Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Social Engineering, Crony Capitalism, Regionalism, Urbanism Are All Happening In Every State

By Kathleen Marquardt

Let’s look at Texas; these issues are not limited to Texas, but Texas’s population growth is higher than the U.S. as a whole and twice as fast sine the 1990s, so perhaps we can see some things better there.

A Deeper Look at the Phony “Texas Miracle”
“Moving a business to Texas also turns out to have tax consequences that are inconsistent with the conservative narrative of the Texas Miracle. Yes, some businesses manage to strike lucrative tax breaks in Texas. As part of an industrial policy that dares not speak its name, the state government, for example, maintains the Texas Enterprise Fund (known to some as a slush fund and to others as a “deal-closing” fund), which the governor uses to lure favored businesses with special subsidies and incentives. “But most Texas businesses, especially small ones, don’t get such treatment. Instead, they face total effective tax rates that are, by bottom-line measures, greater than those in even the People’s Republic of California.” [Read more]

Breaking News! January 23, 2017
“The people of Texas have a vital interest in water. Yet, the Texas Water Development Board is, in essence, holding a secret meeting—what they call a "unique opportunity" available only to their invited presenters and those who pay $525 to attend--to set their course on water allocation issues." [Read more]

Austin’s ‘complete streets’ policy a complete congestion nightmare
If Austin planners have their way, they’ll impose a California-style ‘complete streets’ congestion-inducing nightmare. Complete streets policies seek to elevate non-auto modes of travel by using already scarce road funds to construct bike, bus, and pedestrian facilities while reducing capacity and access for autos. Voters in San Francisco just passed Proposition A, a $500 million bond measure, last November to impose a variety of traffic calming measures, which actually do anything but calm traffic. Rather they induce traffic. The measure includes speed bumps, road diets, traffic circles, intersection islands, train upgrades, expanding bus stops, special boarding islands or ‘bulbs’ for buses (which undoubtedly take up road space needed for efficient auto travel), and transit-only lanes.  [Read more]

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