Republican VP Mike Pence says “People in Scranton know different…” and they do!

During last night’s debate, Mike Pence, the Republican Vice president nominee, claimed that Scranton was an example of the lopsided prosperity that exists in America.  Indeed, while many Americans cities have benefited from the current economic playing field, there are plenty, such as Scranton, that has not enjoyed the same level of prosperity.

Left behind

America likes to focus on its successes and none of its failures. The truth is that America is not equally benefiting from the gains observed on Wall Street. If we are being honest, Scranton has been largely left in the shadow during America’s recovery from the last recession. In that time, Scranton went nearly insolvent and has subsequently sold off public assets to remain afloat. Taxes are mounting in the city and housing values continue to fall. Perhaps the most outrageous thing about this is the local government’s refusal to acknowledge its failed policies, inability to pay its debts and deplorable performance.

No Private Sector

Scranton does not have a strong private sector because the local government is far too large. The local government retains the same amount of personnel that it did when the population of Scranton was 150,000. Scranton’s now 76k population must fend off the specter of poverty to pay government jobs that are destine to vanish anyway due to Scranton increasingly vanishing tax base. No one wants to lose their jobs, but impoverishing your neighbor to keep a job is a lost for everyone.

While we are at it, why not less many of the most glaring problems:

  • 1/3 of the Scranton population lives in poverty (here)
  • Most of the lucrative jobs in the city have some affiliation to the government (here)
  • The Scranton government is tittering toward bankruptcy with over a 300 million dollars in debt (here)
  • There are hardly any jobs in the area that pay a living wage(here)
  • The Scranton government routinely attacks residents, so much so that they are now in court for such abuses(here)
  • The city is falling apart with blighted houses and boarded up business everywhere.(here, here)
  • Did I forget to mention that it is the unhappiest city in America?(here)
  • The local mall is a ghost town (here)
  • The local government spends upwards of 80% of the budget on government employee compensation.(here)
  • And they are planning to sell public assets in order to pocket to proceeds.(here)
  • The local government will use intimidation tactics to silence anyone who opposes the status quo.(here)
  • The current debt rating for Scranton is below Junk Status(here)
  • The fire fighters pension is only 17 percent funded, the non-uniformed fund is 23 percent funded and the police fund is at 29 percent. (here)
  • 50% of retired police officers and 56% of the firemen in Scranton are currently on disability and receiving disability payments. The highest rate in the entire state of Pennsylvania!(here)
  • Being on disability in Scranton does not disbar these people from getting jobs elsewhere. One source is quoted saying “There are actually some people in Scranton, some retired police officers who are now working as prison guards. “ (here)
  • But the police cars, fire engines, headquarters and government buildings are absolutely luxurious! In fact, government buildings account for the most tax-exempt property in the city(here)
  • Corruption runs deep in the area.(here)
  • Residents plead with the government to stop the tax increases and file for bankruptcy but the City refuses. (here)
  • It is not possible to tax your way out of this crisis by raising taxes but the City of Scranton tries anyway(here)
  • In the neighboring town Police cars, Fire Engines and Headquarters were purchased through private dollars and offered as “gifts”(here)
  • Eleven officers in Scranton earned six figure Salaries when most Scrantonians live in poverty and the city government is bankrupt!(here)
  • One in three children live in poverty in Scranton, Pennsylvania!(here)
  • The Scranton government permits the contamination of the city’s water(here)
  • Scranton has a lead problem worse than flints(here)
  • Police officers and Firemen make 100k when the median salary is 40k(here)
  • Scranton sold its sewer authority to a private company and intends to pocket the money(here)
  • Scranton “leased” its parking meters and public garage to dubious firms who intend to raise fees(here)
  • Scranton has a mercantile tax just to do business in Scranton(here)
  • Scranton has a Heroin problem (here)
  • Scranton gave away its public garage for a dollar (here)
  • Scranton refuses to go bankrupt despite having no money(here)
  • Scranton is in desperate need of federal investigation(here)
  • Scranton government is going to tax rain(here)
  • Scranton residents live in fear of Scranton government(here)
  • People who oppose the Scranton government die mysteriously(here)


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