Archive for April, 2008

h1

News search engines; transit and traffic too

April 10, 2008

Last night I decided to avoid Red Line delays by taking route 147 north instead.  Everything was pretty fine until we approached Loyola.  All traffic was diverted in both directions.  Cars were going west (to where?).  Buses were just sitting there.  Although there seems to be plenty of room to u-turn and reroute to Clark Street, apparently cta wasn’t able to do this. Or maybe Clark was too congested.

I got off the stopped bus, walked up to the blockage, the entire street was closed off with yellow tape, tho sidewalks were open.  No indication of what happened, so I went upstairs to the red line (which was performing its own delays, but restored service after a few minutes).  So why was the street blocked?

This afternoon I used news.google and news.yahoo to answer that question.  Searching for “sheridan” and “loyola”, google was unable to come up with anything relevant, while yahoo linked to four articles (well, actually four copies of two articles) which explained that pedestrian had been killed crossing the street.   (Even googling for the name of the victim yielded nothing.) Which doesn’t explain why buses could not have been allowed thru while the investigation was conducted.

h1

Update on Consumer Taxes

April 5, 2008

The Civic Federation has updated their compilation of Chicago consumer taxes, noted last year.  This includes the additional 1/4% RTA sales tax effective April 1, but not the Cook County sales tax increase going into effect later.

h1

Racism and land value taxation

April 5, 2008

Prosper Australia exec Gavin Putland has written an insightful analysis (“Still on the Mountaintop”) of how a policy of taxing productive activity almost guarantees, under American conditions, that blacks will suffer economic discrimination and be overrepresented among the poor and unemployed. The link is thru NAIRU, which requires a substantial level of unemployment in order to prevent ruinous inflation.

“full employment” means enough unemployment to cause enough wage restraint to give stable inflation. So we’re living in a system of enforced failure. A percentage of people have to be unemployed, and therefore, at the boundaries of unemployment, another percentage of people have to be underemployed or intermittently employed or precariously employed. In other words, the economy is being run in such a way that a certain percentage of people have to be losers.

He explains what seem logical reasons why Africian Americans, rather than other minorities or the entire labour force, bear this burden. The solution is to tax “land-like assets” instead of “house-like assets” and the work that goes to produce them, resulting in increased employment opportunities with less inflation, among other benefits. The piece includes detailed explanation of why even landowners will be better off under this reform.

Even experienced Georgists will benefit from reading Putland’s accessible explanation.