Wednesday, October 26, 2016
1. Obamacare explained in half a page:
The Affordable Candy Act is now on the books, guaranteeing free access for youth to candy stores at prices they can afford. The law defines the mix of 9,800 candies that stores must be willing to provide consumers, including fine Belgian chocolates. The cost would be restricted to 75% of the median teenage candy outlay before the Act. Any teenager can sign up for instant access. Stores will be allowed to enter the market and sign up Obamacandy customers.
After a year it turned out that most districts had no stores participating in Obamacandy. A few had a single provider of candy, charging 6 times what was allowed. The other stores refused to participate. The Act had ignored the actual cost of producing and procuring candies.
As Obamacandy is now about to be replaced with Hillarycandy, the problem will be resolved by subsidizing teenagers to sign up for it and subsidizing candy suppliers into joining as providers. So far, none have agreed.
TEN REASONS OBAMACARE WILL FAIL
The price-controls, shortages and reductions in quality headed our way.
3. The Tessellations: A story
By Steven Plaut
The crisis in New Cyprus actually began in the most seemingly innocuous of manners. New Cyprus was a typical city in the American heartland, consisting of four neighborhoods whose residents were predominantly black and Latino minority members, and 8 other neighborhoods whose residents were predominantly white.
One day in June a proposal was laid before the New Cyprus town council concerning the reconstruction of sidewalks in New Cyprus, where traditional city sidewalks made of asphalt or cement would be replaced by special artistic tessellated colored bricks laid down in a creative pattern. The project promised to turn New Cyprus into the very model of Midwestern aesthetic planning. Part of the costs for the project would come from local businesses, and some were matching federal funds.
The town council approved the proposal with enthusiasm. The only problem was that not all neighborhood sidewalks could be reconstructed at once. Initially funds were sufficient for three neighborhoods only, with the implementation in the other neighborhoods expected to be several years into the future. Being a liberal town in a "blue" state, it was decided to implement the first stage of the program in three out of the four minority neighborhoods, granting them priority for political reasons, and then the fourth minority neighborhood would be among those selected in the second phase 3 years hence.
And so was born the Rainbow Sidewalks project of New Cyprus. The sidewalks were a metaphor for the successful colorful integration of many ethnic strands in the city's heritage.
Three years after the initiation, the second phase began, with three more neighborhoods receiving the colored tessellations. That was followed by two more phases, so that eventually the entire city was treated to the sidewalk reconstruction. Planning and architecture students from all over came to view the project. It was the toast of the media.
All was not to remain so peaceful. Fifteen years after the initiation of the project, after the funds were spent, it was noticed that in the four minority neighborhoods, where the tessellated sidewalks had been constructed somewhat earlier, they were sorely in need of repair and partial rebuilding. In some cases the sidewalks in the minority areas were constructed 15 years before the newer ones in other parts of the city. And they were showing their age. Bricks were missing, some removed by vandals, others victims of tree root expansion and winter storms. They were uneven and some were covered with graffiti.
The gap in the state of maintenance of the tessellations between the white areas and minority neighborhoods became the focus of emotion. Some local leaders in the minority neighborhoods started to criticize the institutional racism that had created the problem. National news shows did specials on the infrastructure gap. It is only the tip of inequality in New Cyprus, opined many locals.
Over time tensions increased. One fall evening a black teenager breaking and entering a white home in New Cyprus was shot and killed by the property owner. Suddenly the years of harmony were forgotten. "Black Lives Matter" commuted in to hold rallies against the violent racism and discrimination in New Cyprus. Classes were suspended at the local State College campus, while classrooms were used to hold a teach-in denouncing the naked discrimination in the tessellated brick sidewalk policy in the city.
When a young hooligan was shot by local police officers while breaking into a store, violence erupted. Stores were looted. Police attacked.
And to draw special attention to the role of the tessellated brick sidewalks where the problems had begun, rioters made a point of vandalizing them, digging up the colored bricks to hurl at police and public service vehicles. The President sent in a fact-finding mission to prepare a report on racial tensions in New Cyprus. It spoke about years of discrimination in the provision of public services there. It called for a new dialogue of tolerance and rebuilding. Federal funds were pledged.
It was decided these would be first used to make infrastructure investments in minority neighborhoods.