Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, June 22, 2018

Notable Commentary

"Achieving a truly robust, accountable, pro-growth financial system will take more work, but it's off to a good start, especially with the regulatory off-ramp option that puts banks more on the hook for their own risks while allowing them to serve their communities' needs." -- John Allison and Lydia Mashburn, in "Restoring Accountability to the Business of Banking" at The Washington Times.

"The plain truth is the Palestinian movement never renounced its goal of overthrowing Israel (nor did it ever give a damn about the individual Palestinians it claimed to be avenging)." -- Elan Journo, in "It's Past Time to Bury the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process" at The Times of Israel.

"Immersed in the 'free speech' culture, I identified a remarkable trait in common among those I admired most: they had both passionate convictions, and a warm, patient, respectful regard for the process by which an individual must acquire meaningful convictions of his own." -- Lisa VanDamme, in "A Lesson for the Classroom from Advocates for Free Speech" at Medium.

Image via Pixabay.
"Let's seek out alternatives instead of sitting in the government-created gridlock of a centrally-planned and regulated transportation system." -- Gus Van Horn, in "Government Shouldn't Be Suing Waze, It Should Emulate It" at RealClear Markets.

"In the last decade India and China have loosened controls on their citizens and 60 million people have become productive enough to escape from extreme poverty." -- Bob Stubblefield, in "Letter: Best Aid Is Ideas, Not Money" at The Aiken Standard.

From the Mailbag

Regarding my latest column, reader R.B. writes:
What you say about public transit is right on and needs to be said. Reyner Banham makes some useful comments in his book about Los Angeles, where the Pacific Electric Railway became regulated and inefficient to the point that it could not change according to changing conditions of population and traffic and such. It was a vicious circle; as service deteriorated, there was demand for more roads which produced more grade crossings that caused further deterioration of service. Eventually, the freeways were built on the PE right of way, and now they are deteriorated and near worthless, so I am told, and there are new demands for the light rail that was ruined by government. I haven't been in LA since 1973, when I left a job at Occidental College. In my part of the world there was an extensive network of light rail lines that connected practically every town in Illinois and Indiana from the late 19th century until after WWII. The electric utility was built primarily to power those railways, a few remnants of which are still visible if you know what to look for. All gone, with some people plaintively demanding a revival, by government, of course. Meanwhile, government roads deteriorate and maintenance falls ever further behind as union labor becomes ever more expensive and less productive, and ever more money from gasoline taxes is diverted to ever more worthless political purposes that produce no transportation.

Your article also put me in mind of the private streets in St. Louis, in the area west of Forest Park. I learned about them from a native of St. Louis who is an architectural historian. Most neighborhoods of that quality have long since deteriorated, as has most of St. Louis except for the private streets. I attribute their good state of preservation entirely to the fact that they are privately owned, and they are fitted with barriers that slow traffic without blocking it entirely.
Others with an interest in the "private places" of St. Louis and other examples of privately-provided infrastructure can learn more here (and from sources noted within).

-- CAV

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