On Tuesday, November 7th the city of Myrtle Beach will vote.
Myrtle Beach currently adds approximately 500 new homes inside the city limits every year. Change is happening in communities like Market Common and Grande Dunes.
These new residents are entering into a story that has been ongoing since the 1670s. The story began with what became Horry County. More recently, it’s the story of Myrtle Beach and S.C. It is an ever changing and ongoing story riddled with high profile mis-steps and our struggle to overcome.
Much like arriving at a movie twenty minutes too late, our new neighbors are now trying to catch up. These residents are working to discover the back story on Myrtle Beach and how things came to be this way. While many of these new neighborhoods are located in a picturesque bubble, residents are increasingly becoming aware of the city’s high crime, heroin, political collusion, wealth disparity, and local government corruption.
Like a dysfunctional family, the tourism lobby has recently run ongoing direct mail campaigns of deception and misinformation to keep these new residents confused, in the dark, and guessing. These new arrivals from the North, however, are among our brightest and best.
Much like the slave houses that dotted the landscape that was once Brookgreen Plantation, and the Golden Leaf Tobacco empire that was Horry County in the 1970s,
the colluded empire of the tourism lobby will also soon realize its own demise. Its hidden interests have kept Myrtle Beach workers trapped in low wage industry jobs. Its self protecting interests have trapped out of state condo investors in over taxed investments. The blocking and tackling by elected officials for this industry ensures residents are trapped in a decaying downtown, with under appreciated commercial real estate and home values.
When the tourism lobby says it works for us, they literally mean a handful of less than 30 people and a few large corporations in media. When Mayor Rhodes says this is our city, he literally means it is his city to do as he pleases.
Perhaps not in this Tuesday’s election, perhaps not in the next few election cycles, but rest assured transformation will come.
Long standing elected city officials like Randal Wallace, Mike Lowder, and Mayor Rhodes can not keep this colluded institution afloat forever.
Like other past South Carolina institutions that worked for the interests of the few against the freedoms and the rights of the many, this institution too will soon fall.