• Fred

Very Nice

Updated: Oct 29

Last week, I alluded to the fact that billionaires don't move to Cleveland, they move AWAY from Cleveland. And I also implied that billionaires don't invest in Cleveland, but abandon Cleveland (with the exception of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert).



The above picture is the skyline of Cleveland, Ohio from 2005. With the exception of one large apartment building, the view of the city has remained virtually unchanged since the former BP Building opened in 1987.




The above picture is the skyline of Nur Sultan in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan declared independence after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. In 1997, the capital of Kazakhstan was moved from Almaty to Astana. The population of Astana then skyrocketed from about 300,000 to 1.1 million. In 2019 Astana changed their name to Nur Sultan.


In the same amount of time, the population of Cleveland fell from 500,000 to 375,000. Cleveland's population has been falling since it topped out just under 1 million in 1950.


What am I getting at? It was announced this week that the country of Kazakhstan was introducing a new tourism slogan "Very Nice" to encourage global travelers to visit the country (when Covid 19 is over.) The fictional character Borat used to say the same catchphrase and Kazakhstan was furious. Now they embrace their most famous (fictional) citizen and load the internet with pictures of their new capital. It does look very nice.


Now you're arguing that Nur Sultan is not a freedom loving city? I hate to tell you, but Cleveland, Ohio is the most dangerous city in Ohio and the 7th most dangerous city in the United States.


In the year 2025, when the pandemic is just a memory, where do you think more international money is going to be invested? A former Soviet City that is growing exponentially, or a crime riddled city in America which continues to shrink?

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