Under the Hat: If You Think It's Bad Here - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Under the Hat: If You Think It's Bad Here

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This is one of those glass-half-full stories, yes there are reasons to complain about the state of things here in the northwest corner of good old P-A.

But if you think it's bad here, consider the fate of our friends at the state capitol.

Harrisburg has had one tough year.

There was all that flooding that moved 10,000 people out of their homes.

There is the unemployment rate that while not quite as high as Erie (due to a lot of white collar state jobs) is still well above the national average.

Now there is that most recognizable of public failures; the city itself has filed for bankruptcy.

Not that things are all that much better for the city's leading industry-state government.

The state cut two billion dollars out of the budget this year, and as we all know a billion here and a billion there can add up to real money.

The trickle down effect of that is fewer people from places like PennDOT or the Department of Revenue pulling out the plastic at the Harrisburg bars and restaurants.

If Erie catches cold when GE coughs, imagine what happens to Harrisburg when the state coffers start running dry.

As the "forgotten corner" of the state, Erie has long had a chip on its shoulder when it comes to Harrisburg; our lawmakers are further away and so travel more than any others.

Arguably Erie never really got a seat at the big boy table until Tom Ridge made it to the Mansion as the first governor from Erie after more than 200 years.

But don't be too quick to start the laughing and finger pointing from afar.

Having a state capitol in financial receivership does little to convince company executives to locate in Pennsylvania.

The on-going battles over how to tax any gas from Marcellus Shale also lends an unfavorable impression of a commonwealth unable to efficiently manage either its financial or natural resources.

Even if that perception isn't true in the big picture trust me the damage is being done.

We should remember as well that in these times all of our communities are only a bad break or two away, from finding ourselves where the citizens of Harrisburg find themselves now.

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