IT’S CALLED THE FREE MARKET
I can't remember what led me to it, but I found to be worth reading a recent commentary pointing out some basic free market principles as applied to where houses get built and sold. Maybe people who want a house big enough for their family can’t afford to buy one close to where they work. Maybe they just prefer to have a house with more space around it and are willing to trade the benefit of that space for the detriment of having a longer commute. Whatever the reason, if there weren’t people who want to live in larger houses on larger lots away from the city, then such houses wouldn’t get built. No one is forcing people to buy those houses.
And while you are there, scroll down the page at the link to see some intriguing (at least to someone who is interested in real estate) pictures of a small town in Texas.
It’s slightly off topic for me, but I think it should be pointed out in case you didn’t know: Garry Kasparov’s trenchant commentary is worth your time, wherever you are on the political spectrum. The Wall Street Journal has from time to time published opinion pieces by Kasparov, the former Russian chess champion. Having read those items, I now make sure I read his writing wherever I see it. This week he has one on the Daily Beast (linked to today by Instapundit).
In my opinion, Kasparov’s background as both a product and a critic of the Soviet Union, and his obvious grasp of the way the world works, give him credibility. He’s not just a chess geek.
On the occasion of a visit by the Air Force Secretary, and probably as a prelude to the air show this weekend, the Arizona Daily Star has a long article today about the Base, including the lawsuit that I have been posting about.
Despite the considerable space in the article devoted to “opposition” to, and “controversy” about, things happening or proposed at the Base, I doubt that the opposition is more than a very small, albeit noisy (har!) minority.
WHAT, EXACTLY, ARE THE PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH?
I still don’t know much about the substantive law (if any) behind the lawsuit filed recently against the Air Force in federal court in Tucson. I posted about it a few weeks ago.
I did, however, find an item about it in the Air Force Times that includes a copy of the lawsuit. The Air Force Times item also says this:
Earlier media reports suggested the plaintiffs filed an injunction asking the Air Force to stop increasing aircraft sorties from the base altogether, but “we have not sought any kind of injunctive relief that would suspend the [Air Force’s] program,” Cardillo, who’s representing them on behalf of non-profit Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, said.
In other words, they really aren’t trying to immediately halt operations at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. They’re just trying to make the Air Force re-do an environmental analysis about a program that will temporarily increase the number of flights at the Base.
The lawsuit is founded on the claim that airport noise can detract from children’s mental development and education, and therefore the environmental review that was done in conjunction with a plan for more “visiting” aircraft to use the Base was inadequate.
I notice that according to the lawsuit, the three plaintiffs moved into their houses in 1987, 1997, and 2000. Johnny-come-latelys, all of them. They should’ve been around in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the aircraft using the Base were much louder than the aircraft using it today.
The complainers who came along in 1997 or later shouldn’t be able to say they weren’t warned that they were acquiring property in the vicinity of a military airport, since by then the state had a notification law in effect. And, as I have said on other occasions, even without the official notification, I think it would be pretty hard to be in the neighborhoods where the complainers live long enough to buy a house without noticing the airplanes flying overhead.
In honor of the day (yesterday), you can read one blogger's unorthodox take on a kids' cereal that I remember seeing, but I'm pretty sure I never ate.
I DON’T THINK THE GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO DO AWAY WITH THE $100 BILL ANYTIME SOON
I could be wrong, but despite a fair amount of discussion about it recently in some corners of the blogosphere, the people who are suggesting that the government should do away with the $100 are just a couple of non-authoritative policy gurus. The idea is being suggested as a means to fight crime, but to some commentators it sounds like a way to limit consumers’ ability to avoid the impact of negative interest rates on bank deposits (instead of the bank paying you interest for holding your money, you would be paying the bank), should that state of affairs come to pass.
And no, this really doesn’t have anything to do with the talk a few years ago about Tide being used as currency. That was definitely crime-related, i.e. the drug trade, because apparently in some places Tide is easy to steal and exchange for drugs. Although I suppose if the government really did eliminate cash, a barter system with commodities like Tide, so as to avoid confiscatory taxes, could be the result.
ANOTHER OPINION AGREEING WITH MINE THAT CHANGING THE RULES ON REPAYMENT OF PUERTO RICO’S BONDS WOULD BE BAD
On the Cato Institute blog, a writer makes the same point I did last week, then again earlier this week: changing the rules on payment priorities among Puerto Rico’s creditors, by taking away the priority that was promised to the holders of bonds, will make borrowing more expensive for other governments in the future, because the cost of such borrowing will have to factor in the added risk that the government will change the rules after the bonds are sold. That’s not how it is supposed to work.
THE INCOME TAX IS THE PRIMARY SOCIAL TOOL FOR ADDRESSING MATTERS OF ECONOMIC INEQUALITY?
I thought the purpose of the income tax was to fund the government. Apparently, I was wrong. Some guy at USC says the income tax is “the primary social tool for addressing matters of economic inequality.” If you say so, dude.
The same guy also says “[w]e are… ratcheting up taxes on labor….” Really? I hadn’t noticed that, either.
A guy from a school whose marching band essentially requires that its members be lobotomized (if you have ever attended a football game at which the USC band was present, you know what I mean) couldn’t possibly be wrong, could he?
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.