Yes, Why Do We Keep Choosing Ineffective Urban Interventions?

From the article

Last week, the NAACP released a report with a blunt, but sadly accurate, title — Misplaced Priorities. I could not help but think about this title in terms of the House of Representatives’ proposed zeroing out of YouthBuild.YouthBuild has been rigorously evaluated and justifiably acclaimed for its success in turning around the lives of troubled youths, many court-involved, most of color, living in urban centers across the country.

All for $16,000 per youth — what we might call a bargain. Even before any cuts, almost 20,000 youths are turned away from YouthBuild each year because of lack of funding. If the House gets its way, YouthBuild programs across the country will be decimated. The result: more crime, more poverty, more joblessness, more substance abuse, more fractured families, less state revenue, more despair. Misplaced Priorities hardly captures the astonishing myopia of the House’s proposal. As Woody Guthrie once sang, “Some rob you with a sixgun, some with a fountain pen.”

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Emracing Rationing

While I settle in to married life, I’ll resume posting articles of an interesting nature (to me, at least).  Here’s one I just read today.

A NY Times article out today argues for the use of “rationing” in health care.  The author argues that any system we work in today already rations, purely on an “ability-to-pay” basis, and recommends re-evaluating whether that makes sense in a world of expensive treatments that may provide limited “value”.

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Jindal Be Bad (Why the Louisiana Gov is Wrong)

Expanding on my previous post, Sunday’s NY Times had an article about the reconstruction efforts in New Orleans and Louisiana in general and how the stimulus spent by the government to rebuild has had a major effect on the area, supporting jobs and demand.

Gov. Jindal, of course, trying to kowtow to an out-of-touch crowd trying to look after their own special interests, rejects any such help.

Nice to know the citizens of Louisiana are being served so well.

News Rutgers


Ok, I’ll bite.  What’s wrong with some of the earmarks in the spending bill?

For instance, there is $950,000 for the College Ave redesign in New Brunswick.  Why is that an issue?  Isn’t it the government’s job to spend money on certain public initiatives?

How would you have the government divy up the money that is spent?  Instead of politicians, would you have an unelected set of technocrats make the spending decisions deep in government agencies?  What should the policy be?


Being “Watched”

Good news if you’re on the T(housands) S(tanding) A(round) watch list – an appeals court ruled recently that you, in fact, can sue to have your name removed from the list.

The issue was decided entirely on procedural grounds, though, from the reading of this passage in the article:

Kozinski, joined by James Otero, found instead that the TSA’s no-fly and selectee lists were compiled and maintained by another agency — the Terrorist Screening Center — that wasn’t protected, so the challenge can proceed. Judge Randy Smith dissented, saying Congress clearly wanted to protect the TSA from such suits.

I imagine there will either be some quick administrative consolidation or another law passed to rectify this loophole, since, as the TSA points out, “court reviews would destroy the watch lists and lead to another hijacking like 9/11“.