Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm not buying this CBA stuff. Better to Lay the Shovel Down.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Kevin Acklin: CBA Remarks Before City Council from Acklin for Pittsburgh on Vimeo.

Here are some of my thoughts, from Facebook and Twitter.

Pittsburgh's future has certain keys to its long-term wellness. Our public life needs to change. We must begin to Lay the Shovel Down. Change, of course. I'm for change. But, how that change unfolds is an important conversation.

I think the mayor candidate needs to think again about being a leader of free people. People of Pittsburgh do not want to choose between a devil we know and one we don't. We'll stick with the one we already know and understand by now. We'll avoid the backlashings.

Likewise Pittsburgh's citizens do not want to choose between two different flavors of dictators, as was the case in Poland in World War II. Hitler was to the west and Stalin was to the east. Having no reasonable option means people will sit it out and, if possible, vote with their feet.

At the hearing today in City Council for CBAs (Community Benefits Agreemets) remember that it is always helps to advance your cause if you are eloquent, moving and inspiring, and in a big group, err, mob. These rules apply, most of all, when you are trying to spend other people's money.

At its root, a CBA is an agreement to take. It is with less force than taxes. But, it is another type of taxation. CBAs will and do offer pause for private investors.

The pragmatic solution to all CBS rests with politicians and accountability among voters. We need elected stewarts of the public purses to have the balls to say 'no.' I don't want anyone to give bribes with government funding, ever. If that is imposible, we'll then it needs to be where we head for the next five years. We need less. We need to nuke give-a-way avenues.

The real purpose of government is to insure freedom first.

As, or if, the City of Pittsburgh was to exit itself from all handouts of public funds to developers and sports teams, then city life would get much more simple on Grant Street.

I'd have a CBA litmus test. Kevin Acklin doesn't want one. He is WRONG. My litmus test is with a focus that no public money should be given to private developers. Then, with that policy, there is no need for CBAs.

"It's tremendously bad policy for mayor to just say categorically that [the Hill District agreement] was a one-shot deal," Kevin Acklin.

Pittsburgh needs to wake up to the concepts at hand that government can not create jobs. Well, to be fair, it can create jobs with patronage. But, it can't generate wealth and sustainable living. And, with the government jobs, we get deeper into debt with those pension funds. (see below) The city needs to stop with the building of subsidized office buildings, and subsidized sports stadiums too. But they worry that only people with subsidized housing can take the jobs in subsidized buildings. Golly. End the give-a-ways to the developers. End the churn for the builders by making sure that they pay for what they want without any of our public money.

If you want more proof (pun) that Pittsburgh politicians can't BRIBE businesses to move and stay in the city, consider Iron City Brewing. The water bill there was huge. Promises were obtained. But they went down the drain (another pun). Tough luck to Patrick Dowd. Iron City Brewing hurled on us despite a pledge to do otherwise, just as Lord & Taylor did, Lazarus, and the rest of the greedy ones that manage to take public money from more than willing politicians.

In similar news, Bill Peduto said, as quoted in the Philly paper, "We'll never dig ourselves out with the tools that we've been given," He is exactly right. But, how we go forward is where we part ways. I sing, "Lay the shovel down!" Peduto sings for better tools -- as he did with the arrival of not one but two sets of Overlords. He wants more government and bigger law books. I want a purpose for our government that insures personal liberty.

The long term fix isn't a crew of bulldozers to raze worn out houses in Hazelwood either. The fix is a return to the land value tax. Government needs to tax the land, and not the buildings. As it is now with our property taxes, those that let buildings go into disrepear are given a tax break with lower taxes. Meanwhile, those who are fixing up their homes are given a punishment with higher taxes. Gov needs to end the rewards to the owners of buildings who promote dump status. When the land value tax is embraced again, the dozers are going to be paid for by private owners.

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