Here's the news of the week:
- We strongly recommend listening to South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and his cold water shower on the seemingly universally-embraced notion of massive infrastructure spending about to happen by the Federal government.
- The impact of the current financial crisis is sure to impact some communities more dramatically than others.
- For a federal government that has historically bent over backwards in their disposition towards farmers, this proposal by the EPA "smells" like the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.
- Rhode Island is offering up an old idea turned new in order to find a way to pay for road maintenance. To quote from the article (emphasis added),
"The panel, Governor Carcieri's Blue Ribbon Panel for Transportation Funding, was formed because the lack of maintenance over the years has caught up with the system. More than half of the state's roads are in fair, poor or "failed" condition, according to the Department of Transportation, and 164 bridges of 772 are classified as structurally deficient."
It should be noted that, had a toll been in place from day one to cover the ongoing maintenance costs, not only would Rhode Island not be in this position, but they probably would have built a lot fewer roads (no thank you, earmarks) and not have such a deep hole to dig out of today.
- If North Dakotans needed more economic development, which they apparently do not, the brilliant and frugal Swiss have a tremendous idea for them. Should be a big hit across the political spectrum.
- Speaking of economic development, is this really the type of move we should be making in a down economy? I love the quote from the planner:
"This ordinance does not prohibit a bikini carwash operation,' he said. 'But what it does require is that the washing, drying, polishing go on out of the public view; basically, that you can't see it from the road."
- On a final note, for those disillusioned by the bailout of the investment banks, there is this article detailing the analysis of international investor Jim Rogers. The following quote is a teaser for those who have not already opted to read the entire article:
"What is outrageous economically and is outrageous morally is that normally in times like this, people who are competent and who saw it coming and who kept their powder dry go and take over the assets from the incompetent," he said. "What's happening this time is that the government is taking the assets from the competent people and giving them to the incompetent people and saying, now you can compete with the competent people. It is horrible economics."