DESPITE ALL the verbal cheerleading about this city, the reality is that it will always be in decline because of a cultural legacy of neglect of its citizenry and parochialism, both of which have left Philadelphia with low human capital.

In other words, you are stuck with a disproportionate number of uneducated citizens, with much of the city's leadership included.

Administratively, Philly is more like Transylvania in its vampiric thirst for sucking money from its residents via fines, fees and taxes, promising in return only an eternal life of incompetence in the delivery of basic services.

A case in point is in front of my house, where sitting for several weeks is an abandoned automobile, despite repeated calls to the police and the department charged with moving these vehicles.

The other day, next to that abandoned car, sat my recycled and regular trash, in response to which the city issued not one but two citations within minutes.

Both tickets contained the same vague stamped explanation - the stamp used instead of handwriting obviously because the workers cannot write correctly and struggling to do so would slow the productivity of issuing citations.

You'd have to be catatonic to not know why people are leaving this city.

Len Trower