The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on October 23, 2011

  • Really glad to see a lot of push-back in the comments against Matthew Yglesias’s blanket rant against publicly- or city-owned parking garages. I think the argument is ignorant and completely ignores different realities, literally on the ground. I “liked” a number of the comments, including Jamie Rosenteel’s, MacK’s, Squalish’s, and openid7&’s.

    tags: parking atlantic_cities urban_amenities shopping downtown

  • Occupy Wall Street as start-up – neat!
    The bankers are essentially oligarchist socialist types these days, looking for handouts from the government. The protesters? They’ve got their wits, their sleeping bags, their energy, and their American dream.

    Where’s the better ROI?

    tags: tom_watson occupy_wall_street entrepreneurship

  • Fascinating analysis by complex systems theorists of what looks like a super-connected cluster or network of power: 147 corporate entities (mostly banks), connected to one another, and therefore a kind of global Achilles Heel (nexus of instability, versus stability). And also likely resistant to regulation or change…?
    So, the super-entity may not result from conspiracy. The real question, says the Zurich team, is whether it can exert concerted political power. Driffill feels 147 is too many to sustain collusion. Braha suspects they will compete in the market but act together on common interests. Resisting changes to the network structure may be one such common interest.

    tags: new_scientist banks corporations networks clustering capitalism

  • So true, about the corruption of the attitude of public service:
    Over the past dec­ade the city of San Jose had repeatedly caved to the demands of its public-safety unions. In practice this meant that when the police or fire department of any neighboring city struck a better deal for itself, it became a fresh argument for improving the pay of San Jose police and fire. The effect was to make the sweetest deal cut by public-safety workers with any city in Northern California the starting point for the next round of negotiations for every other city. The departments also used each other to score debating points. For instance, back in 2002, the San Jose police union cut a three-year deal that raised police officers’ pay by 18 percent over the contract. Soon afterward, the San Jose firefighters cut a better deal for themselves, including a pay raise of more than 23 percent. The police felt robbed and complained mightily until the city council crafted a deal that handed them 5 percent more premium pay in exchange for training to fight terrorists. “We got famous for our anti-terrorist-training pay,” explains one city official. Eventually the anti-terrorist-training premium pay stopped; the police just kept the extra pay, with benefits. “Our police and firefighters will earn more in retirement than they did when they were working,” says Reed. “There used to be an argument that you have to give us money or we can’t afford to live in the city. Now the more you pay them the less likely they are to live in the city, because they can afford to leave. It’s staggering. When did we go from giving people sick leave to letting them accumulate it and cash it in for hundreds of thousands of dollars when they are done working? There’s a corruption here. It’s not just a financial corruption. It’s a corruption of the attitude of public service.”

    tags: california michael_lewis vanity_fair municipal_funding municipal_government public_service debt

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: