Mark Dempsey: More compact development is roughly half as expensive to maintain as sprawl, so sprawl costs local governments dollars they might need for other services, and just from a financial standpoint, sprawl degrades the public realm.
Mark Dempsey: Even today, people can do amazing things in their service to … oh, the Oakland Raiders. Sure, that’s not the church-recognized God, but it has that quality of devotion the Great Observations require.
Mark Dempsey: Another signature distinction between Right and Left is the refusal by the Right to acknowledge how effective collective action can be. For the political right, all productive actions, all responsibilities, originate with the individual.
Mark Dempsey: America’s recent austerity is strictly optional. The U.S. has made money without limit to bail out banks and prosecute wars. Why not improve the infrastructure?
Mark Dempsey: Economic rent is money paid for no productive purpose, owed simply because of the rentier’s political influence or social status. Classical economics also decried rent as what kept an economy from being truly productive.
Mark Dempsey: The next time you hear a national politician say “Oh we can’t have [blank]” where blank is anything from free college tuition to single-payer healthcare, “because we’d have to raise taxes too much to afford it.” … you know they are not telling the truth. Taxes make the money valuable; they do not fund programs.
Mark Dempsey: Yet we’re only short of money when it comes to climate remedies, funding schools, or grandma’s pension. But government just spent trillions for banks and Middle East wars without a peep from the Fiscally Responsible people.
Mark Dempsey: American government has the legal right to create literally unlimited dollars, so it can never be insolvent. It will run out of dollars when the Bureau of Weights and Measures runs out of inches.
Mark Dempsey: One Modern Monetary Theory economist suggests sending each American household $50,000 to pay down debts, which would not only be cheaper than the $16-$29 trillion Wall Street bailout, it would bail out Main Street instead of the banks.
Worrying about government debt is like worrying about the monster under the bed. The issue isn’t debt, it’s power.
Mark Dempsey: Why does the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate sector, whose frauds caused the current economic meltdown, get trillions at the drop of a hat, and social safety net programs and revenue sharing with states, whose needs are far more modest, get the “one-finger salute”?
Mark Dempsey: American’s health is so bad that even pre-teens are at risk for type II diabetes in increasing numbers. Cancer, heart disease and obesity stalk the land.
Mark Dempsey: Besides the history of local development, recent lapses by our politicians, who regularly bow to speculation and greed, don’t exactly inspire confidence. Wall Street speculators absconded with 40% of the world’s wealth, and only Bernie Madoff is in jail.