A tale of two cities

Here’s an interesting story. A world-famous city, rich in culture and in wealth, has nevertheless some neighborhoods with undesirable inhabitants. Addicted to drugs or alcohol, mentally ill, sexually deviant in public ways, just generally offensive to good taste. The government seems neither able nor willing to deal with the problem so private citizens form self-help groups and begin discouraging the undesirables by various means. They do a pretty efficient job and before you know it the government is forming public-private partnerships and subsidizing the work of these groups. They move from strength to strength. Property values go up, business is good, they even manage to host the Olympic Games so that all the people of the world can see their stunning success. And then…

Der demolierte Dom, Potsdamer Platz, Potsdamer Brücke (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license)
Der demolierte Dom, Potsdamer Platz, Potsdamer Brücke (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license)
In May 1945 it all goes South. Let’s not let this kind of thing happen to Los Angeles, please?

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