Since the city of Scranton is filled with poverty, as the number of drug-addled homeless that populate the town square and Steamtown mall can attest, it becomes reasonable to question what exactly is the plan to fix Scranton? To give a quick answer, let’s just say it involves a whole lot of welfare.
Scranton is a welfare state
To really appreciate what it means to be a welfare state, you need to understand the rampant poverty that is a fixture of Scranton. Roughly two-thirds of the population lives in poverty and the rest are working class. There are not many middle class opportunities in Scranton, hence the reason students flee from Scranton as soon as they graduate. The people who remain, some of which are business owners, have come to terms with the idea that Scranton is a wasteland and has dim prospects. So, like a spouse in a bad marriage, Scrantonians start trying to find the good that is in Scranton despite the overwhelming badness that surrounds the area. This results in a sort of complacency where the slightest “accomplishment” is trumpeted because many Scrantonians regard the corruption, high taxes, and lack of economic improvement as a way of life. Especially, when you compare Scranton to a nearby area like Clark Summit or Dickson City; the contrast is staggering! The government of Scranton is well aware that the city has no prospects except for one thing – government subsidies. Yes, the plan for Scranton is to have a population of people on government assistance, in one form or another, in order keep the city going.
What is SSI?
I never heard of SSI before I came to Scranton. Now, it is routine to hear about someone being on SSI. How is it that so many people in Scranton are “disabled”? Well, it is obvious that not all of these SSI recipients are disabled. The scheme works perfectly because it allows the city of Scranton to make money from the federal government through these SSI payments. I heard of one family making $3,500 a month – tax free – from SSI. Why would the Scranton government ever want to improve Scranton when they can keep the city on life support and make money through SSI? The only thing is to keep property owners from leaving. They can’t sell their homes because nobody wants them, so that take cares of that.
The next stage is to attempt to get some Federal grants. Of course, the Scranton government has already proved itself to be incapable of managing money as their budget can attest. Thus, the political machine in charge in Scranton gets to milk the federal government for more money and keep their scams going. In order words, Scranton is like a giant welfare queen. I have constantly advocated that Scranton rein in on spending, cut costs, and lower taxes, but this would never help the politically connected. Instead, it would be better for the politically connected to keep pushing the lie that Scranton is improving while milking the city with taxes, payouts to friendly contractors, and government employee compensation. What is amazing is that there has not been a full scale federal investigation for what is an obvious case of whole sale corruption. But of course, there is still time!