Fog Lifts – 2017

Whitewater started the day with fog, but there has never been a place, anywhere or ever, in which the fog did not lift.

There’s reason for confidence that even befogged places see, in the course of events, clear skies.

I’d guess, though, that most policymakers in town (such as they are) don’t believe that policy follows underlying social forces or structural limits the way, for example, weather develops in accordance with natural forces (that people can explain and predict).

Just the opposite is probably true, actually: to listen to economic development officials at the Community Development Authority or in the city administration is to hear something closer to stream-of-consciousness fiction than social science, let alone meteorology.

In this sort of befogged environment, it makes sense that self-styled public relations men, incurious and servile reporters, avaricious big-business interests, mendacious officials, academics who distort data, administrators who discard individuals and individuals’ injuries for the sake of their own undeserved reputations, etc., would play an outsized role.

These few of overweening ambition and underwhelming results have one thing, at least, in common: they think that accomplishment – and even truth – is found simply in the declaring, in the insisting, of it.

The people of this beautiful city are far more capable, far more clear-sighted, than the town’s political leaders and economic policymakers.

Good policy, like meteorology, is more than hoping the day will be sunny; it requires understanding what makes a day cloudy or bright.

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