This, in other words, is the face of a decaying city. “If you go downtown, it’s a ghost town, except for zombies that are walking around pushing carts because they have nowhere else to go,” Rogers said. “There’s no signs of life, except for these junkies — they’re the only people that occupy it. There’s no real business being done in downtown anymore.”
The most tragic thing about Portland’s sorry fate is just how avoidable it was. The city’s decline is a policy decision — or more specifically, a series of policy decisions, leveled on the working and middle classes by powerful activist groups and feckless politicians insulated from the real-world consequences of their acquiescence.
Do read the whole thing. What impressed me the most was not the well written article, but my absolute lack of empathy for the inhabitants of the city. They should have recalled the whole Portland governance, but they just waited there expecting them to do what they could not do initially for political reasons and after because they simply did not have the balls to admit their screw ups and ask for help.
At least all the empty buildings downtown will probably become a nice refuge for the homeless and the druggies during this winter. And I would not be surprised if the local government confiscates the edifications just for that. Appeasement is easier than correcting.