Archive for March, 2009

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What Crash? Cab Medallions STILL rising

March 16, 2009

Not as fast as previously, but the latest report on Chicago taxi medallions, from Chicago Dispatcher’s March issue, calculates a median price of $158,000.  This compares to $155,000 two months earlier.  Given the declines in the price of most other privileges over the last several months, this is a surprise, but perhaps the medallion market is slow to react.  Or perhaps there are other factors which improve medallion owners’ incomes in an economic recession?

This issue features the headline “Medallions in Jeopardy,” which had me hoping that perhaps this major obstacle to self-employment would be abolished.  But no, the article is about a particular case, where City administrators decided to punish the heirs of a deceased medallion owner, for whatever reason, by revoking the medallion on a technicality.  Chicago Dispatcher’s publisher, George Lutfallah, who wrote the article, evidently sees the medallions as assets for (some) existing cab drivers and others, rather than a barrier to non-owners struggling for a job.

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How much fraud is there?

March 11, 2009

We have an estimate!

Fraud typically gobbles up around 7% of all big contracts.

This is from Watchdog Over Stimulus Spending Toes a Delicate Line, by Neil King, Jr., WSJ 3/9/09. Altho no source is cited, the implication is that this came from Earl Devaney, who according to the article heads the federal Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board.

I guess that’s just fraud.  Waste and inefficiency are things entirely different.

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Yes, this is the taxpayer blog

March 1, 2009

New theme, “neat,” allows me to put up a custom image. But until I do, I’ve discovered, it doesn’t post the name of the blog. Yeah, this is still the taxpayer blog (tho the name will change too), and when I get around to it I’ll straighten this out.