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William Heasley
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"It is being advanced even though the city has been loathe to present and defend any data proving that parking revenues will cover the expense...". Yes and no. Economic impact studies, based on an econometric study, which are funded by the same author of the project (parking deck in this example), are the quintessential home of confirmation bias. It is few and far between where one would see an economic impact study, sponsored by the author of the project, stating: Oh no! Don't do it! Then again, in hindsight, the gazillion boondoggles imagined by politicos over the years and across the nation, that in the end lose money year after year at taxpayer expense, were in the main and upon normal occasion, accompanied by an economic impact study that painted the rosiest of pictures.
“The solution is always spending more taxpayer dollars.” Yes, but one needs to begin at the beginning and end at the end. To begin at the beginning the left hasn’t come up with a new idea in one hundred years. It is the same ideas over and over. As such, the ideas are based and measured upon their “virtue”, not their results. The results being abysmal, but remember, it is the virtue of the idea that is paramount. Returning to the middle, the solution to the virtuous idea(s) that produces no result is “…spending more taxpayer dollars.” A never ending parade of expensive virtue. Now the end. When the result is failure, with the yard stick being the virtue not the failure, the failure is then explained by an argument with no arguments: if only we had spent more taxpayer dollars success would have been achieved. [Yawn] To sum up: It will be different this time, like it wasn’t last time, nor will it be in the future.
Two prime points from two different authors might add some insight. How so? Combining points made by Milton Friedman’s 1955 essay “The Role of Government in Education” and Harold Demsetz book “From Economic Man to Economic System“. Friedman makes the point that bestowing funds on the institution [public schools] is an error and the funds should be bestowed upon the student-education-consumer. In this way the funds begin with the consumer (student). The student can then shop for his/her best education opportunity and if the current supplier doesn’t deliver, change education suppliers. As it stands now the funds are bestowed on the institution. The institution known as public schools is based on a collectivist model. As with all collectivist models (collective farming being the best known example) ever higher inputs are rewarded with ever lower outputs. In real dollars, US taxpayers are paying 300% more than in 1960 with stagnate or dropping output i.e. test scores/graduation rates/quality of education. Why? The standard answer is the collectivist models (always a failure) suffer from shirk. Collectivist models do in fact suffer from shirk but shirk in no way explains the entire phenomena of paying 300% more than in 1960 with stagnate or dropping output. Enter Harold Demsetz. Demsetz goes beyond shirk regarding collectivist models and exposes “power purveyors” of collectivist models. That is, the managers and administrators of collectivist models act as a spongy conduit claiming much of the increased funds that result in ever lower output of a collectivist model. Stated alternatively, a second phenomena occurs beyond shirk in a collectivist model. One ends the exercise with funds bestowed upon a collectivist model institution with ever increasing numbers of managers and administrators that increasing enhance their total compensation with the student-education-consumer being the last person in line receiving funding. Funding the education experience only occurs after funding the power purveyor.
Ah, but it isn’t happening as a “collapse“. Yep, no collapse. Ed you have another 1,000 years to build that seawall desperately needed. You forgot to read or report the entire article, Ed. “But the researchers said that even though such a rise could not be stopped, it is still several centuries off, and potentially up to 1,000 years away.” http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/12/the-guardians-suzanne-goldenberg-jumps-the-shark-again-gets-called-out-by-nyt/
Toggle Commented May 12, 2014 on Canute visits the Outer Banks at EdCone.com
1 reply
Most excellent post. Not only are “economic incentives” (taxpayer subsidies) a revolving door, it is a localized revolving door as well. Accomplished rent seeker enablers, such as Mr. Matheny, know the following proposition and play the voting public like a fiddle: [Paraphrasing] We would all like to see government spending go down as long as it is not the government spending that affects us. We would all like to see government deficits go down as long as increased taxes fall on someone else. Most people welcome more government spending on them, few welcome more taxes. - Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History, Milton Friedman
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Apr 12, 2014