Does government govern, or does it manage?

Several news articles contrasted each other in my local news paper, the Lowell Sun.

Less then four days ago, Lowell had Former Governor Michael Dukakis come to Lowell to praise its rebirth. It’s a short article calling for more state and federal funds, and noting Lowell’s high tax rate on business that needs to be lowered.  I can’t even fathom how much the government has spent on Lowell over the decades

On gangs… three days ago

An anti-gang and youth-violence prevention program popular with local police got a boost from House lawmakers yesterday who voted to increase funding for the Charles Shannon grants by $2 million, still short of what Gov. Deval Patrick had hoped to add to the program.

Lowell last year received more than $800,000 in Shannon Grant funding that went toward many programs run through the Police Department and the city’s Task Force on Gang Violence.

On local housing market… last week

“A recent report, Out of Reach 2007-2008, released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition in Washington, D.C., lists Lowell as the sixth-highest city in the nation in terms of housing wage. The housing wage for Lowell is $23.69 an hour. In other words, that is what a family must earn, working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, to be able to afford rent and utilities for a two-bedroom apartment in the private housing market. The national housing wage is $17.32. An estimated 57 percent of renters in Lowell do not earn enough to afford a two-bedroom unit at fair “

Government on all levels is spending so much envisioning changing its image with high-end condos, hip urban lifestyle, and the city’s rebirth, with this it is creating a problem of gentrification, the under/unemployed young adults and those struggling who do have work don’t need to be full-time managed as if they will be a constant problem but instead giving them opportunity to independently take care of themselves.

Is there a difference between anti-poverty programs and programs that simply manage the poor?

Are the policing of gangs really just managing the problem, rather then preventing and solving the desire of individuals to form gangs and commit criminal acts?

I’ll comment more on this… just thoughts flowing through my head.  

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