John Locke Update / Research Newsletter

Streetcars in Charlotte and other news

posted on in Local Government

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Charlotte is responding to the latest transit fad by installing streetcars. The city council will spend $12 million in local taxpayer money to obtain $25 million in federal taxpayer money to build a 19th-century technology that will not put a dent in Charlotte’s traffic congestion problem. I don’t have to tell Charlotte’s frustrated commuters that N.C. ranks 46th out of 50 states in "urban interstate congestion." They experience it every day. It is too bad that the city council wastes their taxes on frivolous transit fads.

In other news:

  • N.C. counties and cities may face health care cost increases similar to those seen in Arizona, where state and university employees and their families face cost increases as high as 37 percent due to ObamaCare.
  • Joel Kotkin writes about the decline of the once great state of California here. How did California move from prosperity to a basket case? Are there lessons for state and local-level leaders in North Carolina?

What went so wrong? The answer lies in a change in the nature of progressive politics in California. During the second half of the twentieth century, the state shifted from an older progressivism, which emphasized infrastructure investment and business growth, to a newer version, which views the private sector much the way the Huns viewed a city — as something to be sacked and plundered. The result is two separate California realities: a lucrative one for the wealthy and for government workers, who are largely insulated from economic decline; and a grim one for the private-sector middle and working classes, who are fleeing the state.

Michael Sanera is Director of Research and Local Government Studies at the John Locke Foundation. He served as a policy analyst for the Washington, DC based The Heritage Foundation, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the California based Claremont Institute. ...

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