first_imgWHY WASHINGTON DC IS NOT AS LIVABLE AS PITTSBURGHBy Tom PurcellThe folks at WalletHub finally got it right.After using 50 key indicators of attractiveness to compare the 62 largest U.S. cities, you see, WalletHub’s analysts just reported that Pittsburgh, my home town, is the third best city to live in – whereas Washington, D.C., is 31st.Their findings fly in the face of a handful of other recent livability reports that placed Washington well ahead of “flyover” cities such as Pittsburgh.In February, for instance, U.S. News & World Report, which bills itself as the “global authority in rankings and consumer advice,” unveiled its “2017 100 Best Places to Live in the USA.” It ranked Washington near the top at No. 4, whereas Pittsburgh was at No. 58.What a load of bunk.It’s bunk because Washington isn’t a real city. It’s a giant, smog-filled metro parking lot of a region, propped up by an infusion of my hard-earned tax dollars and lobbying budgets, which fund D.C.’s chief industry: blather and B.S.You want a real city? Come to Pittsburgh, where real people work in real jobs. Through our brawn and sweat, Pittsburghers mined the coal that fueled this nation and forged the steel that built the country and was central to winning World War II.Pittsburgh, like dozens of other “flyover” cities,” is superior to Washington across multiple measures.Take the cost of living. As tax dollars and lobbyist money have flooded Washington, housing costs have soared. If you aren’t making boatloads off government contracts or lobbying dollars, you can’t afford to live there.But in Pittsburgh, where most people still earn money by working hard to produce something of tangible value, the cost of living is very manageable. You can pick up a nice three-bedroom ranch for under 200 grand – a house that would run you three times that cost in D.C.Sure, Pittsburgh’s property taxes are among the highest in the nation, relative to our housing values anyhow, but this is a good thing. Our high property taxes and sales tax keep vast amounts of cash within the local region, where it is squandered through patronage and inefficiency. I favor any process that wastes tax dollars at the local level, rather than federal level.Transportation is a lot more convenient in Pittsburgh. Sure, our roads are bad. In fact, some of our potholes are so large that, after thunderstorms, we’re forced to man them with lifeguards. But have you ever tried getting around in Washington? You can’t pick up a pint of milk at the convenience store without making a Mario Andretti foray onto a six-lane speedway.We’re told that Washington has lots of wonderful cultural institutions, and that is true. Washington offers the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian and many other wonderful places. It’s amazing what you can do with billions in donations from philanthropic organizations, as well as “donations” from hardworking taxpayers.In Pittsburgh, we created our cultural institutions the old-fashioned way. Our philanthropists built fortunes on the back of the working man, then used the money to fund wonderful hospitals, universities, the famous Carnegie library system, and lavish arts centers and clubs, so the elite would have places to go during happy hours.In any event, as WalletHub’s analysts compared affordability, economic conditions, education and health, safety, and quality of life among U.S. cities, it became clear that mid-sized Pittsburgh has charms that trump those available in D.C.It’s about time somebody finally got one of these annual best-places-to-live surveys right.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Players to decide on rainbow laces

first_imgThe Premier League has said it is up to “individual clubs and players” to decide whether to wear rainbow laces this weekend as part of a campaign against homophobia in football. Press Association The gay rights charity Stonewall has sent laces to all 92 professional clubs in England, plus the 42 in Scotland, asking players to wear the laces. The Right Behind Gay Footballers campaign has also been backed by a bookmakers but the Premier League said it was not consulted. center_img A Premier League spokesman said: “The underlying message behind this campaign is a good one, indeed we and our clubs have worked hard with government and other stakeholders to ensure the whole equalities agenda is something we fully are aware of and engaged in. “However, we were not consulted about this particular campaign. Had we been involved earlier in the process we could have worked with Stonewall to consider things like boot deals, the use of particular betting partners, and other issues. “It is up to individual clubs and players to decide whether they support this campaign. We have let Stonewall know that we would be happy to talk to them in the future to discuss ways in which we could work together.” There are no known openly gay footballers in the English and Scottish professional leagues. Former Leeds and United States winger Robbie Rogers retired in February, announcing his sexuality and claiming he could not have continued his career due to the “pack mentality” that changes the way footballers behave. He later reversed his decision to quit the game and signed for the LA Galaxy. Before Rogers’ revelation, only two high-profile footballers had publicly said they were gay. Former England Under-21 international Justin Fashanu was the first professional footballer in Britain to come out, in 1990, before he took his own life eight years later, aged 37. Swedish lower league player Anton Hysen – son of former Liverpool defender Glenn Hysen – also came out in an interview with a Swedish football magazine in 2011.0 last_img read more