Jack Says “NO”
Here in Baltimore there is a car dealer that runs tons of ads on T.V. touting that regardless of a person’s credit, financial history, or any other factor he will find a way to make a deal. At the end of the commercial he usually finishes with “Jack says YES”. Well, here in Baltimore City, we have another Jack that says”NO”. Jack Young the mayor of Baltimore has decided to shut down all outdoor activities and large gatherings in Baltimore through the end of August. This would include the 4th of July fireworks display, concerts, and even Baltimore Oriole baseball. One radio announcer postulated that this was Jack’s way of committing political suicide as he figured that Jack didn’t really want to be mayor and this was his way of making certain he won’t get elected.
While I’m not certain that’s the case but could be more of an exercise of power, or perhaps he has talked to health authorities and actually believes this is the best course for Baltimore in dealing with the Coronavirus, but I wonder if Jack has really thought through the economic and social consequences of putting out a sign that basically says that Baltimore is ‘closed for business’ for the summer? Baltimore already has the stigma of high crime and poverty and by instituting a virtual shutdown of the city it leads further credence to any potential tourists to ‘Charm City’ to stay away.
Obviously this will have long lasting economic effects upon the city’s finances as Baltimore relies upon tourism to the Inner Harbor and other places to bring in needed revenue so how the city is going to replace the lost revenue is anyone’s guess as the city already suffers from high unemployment in many of Baltimore’s largely minority neighborhoods, and the continuing shutdown of most businesses will only exacerbate the problems. Less revenue and people employed does not make for a good outcome.
Driving around Baltimore yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice all the people out and about on the warm sunny day, and it makes me wonder what things are going to be like once those temperatures climb up in the 90’s and there’s nothing much for the people to do other than hang out with the city in virtual lockdown and no way to make money other than the obvious illegal activities. I did notice that the liquor stores were still open. I guess when it comes to certain ‘essential needs’ for the citizens of Baltimore, ‘Jack says YES’.