Why Only One New Nation in the Heart of Downtown?
A BEAST Reader Opinion

   

By Silvia Prudenceshire   

You know what? I don’t gamble, never cared for it. Gambling’s for suckers and I’m no sucker. No, not even the siren song of OTB or loose nickel slots have steered my mighty Land Rover onto the rocky crags. Good thing too; my insurance would never cover that. However, the thought of international travel, just down the road – what a rush! It’s like a foreign family moving in next door, and bringing their entire country with them. Imagine the culture, the cuisine! Should we bring them a welcome gift? But this time, ixnay on the allpoxsmay!

Now, I know a lot of people hoot n’ holler over this kind of thing. “It will decimate the tax base, local businesses will get hit the hardest, henny penny the sky is falling!” These are glass-half-empty kind of people. It’s not just about inexpensive alcohol and cigarettes, or the futilely slim chance of bettering your pathetic financial existence, but also the majesty and wonder of having an exotic culture at our door step; the maize, the lounge acts, the wampum, the Great Spirit and all of that. We’ll never have a drought problem again!

If only we had other nations buying up prime real estate – we are the City of Good Neighbors, after all – all of our problems could be solved. Outsourced Delphi jobs, eventual Ford Plant losses, the curious lack of locally ground rhinoceros horn? You bet! Not a Chinatown – China. Not a little Botswana – Botswana. Let’s sell parcels of land to every nation willing! We would be a shining beacon of globalization and free market enterprise. Let’s fill those old grain silos with adorable Indonesian children to sew our clothing, and assemble exotic tax free electronic goods. In turn, Buffalonians will find employment prodding the children into meeting their numbers, and guarding the high razor wire fences. And who do you think will get the contracts to build those fences? The smart money is on us.

Once we’ve created a local global microcosm (take that, Epcot Center!), with all of these various nations’ labor laws, or better yet lack thereof, there is no telling what we could accomplish! And by “we,” I of course mean them. We could tear down the skyway on the cheap using pipe bomb wielding Pakistani kids who get paid in chocolate; we could develop the waterfront on the sweaty backs of Honduran nationals; we could connect UB to the city via Malaysian rickshaws; we could start our own child sex industry—no more expensive trips to Thailand! 

Colonialism in reverse, introspective imperialism, call it what you will; the sky’s the limit. It would provide our depleted city with all the much needed revenue-generating tourism we could handle; from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maine, Kentucky – all over the country! Who wouldn’t hop at the chance to tour 50 exotic countries by bus in less than a day’s time – and still get to sleep in a good old American Hyatt at night?  You can bet I would.

I know what you glass-half-empty types are thinking: “What about all the foreign goods being sold with no benefit to Buffalo’s tax base; what will people do when they lose their job at the Ford plant to citizens of our new Chinese province?” Forget about the initial cash injection from land sales; think of the money to be made in parking tickets alone! It would put an end to outsourcing. Your job wouldn’t go to India, India would come to your job, and when India moves in on the corner of Broadway and Michigan, who’s going to have the good old fashioned American ingenuity to sell them henna and saris? The throat-singing Mongolians that will hopefully buy the Convention Center? I think not – they’re not even American. But they can harvest silk for pennies on the dollar.

If we play our cards right, this city could finally benefit from globalization – by bringing it just a little closer to home. We would be the North American hub of retail. And if all else fails; we could simply reacquire the land through deceit, downright theft and systematic genocide. Hey – it’s worked before. Let’s do it Buffalo!

 


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Last Issue: #91

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