Coming March 15-19: Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey, an original Reason.tv series featuring The Mistake on The Lake's most famous native.
The six-part series comes just as Cleveland has been dubbed "the most miserable city" in America by Forbes magazine.
Michael McIntyre at the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes:
Carey took time off from his gig as host of TV's "The Price Is Right" to help produce and star in a series of Web reports detailing Cleveland's woes and a number of proposed fixes that will be launched next week on reason.tv, the Internet arm of the nonpartisan, libertarian-leaning Reason Foundation, on whose board Carey serves.
Carey established reason.tv three years ago and has developed a number of short Web documentaries to highlight government's heavy-handedness. Now, the lens turns to his hometown with a six-part series called "Reason Saves Cleveland."...
Bottom line? As the Web site's motto reads, "Free minds and free markets." In other words, move out of the way, government. In a town like Cleveland, with big government bureaucracies, cumbersome regulations and old-school unions, the series argues, it's no wonder times are so tough.
The series includes segments suggesting ways to fix Cleveland schools.
"Your choice is, you know, go to a Catholic school or get the hell out of town and raise your kids somewhere else. That's not much of a choice at all," says Carey. He is also fearless in taking on teachers unions, saying, "Maybe hiring teachers just based on seniority isn't a good idea because just hanging around doesn't make you good."
Other segments recommend privatizing government services; simplifying zoning laws; cutting red tape; and ending reliance on big-ticket development projects such as the new medical mart/convention center.
"I didn't know Cleveland was such a bustling convention city. Take that, Vegas!" says Carey.
A chief goal should be to bring people back to the city.
"My only experience in running a city is SimCity, the computer game," Carey says in one of the episodes. "I know that when you raise taxes, all the Sims leave the city."
Awful schools. Fleeing population. Rising taxes. Abandoned buildings. Chronic unemployment. Corrupt politicians. Can Cleveland make a comeback (something its NFL franchise seems incapable of)?
Of course it can, but only if its elected officials, leading businessmen, and remaining residents stop what they've been doing for decades and borrow the best practices of thriving cities when it comes to reforming schools, creating a pro-business environment, encouraging development, and trimming government waste and overreach.
Featuring sitcom legend, Price Is Right host, and proud Clevelander Drew Carey, each 10-minute episode of Reason Saves Cleveland explains exactly how the city that gave birth to Standard Oil hit the skids—and how it can roar back to life in the 21st century.
Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie narrates and talks with educators, elected officials, businesspeople, policy experts, and residents from all walks of life in a documentary series that maps a route back to prosperity and growth not just for Cleveland but for all the other once-great American cities on Forbes' Most Miserable list (are you listening, Stockton...and Memphis...and Detroit...and Miami...and Buffalo...and St. Louis...and ...?).
Reason Saves Cleveland with Drew Carey is written and produced by Paul Feine; camera and editing by Roger Richards and Alex Manning.
For a full episode guide and release schedule, go here.
Click below to listen to Drew Carey reminisce about the good old days in Cleveland, when the Cuyahoga River caught fire and Johnny Carson used the city as an all-purpose punchline. And why Drew would film Price Is Right there in a heartbeat.