In 2 old cities, the triumph of hope over experience

  “View of Springfield, Massachusetts, on the Connecticut River’’ (oil on canvas), circa 1840-45, by Thomas Chambers, as seen at the Springfield Metropolitan Museum of Art. .

“View of Springfield, Massachusetts, on the Connecticut River’’ (oil on canvas), circa 1840-45, by Thomas Chambers, as seen at the Springfield Metropolitan Museum of Art. .

From Robert Whitcomb’s “Digital Diary,’’ in GoLocal24.com

I wonder what lower-income people in Worcester think of U.S. Census data that show that the median income for Worcester households fell nearly 6 percent last year even as plans were being solidified by the city to spend a fortune to help build a baseball stadium for the bunch of very rich businessmen who own the Pawtucket Red Sox. Given the record of Minor and Major League stadiums built over the last couple of decades, it seems unlikely that the “Woosox’’ stadium will make things better for the city’s poorer residents.

Worcester’s unemployment rate is only about 5 percent but many of those jobs, as around America, pay poorly and/or are part-time. Indeed, the very low official U.S. unemployment rate masks the fact that many people have dropped out of the workforce because of low wages that don’t keep up with inflation.

A large factory being built in the city would be far better news than a facility, like a baseball stadium, employing only a couple of dozen full-time jobs, if that. Hard to believe now that the city was once sort of the Pittsburgh of New England!

In other parts of the bread-and-circuses industry, we have the newly opened MGM casino in Springfield, Mass. Despite the hoopla, this facility, which will drain money from the region to send to investors, isn’t doing that well.

Consider that the slot-machine take at this full-service (table games, slots and “resort hotel”) scam is about the same as at the much less promoted and all-slots Plainridge Park, in Plainville. Will the commonwealth encourage more cannibalization of this sector by permitting yet another casino to open?