Some Common Cents for July 7th, 2017

I have recently written about the potential for some form of consolidated government in the Birmingham metropolitan area. For those not in the know, many, if not most, of our suburbs have incorporated themselves over the last 70+ years. The endgame has been a relatively diminished ‘center city’ surrounded by fully functioning municipalities with their own unique identities. Tens of thousands of people, if not hundreds of thousands, in the metro area might not even step foot anywhere in the City of Birmingham  in any given week, if not month, such is the fragmentation.

As a result, I would argue there really isn’t a strong unifying factor when it comes to the metropolitan area as a whole, as compared to some other cities. Essentially, what is it other than proximity which makes us “Birmingham”? What difference does the, say, ongoing revitalization of the Avondale neighborhood mean to someone from, say, Argo, Trafford, West Jefferson, Lipscomb, or even Hoover? I can’t answer this question, and that is big part of the problem with the ideal of a Greater Birmingham.

However, knowing, or admitting, there isn’t a definitive common community thread in our area is also the biggest argument in favor of creating one.

This week, I had a couple of conversations with various people about North Korea. To a person, they were scared about Pyongyang’s potential to upset the global economy, let alone rain down nuclear death & destruction with what one would assume to be its increased missile technology. Clearly, the Kim family is getting more ink in the US press than it has in some time.

But what is the real likelihood North Korea will start an unprovoked (depending on your definition of the word) war, nuclear or conventional, against South Korea and the United States? Also, what is the purpose of these displays of military strength? What is the definition of success here? …Read More…

The opinions expressed within this report are those of John Norris as of the initial publication of this blog. They are subject to change without notice, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oakworth Capital Bank, its directors, shareholders, and employees.