Monday, October 22, 2012

Keeping it Local- Solutions? to a Giant Problem

Civic Pride gets pulled through a machine in Alabama Getaway. The answers or questions Allen Tullos raises put me more in Belfast Northern Ireland in 2002 than in the South. By questioning putting efforts into education over jails and other blights in society I kept seeing why I was in Northern Ireland. My father worked for Allstate Insurance for most of his life and was sent as a consultant to Northern Ireland for half a year or so in 2002, after a delay due to the terrorist attacks and travel logistics post September 11, 2001. Allstate’s company line was that because of the tech and dot com boom, “they just couldn’t find enough programmers” but the reality was that Allstate Insurance like all American companies was outsourcing. The company set up in Belfast was called Northbrook Technologies Northern Ireland and within three years was one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland, eventually taking on other projects beyond the Allstate workload and demand. NTNI was seen as a stop gap to keep the best and brightest in Northern Ireland in Northern Ireland as many would go off to University and stay in London or find other lucrative jobs elsewhere. The argument is that while preparing youth with a better education foundation, if one only invests in this, the bigger picture is missed. If we do a better job of educating youth in these poor states, what industry is here to keep them in the region? Allen Tullos seemed to criticize and suggest but the writing and theories went beyond a utopian ideals. The picture was as if all is broken and rusted and can’t be fixed but it should be fixed. Even with this feeling from the reading, I felt as if Tullos needed to talk to Gerry Adams and those involved in Sinn Féin politics as this book and much of Tullos’s arguments seem close together on the political wheel. The desire for better roads, education, and industry ideally can help improve quality of life for the people of a state and keep them there rather than the alternative of relocation, away from family and community. _______________________ _________________________________

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