Common Sense For Belmar Liberty Begins At Home

October 27, 2011

Red Light Camera Corruption

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:18 pm

From a story in USA Today:

Local governments hungry for revenue are signing contracts with red-light camera companies that put profit over traffic safety, according to a new study by a national public interest advocacy group.

Some contracts restrict police from doing things like lengthening the yellow signal and leave taxpayers holding the bag if the contracts are terminated early, says the report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, the federation of state public interest research groups.

And:

The deals “sometimes prevent local governments from acting in the best interests of their citizens, especially when the terms of the deal prioritize delivering profits for the shareholders or owners of the private firm,” the report says. When local governments privatize traffic enforcement, they usually retain some role. Some contracts, though, limit government powers to set and enforce traffic regulations.

Yellow-light duration, for example, has long been a contentious point in the red-light camera debate.

Lengthening a yellow signal gives drivers more time to react to a signal change, thus reducing the number of red-light violations.

“However, some contracts potentially impose financial penalties on the city if traffic engineers extend the length of the yellow light at intersections, which would reduce the number of tickets the systems can issue,” the report says

Do you know who was the first institutional investor in American Traffic Solutions, whose worker is pictured in the story?  None other than the center of evil in the universe, Goldman Sachs.

Raise revenues and the public good be damned!

October 26, 2011

Think Ron Paul Doesn’t Care About The Poor?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:22 am

From an NPR story about Ron Paul’s medical career:

Eventually Paul got so busy he took on a partner. Jack Pruett, who was then fresh out of his obstetrics/gynecology residency, says when he first sat down in Paul’s office, he was told there were two stipulations he would have to agree to before joining the practice.

“He said, ‘No. 1 is we will not perform any abortions.’ And I said, ‘That’s fine; I can live with that. What’s No. 2?’ ” he remembers.

No. 2, says Pruett, was that the practice would not participate in any federal health programs, which meant, as Paul described it, “that we will see all Medicare and Medicaid patients free of charge, and they will be treated just like all of our other patients, but we’re not going to charge them and accept federal funds.”

Still in debt from his medical training, Pruett said that was a little harder for him to swallow. “But I liked Ron, so I decided that I would agree to that, too. And in all those 20 years, we never accepted one penny of federal money. We saw all those patients for free, delivered their babies free, did their surgeries free; whatever they needed we did, and we didn’t charge them.”

 

October 25, 2011

Bank CEO Doesn’t Get It

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:04 am

I have a very short lesson for Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf.  One minus one equals zero.

Quoted in a Bloomberg story about the government’s decision to allow underwater homeowners to refinance, he states:

 “This could really be helpful.  They’ll go out and spend and get this economy going again.”

The White House says the ability to (break their contract) and refinance will reduce their mortgage payments by as much $2500 a year.  But if underwater homeowners now will have an extra $2500 a year doesn’t that mean that someone else will have $2500 less a year?  In the next paragraph we find the answer.

“Following yesterday’s announcement, Fannie Mae’s 6 percent, 30-year fixed-rate bonds led declines, underperforming Treasuries by the most in 20 months.”

Don’t bond holders spend money?  Simply taking money from one group of Americans and giving it to another group of Americans does nothing for economic growth.  The only way that $2500 can produce economic growth is if someone saves it so it can be part of the capital that capitalism requires.  By converting it into investment capital it will lead to production, which is the only real way to grow an economy.  Only an economic ignorant would think that just handing it to someone so they can blow an extra $2500 a year on Chinese-made crap is good economic policy.  Unfortunately, all of the government and most of business and the media are populated by people who think this way.

 

October 23, 2011

Mean New Jersey

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:42 am

I don’t know if any of you have been out on the Parkway or Turnpike recently but if you have then you’ve been sternly warned multiple times that you are being watched and that you better pay your tolls or else!  I am lucky enough to make the hugely enjoyable drive to Newark three days a week.  Every couple of miles there’s an electronic sign conveying  this uplifting message.  It’s so nice to be reminded every few minutes that big brother is there watching, making sure that we never get any evil thoughts about trying to cheat him out of our money which is duly his of course.  Additionally there are lots of other signs warning us about red-light cameras and various speed enforcement methods including (black?) helicopters.  And wear your seat belt or brother will be very stern with you.  It’s so nice to be loved!

Have a nice day!

 

 

October 22, 2011

My Appearance In Wall

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:33 am

Nice story by Jamie Biesiada of The Coast Star, re-published with the permission of The Coast Star.

Schneck speaks about fair-school funding with Wall Committee

Libertarian assembly candidate requests adoption of resolution on funding formula

By Jamie Biesiada

WALL TOWNSHIP — David Schneck, a Belmar resident and Libertarian candidate for an assembly seat this November in District 30, approached the Wall Township Committee with a request for a resolution in support of the Fair School Funding plan during last week’s meeting.

“I think that the state is really mistreating the suburbs, particularly the smaller suburban towns,” Mr. Schneck said, adding he did not feel state representatives were doing much about the situation.

From unfunded mandates to affordable housing mandates, he said, towns are faced with increasing costs.

“Right now, the residents of the suburban towns are paying very high income tax, and none of that money — or, very, very little of it — comes back to the towns in the form of state aid,” Mr. Schneck said, calling the current formula for distributing state aid “distorted.”

As an example, he said, Wall residents paid $39.8 million in income taxes in 2009, and only received $1.9 million back in state aid.

He brought before the committee the Fair School Funding plan, created by Republican Sen. Mike Doherty.

If the proposal were to become law, it would take all receipts from state income tax and divide the total amount of income tax equally by the number of students in the state. Each town, he explained, would be sent that amount, multiplied by the number of students it holds.

“Now, if this plan was to become law, Wall Township would receive an additional $27,269,000 in state aid,” Mr. Schneck said.

A number of towns throughout the state — more than 20 — have passed a resolution in support of the plan, he said, which points out the “unconstitutionality of the current [state aid] formula.”

Mr. Schneck said the current formula is unconstitutional because decisions in funding are left to the legislature, not the Supreme Court. Additionally, he said, the constitution states income taxes are “for the benefit of all citizens equally.”

Instead, Mr. Schneck said, tax dollars from suburban towns are being used to pay for services in cities in New Jersey.

“I don’t think this should be allowed to be a permanent fact of life in New Jersey,” he said.

At the end of the meeting, Mayor Ann Marie Conte thanked Mr. Schneck for providing the township with a model ordinance and said it would be reviewed.

Nearby Belmar and Sea Girt have passed a resolution in support of the plan. For more information on Sen. Doherty’s Fair School Funding plan, visit www.fairschoolfunding.com.

Jamie Biesiada covers Wall Township for The Coast Star. She can be reached at jbiesiada@thecoaststar.com or 732-223-0076 Ext 20.

 

October 20, 2011

LWVNJ Questionnaire Responses

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:27 am

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey finally published the candidates’ responses to their questionnaire.  You can see it here.

I botched the last question, thinking those court cases were about affordable housing when they were about eminent domain.  Of course with the bursting of the real estate bubble, eminent domain is not really an issue nowadays but for the record eminent domain must never ever ever be used for private development.

With regard to the other nine questions I think my answers are refreshing much better than the others but you can decide that for yourself.

By the way:  Tracy, when you see David Rible tonight would you please take him to the side and give him a few pointers about English grammar and sentence structure?    

 

October 19, 2011

Heros For Paul, Bankers For Romney

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:22 pm

Top five sources of campaign contributions so far:

Ron Paul:

US Air Force…. $23,437
US Army…….. $23,053
US Navy…….. $16,973
Mason Capital Managemt. $14,000
Microsoft Corp…… $13,398

 

Mitt Romney:

Goldman Sachs….. $354,700
Credit Suisse Group $195,250
Morgan Stanley.. $185,800
HIG Capital…. $176,500
Barclays…….. $155,250

Contribute to the Ron Paul Money Bomb today!!

.

October 17, 2011

Breaking News! Media Ignores Ron Paul!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:59 am

From The State Column:

According to a recent study by the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Texas Congressman Ron Paul has been allotted less time than the other GOP candidates at the last three GOP debates. A total of 18 minutes and 47 seconds has been allotted to Paul in the last three GOP debates. Of the three debates, Paul was allotted the least amount of time at the Fox News-Google debate in September.

Even with less time to speak than the other candidates, Paul is doing well in the polls. Paul finished third in the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll of likely Republican voters. In the poll, conducted between October 6 and 10, Paul earned 13 percent of the votes. Despite 34 minutes and 12 seconds of allotted time at the last three GOP debates, Texas Governor Rick Perry is falling in the polls. In this poll, Perry earned fourth place with 10 percent

October 16, 2011

Minimum Wage Law, Minimal Service

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:34 pm

One of New Jersey’s various quirks (such as having some of the highest property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, auto insurance rates, debt per-capita,  least amount of freedom, etc, etc) is featured on the front page of the Asbury Park Press @Issue section today.  It is the fact that New Jersey is one of only two states that prohibit self-service at filling stations.  (I wonder whether after they force us to all drive electric vehicles, they will prohibit plugging in our own cars, and instead force us all to hire someone to do it.)

It’s a pretty good article except that the writer misses a crucial point, that is, the reason why we need to have a law if we don’t want to pump our own gas.  Let me try to put this as elegantly as I can:

IT’S THE MINIMUM WAGE LAW, STUPID!

.

The author, Jim Namiotka, writes:

New Jersey drivers have a good thing going, and they know it. And they’re not letting go without a fight.

But I believe that, deep down, where reason and rational thought lurk, the citizens of New Jersey also know that their law against self-serve gas is a luxury, not a necessity, that it’s un-American and fundamentally wrong. And they know that their hold on what might be one of the last few trappings of living in the Garden State is thin as a spider’s thread, so fragile that even a whisper about ending the self-serve ban could blow it all away.

And that’s why the reactions are so strong should anyone suggest there might be another way. People are convinced that, should self-serve be legalized for those who want it, the dam will break.

Gas stations would fire the state’s 20,000 gas attendants the next day without lowering prices accordingly. Drivers would be doubly screwed.

It defies logic.

He’s flat wrong.  The gas stations absolutely will fire all 20,000 attendants.

Since the TSA converted all our airports into domestic versions of Abu Ghraib, my vacations have all been driving vacations.  I have purchased gas scores of times in dozens of different states and have not been to one out-of-state gas station that had full-service available.  This is because although many people, myself included, don’t want to pump their own gas, it’s just too expensive to provide that service.  We don’t pay a little more for full service.  Because of minimum wage, and the additional taxes and costs that government adds to employers, we pay a lot more.  So much more that in states where full-service isn’t required, the market won’t provide it, even if many want it.

The minimum wage law doesn’t only hurt motorists who don’t wish to be their own gas pump jockeys.  The most serious harm is done to young people with minimal skills and no work history.  These people, who are just trying to get their foot in the door of the labor market, are effectively shut out.  If they are not yet worth the ten or so dollars an hour it actually costs to employ them, they never get the chance to acquire the skills and work history that will someday make them more productive and thus employable at higher pay.

It also harms adults, who either because of a mental disability, or maybe a criminal record, are priced out of gainful employment.

It’s not just service station attendants that we now have to do without.  The minimum wage laws have put a stop to many conveniences we once enjoyed, such as having an usher guide us to our seat at the theater, or a grocery clerk bring our bags to our car. 

The minimum wage laws are bad because they interfere with the right of contract that all Americans are supposed to enjoy.  But as in the cases I’ve pointed to, and many others, they also make our lives harder than they need to be.

 By the way, I  like full service because:

A) I don’t like standing in the rain and holding the nozzle the entire time, since all self-service pump nozzles have the click-stops removed.

B) You can’t pay cash without making two trips into the store; one to leave enough money to cover your purchase, then back again to get your change.

C) If you do attempt to charge it, half the time you do something wrong, or the machine doesn’t work correctly and you have to go inside anyway (and wait on line behind all the lottery ticket buyers.)

D) God only knows what kind of diseases are residing on those nozzle handles, some of which are held by hundreds of different people every day, many of whom may not have the best personal hygiene practices, if you catch my drift.

 

October 14, 2011

Prescription For National Suicide

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:16 pm

Pat Buchanan in “Suicide of a Superpower“:

“We have accepted today the existence in perpetuity of a permanent underclass of scores of millions who cannot cope and must be carried by society -- fed, clothed, housed, tutored, medicated at taxpayer’s expense their entire lives. We have a dependent nation the size of Spain in our independent America. We have a new division in our country, those who pay a double or triple fare, and those who ride forever free.”

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress