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June 02, 2005

Just call me Dr. Pangloss

Remember your Voltaire?

More specifically, Dr. Pangloss from Candide?

Dr. Pangloss is the guy who, whatever the trials and tribulations of life, forever saw himself as inhabiting "the best of all possible worlds."

Today, in the wake of the Davenport city council's hasty approval of the deal with the Isle of Capri to remake the riverfront, I'm taking the Panglossian view, just as seven of the 10 alderpeople did.

What could possibly be better than a 10-story hotel built in a floodplain that is otherwise being cleared of long-time businesses?

What could possibly be better than giving a casino $7 million in property taxes that otherwise would flow into the city's general fund?

What could possibly be better than giving a casino $5.1 million in gambling taxes that otherwise would support social service agencies, schools and other community causes?

What could possibly be better than putting some $3 million of city income at risk by agreeing to re-negotiate a parking ramp lease 12 years short of its stated life span?

What could possibly be better than accepting responsibility for an old and failing hotel?

What could possibly be better than any of these things? Nothing, of course. Not in this best of all possible worlds.

Posted by jcb at June 2, 2005 12:41 PM

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