I don’t live in Jackson, but neither do most of the folks on my Facebook feed. That didn’t stop them from ranting about the outcome of the Jackson mayoral primary. The Facebook equivalent of “run for your lives” filled my screen. Shocked posters declared the election had been rigged.
With only about 37,000 votes cast in a city with its set of demographics, I didn’t find the outcome hard to believe.
I don’t live in Jackson, so I hadn’t been paying much attention to the election and to the candidates, but now I was curious about this would-be mayor, Chokwe Lumumba. Living in the Jackson Metro area means I have a vested interest in the capital city. I want it to thrive. Its health affects each of the outlying communities.
Two items grabbed my attention. They were not rumors or innuendo. They were straight from Mr. Lumumba’s lips to my ears, via the internet.
Bert Case of WLBT-TV asked Lumumba how he would pay for the transformation of Jackson. His response was that he would receive loans from companies in the range of $300 to $400 million. I’ve never heard of a company loaning money to a city. Public companies, surely, would not do such a thing under the watchful eye of their shareholders. Private companies, surely, would have more sense.
Cities get funding from tax revenue, i.e. sales tax, property tax, license fees. They can also secure funding from higher-up government sources, i.e. the State of Mississippi, the federal government. Private grants may be awarded to cities for particular projects but not on the order of $300 to $400 million. What COULD he be talking about?
The second item to cross my screen came from a Jackson Free Press interview. The question was about his views on capitalism. His short reply was scathing. I know the system has its faults, but there was not ONE kind word for the economic system in which the City of Jackson must operate. And he wants to attract business back to Jackson?
As I read more about Mr. Lumumba, I learned about the Republic of New Africa and his plans to rewrite history, all the things that were lighting up my Facebook feed, exhorting us all to be afraid, be very afraid. Those things seem like side issues when I contemplate my two items, because it appears that the citizens of Jackson have just elected a mayor who hasn’t a clue how to run any city, much less one that is the capitol of this state.
I hope I’m wrong. Because I don’t live in Jackson, it’s not up to me. My only option is to stand and wait and wish Mr. Lumumba well. But I’m afraid.
» Nancy Lottridge Anderson, Ph.D., CFA, is president of New Perspectives Inc. in Ridgeland — (601) 991-3158. She is also an assistant professor of finance at Mississippi College. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and her website is www.newper.com.