Daily Bread for 1.17.22: Which ‘Middle Time’ Proved True for Whitewater

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 27.  Sunrise is 7:20 AM and sunset 4:49 PM for 9h 28m 37s of daytime.  The moon is full with 99.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

 Whitewater’s Equal Opportunities Commission meets today at 5 PM

 On this day in 1945, Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg is taken into Soviet custody while in Hungary; he is never publicly seen again.

 In 2014, several years after the end of the Great Recession (2007-2009), Whitewater entered a middle time, a period between an older way of life and a newer one:

We may say that the beginning or opening is now over, as social media have pushed Whitewater from her former oligopoly of published information.  A fawning professional press that coddled the mediocre and dishonest no longer counts for much; there are dozens of media by which information in small towns may circulate.

The creation of a status-quo news website in Whitewater has been a mixed success. It offers much in the way of local, apolitical announcements, but any pretensions to political influence are undercut by substandard composition and an often poor level of analysis.  (All the silent editors in the world are still not enough.)

In this middle time, one can expect two things.

First, those few who have worked so hard, for so long, to assure that Whitewater will operate under business as usual likely believe that they can navigate a partly-changed terrain.  They’ve never wanted open government, transparent deals, market transactions, or even-handed enforcement and administration.

They will never want these things, and they will not relent from pushing their own selfish & reactionary positions.

Second, they’re mistaken to think that Whitewater has changed somewhat, but will change no more. The greatest changes are yet ahead, dwarfing those we’ve yet seen.  

As it turned out, Whitewater’s transition proved only limited and partial. By 2016, it was evident that while one future offered a more prosperous city, there was another possibility:

A fair estimate was, and is, that this middle time will last for years.

But now one can offer a guess about two courses that this middle time may take, on the way to a more prosperous future: we may see limited growth until significant internal change, or we may see stagnation (and thus relative decline) until external change through something like gentrification.

On the end of either path we’ll be better off economically, but for longtime residents the futures will prove different: in the former current residents will be (or at least could be) significant players; in the latter they’ll have limited influence (as ‘something like gentrification’ is very much an outside force).

The latter also involves a decline in asset values before a rebound, so it necessarily involves a less desirable path to a future prosperity.

Doing what we have been doing, under this assessment, assures only a harder time until a better time.

One other point seems clear to me: government intervention to produce positive economic results seems more difficult than ever. A better local economy requires gathering demand, and we’ve seen demand shift outward from the city, not inward.

Whitewater didn’t move far enough and fast enough from her former model of boosterism, and she’s now enmired in   a much harder (and longer) time until a better time. Why Whitewater didn’t move farther and faster is a multi-chapter story; that she did not move toward prosperity for the majority of her residents is undeniable.

There are yet ways to shorten the length of Whitewater’s middle time of stagnation and disappointment, but not one of them involves replacing closed-government and boosterism with closed-government and positivity.

Herd of elk halts traffic for commuters in North Carolina:

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