Thursday, August 19, 2010

One Union to Rule Them All

Mish notes that the Federalies are looking to nationalize unions over governmental safety positions, further bankrupting states that were wise enough to avoid such a trap (i.e. very few):
The act would require all states to allow police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel to collectively bargain with taxpayers. If they don't create their own system, the federal government will impose one on them.

States, I believe, are fully within their rights to ignore such a law, or come up with some kabuki method to avoid it's impact, we'll see.

In relation to this someone in the comments referred to D.C. as 'Mordor on the Potomac', and I was amazed that I had to make up the pic below:


Please be kind, it took me all of 15 minutes!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Safety First

From here:
Police were on the lookout for a nude bicyclist yesterday in the area of James Day Park.
...
Although the man was not wearing any clothes, police said he did have a helmet on.

More Econ 101 for Reporters

Mark Gillispie over at The Plain Dealer writes:
big drop in water usage led to Cleveland's Division of Water collecting $18 million less in revenue last year than in 2008, a state audit shows.

That revenue loss, from $232 million to $214 million, occurred despite an increase in rates in 2009
This ranks right up there with the 'crime drops despite crowded prisons' bit that the New York Times runs once every couple of years. Now Mr. Gillispie, if you go to a grocery store and apples are $1 a pound, how many might you buy? If you go back a couple days later and they're $5 a pound would you buy more or fewer than you did earlier?

It's true that water is an essential purchase of sorts - people will have to buy a certain amount no matter what the price. However, there's also a level of discretion in it as well. At what price is not worth it to water your lawn any more? At what price is bottled water preferable? etc. I know at the current price level I'd be at about break even for installing rain water barrels to water the garden, so it stands to reason that if it the price of water increased then even more marginal water usage would be pushed off the water department's ledger.

I'd guess at that point the water department would increase rates again and again until Northeast Ohio turns to third world water usage patterns with everyone having their own water tank on top of their house.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Not Defending Us Here or There

The Federal government's abject refusal to control illegal immigration (indeed their active efforts to keep it from happening!) is disturbing enough, but one would think that if they're spending billions in war they would get their 'i's dotted and their 't's crossed. From Andy McCarthy:

Yesterday, after three months of delay, the State Department finally issued its congressionally mandated annual terrorism report. It shows that the United States has not even designated the Taliban as a terrorist organization — not in Afghanistan, not in Pakistan.
...
Yet, as you can see, the State Department does not list the Taliban organizations with which we are at war, even though it continues to list the Basques, the Tamil Tigers, Kahane Chai (an Israeli group that disbanded about 16 years ago), a renegade wing of the Irish Republican Army, and several other groups that have nothing to do with anti-American terrorism.

Just further proof that at every link in the chain our government is either passively or actively incompetent.