What They Want You to See
What They Don't Want you to See Behind the Green Curtain
For 500 years, Jamaica has been a byword for lush tropical
beauty, pristine beaches and the Parrot-Head lifestyle deluxe. Dozens of nonstop flights from North America
and Europe land daily to whisk away carefree tourists to fabulous resorts carefully
cut off from the everyday life of Jamaica. Therein lies the problem.
The Jamaica fantasy rarely references the elimination of the
Taino and Arawak people.
Council President Skariah Mayor Kramer
Millbourne Pennsylvania, is one of oursmaller but gutsier LVT towns.
It is strategically placed just outside Philadelphia city limits in Delaware County PA, along a vital road and commuter rail corridor. This article sets up a podcast (below) describing the town's struggles of being in the grips of one large vacant lot, an intransigent owner, and its hopes for the future.
It Used to be a Hilton
Hartford Connecticut while perhaps not the wealthiest
city in the US during the Gilded Age
, came close to the ideal of the
American City and the American Dream: a city where wealth was created, work was
plentiful, public amenities dotted the city landscape and optimism never ran
Now, in the year 2016, the Hartford paradox – one of thenation’s
surrounded by the nation’s wealthiest state – is flirting
. It limits the city’s ability to act independently to revive
As always, the answer is in the numbers...
It's nowadays accepted that beverages with added sugar are bad. New York City a few years ago had it's own psychodrama on Big Gulps and Frappuccinos, when the unlikely nanny state of Michael Bloomberg tried to impose a tax on sugary drinks as a public health measure.
It was eventually defeated in court, but the idea is still very popular by those who have no problem telling other people what to put into their mouths.
Certainly, soda probably not the best thing one could drink.
Homewood: A Storied History
In the middle of all the nonstop happy talk about the revitalizing urbanification of older Rust Belt cities likeBuffalo, Cleveland and our old friend Pittsburgh,
UrbanTools notes that the benefit falls on a very narrow slice of the body politic: the development "community" and other hustlers who ask that government pays for their slick new condos and apartments for transient Millennials. Meanwhile, all of these cities are losing population and unemployment rates are still high.
Philadelphia. A great city strategically placed on the East Coast halfway between New York City and Washington DC.
Yet, it's fiscal crisis has been a fact of life for decades, with no end in sight. Philadelphia is a great paradox, and explaining why takes patience and the willingness to question great assumptions.
Philadelphia. Of the 10 largest cities in the United States, it is the poorest. It has problems such as crumbling infrastructure, ballooning expenses, and struggling schools and neighborhoods.
In living memory, Connecticut was the Gold Standard for how
a state could be run for all the people from poor to middle class to wealthy. Starting in 1991 with the advent of state
income tax, and increased business taxation, Connecticut started a barely
noticeable decline that hasaccelerated dramatically
in recent years.
UrbanTools is pleased to see that the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) is recommending exploration of land value taxationfor
distressed and struggling communities
, the number of which are increasing
exponentially even after the supposed end of the Great Recession.
Revisiting the land value tax in Lancaster
For some years, the visionary Mayor ofLancaster
has worked tirelessly with his team to return one of the oldest and most distinguished of American cities to its rightful place as a muscular economic and cultural hub of Lancaster County and Amish country.
Mayor Rick Gray: I've got an Idea.
Mayor Gray has also been a firm advocate of land value tax, yet peculiar valuations imposed on the city by Lancaster County have been a political barrier.
Downtown Frederick Maryland: No More Lights Out?
has been around 30 years, covering that beautiful old city in Maryland and the surrounding countryside. Visitors and residents alike enjoy the travel tips, restaurant coverage, and its beautiful visual explorations to visit, live, and work.
The magazine also covers the not so pleasant realities that any city of any size must deal with. People may be surprised that such a lovely city near the center of national wealth in Washington DC also suffers from commercial and residential blight.
Doctor Herbert Barry, professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh, is always looking for a better way. Joining thinkers like Joseph Stiglitz and James Galbraith, here is a recent submission by Doctor Barry into the marketplace of ideas, from the Pittsburgh post-Gazette:
Friday, March 27, 2015
March 19 article described a proposal by Gov. Tom Wolf to increase
revenues for the Pennsylvania government to support early education (“Wolf:
Billions in Revenue From Proposed Sales Tax”).
On February 4, 2015 , just a few days into the Connecticut legislature's 2015 session, the Land Value Tax expansion bill was accepted for action and testimony by a unanimous bipartisan vote of the joint Planning and Development Committee voted in favor this time. This is particularly quick considering past practice.
Pennsylvania even after decades of heavy lifting by the taxpayers is still
lurching from crisis to crisis, with the root cause based in fiscal
uncertainty. Philadelphia and its nearly
insolvent school district still has not discovered a true “fit for purpose”
revenue source that will provided - at the very least - revenue stability. Poor, working and middle-class people pay a
larger share of their incomes on tax than in nearly any other American
city. Turning to those who can least
afford to pay ought to be the last choice, but ironically in Philadelphia it’s
nearly always the first choice.