Columbus's Dirty Secret
Each year many, if not most of Columbus's 40 million visitors, are very impressed with how beautiful, vibrant and wealthy this entire Midwestern city appears to be.
Virtually every place that visitors see, from its modern fast-access airport to its clean postcard skyline, to the stunning OSU campus, to its mansion packed suburbs, plant the feeling that this city, unlike all other large Midwestern cities, is so prosperous, it is almost immune to economic downturns.
Even four of Ohio’s ten wealthiest towns, including #1 are Columbus suburbs.
However, due to natural and man-made boundaries*, Columbus has been able to concentrate and confine most of its economic destruction to just the smallest, very isolated Westside of the city. Because of this, visitors can move from one beautiful site to the next, and never know how close they actually are too horrible poverty and crime levels, and most of 1000 empty or wasted businesses.
Visitors, and also some if not many of today's city leaders have no clue that since the mid-70s recession, West Columbus has lost or is losing its 20 largest private employers. Today only one private Westside employer has over 1000 employees.
50,000 middle-class jobs and most of 1000 Westside businesses are gone. As the other three sides of Columbus, are growing like weeds, the Westside has yet stop collapsing from the Mid-70s Recession.
But what makes this most tragic, is this situation was caused in the mid 50's by local politicians who caused most of the large industrial sites, only on the Westside, invisible on Columbus spreadsheets, in a way that keep future well-meaning leaders from knowing many of these sites even exist.
This was not first-time, Columbus history is packed with political actions (or inactions) meant to keep the Westside from competing for "desirable" large developments, against the other 3 sides of town. Map Page exposes how and why