Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hope for the Hopeless Case of Ashtabula

My last blog was a commentary about a beautiful, but hopeless place on the shores of Lake Erie, Ashtabula Ohio.

Is there any hope?

I've been reading about "The End of Poverty" which focuses on Africa and the problems that fester there. The parallel with Ashtabula seems to be quite obscure.

It is, I think, a question of capital, instead of a question of government. Since there is no monetary capital to be found, and precious few skills for technical assistence, I have decided to get to the heart of the matter. Big industry isn't coming back, there are only going to be small businesses, very small cottage industries, in the county.

Little cottage industries could make a big difference, if there was a market place. Yes, I know, sounds lame, but what else is Ebay for crying out loud? Hundreds of thousand of cottage industries that became the giant market place.

"Build it and they will come."

A farmer's market and a flea market would do a great deal to help the 'average' person get some extra cash in their pockets. If it was located close to the Geneva Line, there would be access to the tourist trade. That would open up some real opportunities.

There are craftsmen and artists hiding in the woodwork. A fleamarket would bring out the junk collectors from as far away as Eire and Cleveland.

There are plenty of farmers to fill the farmers' market. The Amish would certainly come to the farmers' market. Every little town in Kentucky has both a farmers market and a fleamarket. We have 3 in our area, one is a big one with frozen chicken and fresh cheese as well as all the normal veggies.

Of course, it will never happen. It is so much easier to whine 'the government should save us' then to pull yourself up by the bootstraps.

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