Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to my friend Kevin (his last name has been witheld to protect the innocent.) He's been lurking on our site for a while and is making his debut post today in reaction to my comments below regarding Atlanta, development, etc. Please welcome Kevin to the mix; he's sure to provide a different point of view on many topics. Let the debate begin!

Here's Kevin's post:

The overdevelopment of Atlanta and many other cities is a great example (and
product of) the downside of extreme wealth in this country and the focus on
money, money, money. I love making money...but at what expense? If
anything, we Americans know that there is COST FOR EVERYTHING!

All businesses begin by smart, hardworking people that take on an area that
they know something about and do it better and/or cheaper than everyone
else. But, as they accumulate wealth, it's quite natural to get more distant
from what got them there in the first place. The more distant...the more
soulless, imo. Suddenly, it's all about profits ONLY and there is no
cultural or personal return.

As they make more, they can venture into other businesses for profit only,
where they really have no experience, skills, or love of the concept. But
they do have money, so they can afford to make mistakes, burn bridges and
piss people off. None of this would ever work with a small business.

Years ago, people would work on the places they lived...the places they
walked by each day. These days, developers are so disconnected from the
area, that there is no real pride in the work and what their work does for
people, but instead a sole focus on money. How many developers do you think
live in the area that they developed? How many of these developers are even
based in Atlanta?? I bet very, very few. What do they care about the city?
As long as their execs can buy that Hummer they've been eyeing...

So, I know all you guys are very pro-big business. That's fine. But, we
reap what we sow, and we can't forget that. Atlanta is a great example of
how relatively few people made a ton of money while developing the hell out
of a city. Stand still too long and you'll have a billboard painted on your

I now live in Raleigh...a place where zoning has outlawed all billboards.
There are none in this city. And yet...all the businesses are still on a
level/equal playing field and the place is beautiful. Competition is just
as alive here, but without all the visual pollution. How is this zoning

Big biz is great, but don't any of you get frustrated with the many negative
products it puts out? I sure do. Are we all certain that our way is the
best way? We are the richest, aren't we? Is that better?

Brought down to a human level...I see a whole lot of corporate clowns every
day that are far richer than me...but, I wouldn't trade places with them for
anything. Ya' think there are countries out there that think that way about

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