton people poor. Now, a smart person would realize that keeping the people poor is disadvantageous because it makes the area poor. The wealthiest cities, countries and nation, are that way because their citizens are wealthier. But the “powers that be” must have not know much about economics. They fail to realize that by keeping the city poor their tiny base of power will come crumbling because the city is unsustainable. With 400 million of debt to city owes, you cannot expect a city full of poor people to be able to pay that back. In addition, keeping Scrantonians poor may keep them from having time to protest and look into what the government is doing, but it also creates a situation where homes become blighted and property values drop. Again, this is not the smartest way to even rule a city. If you want to rule a city effectively, take some pointers from Dubai. There you have an actual monarchy who still manages to keep their citizens prosperous. Why? Because it makes the kingdom of Dubai even richer. As more people pour into Scranton, the Scranton government and “ole boys network of the incompetent” days are basically numbered. Of course, this is what they fear. So they want to keep the city as unattractive as possible. Thus, the Scranton Chamber of Commerce works more like a chamber of no commerce. And here we are over here thinking capitalism was about competition. Only losers fear competition!