Go to any Rust Belt city and you’ll find research campuses, innovation institutes and similar institutions named after hopeful politicians who promised that a new manufacturing base would coalesce around this exciting agglomeration of creative minds. Unfortunately, in most instances it has turned out that manufacturing bases would rather coalesce around cheap land, low taxes and acres of uncongested freeway. -Megan McArdle
When I began my professorial career in the late 1960s, social scientists were wildly optimistic. University-based brainpower would soon banish poverty and eliminate crime; assist former African colonies to create peaceful, thriving democracies; virtually abolish war; and, with just a little extra effort, put an end to racial injustice and then help women achieve self-fulfillment by freeing them from employment discrimination and male chauvinism. And this was only the beginning. Needless to say, conspicuous failure is everywhere... -Robert Weissberg
Government, Incompetence, Financial, Oops, Greed, Regulation
Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law is supposed to lift workers out of poverty and move them off public assistance. But there may be a hitch in the plan. Evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise – in a bid to keep overall income down so they don’t lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent. Full Life Care, a home nursing nonprofit, told KIRO-TV in Seattle that several workers want to work less.
Hypocrisy, Liberal, Crime, Violence, Government, Guns, Incompetence, Oops, Waste, Drugs, Theft
City officials have suspended operations of the Safe Streets anti-violence program in East Baltimore after police officers found seven guns and drugs stashed inside the Monument Street office. Police said a robbery investigation led them to the office, and two employees were among those arrested. The suspension sidelines the program's work in East Baltimore at a time when gun violence has been spiking.
Safe Streets, a grant-funded program under the city's Health Department, uses ex-felons in an effort to stem crime. The program has been lauded for keeping violence at a minimum in the four neighborhoods where it operates, and some officials have urged its replication across the city.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Financial, Fraud, Oops
Rampant fraud within California's recycling redemption program is costing the state millions of dollars, as scammers drive trucks full of cans across the border from Nevada and Arizona to collect nickels on deposits that were never paid. California recyclers also are claiming redemptions for the same containers several times, or for containers that never existed, according to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times.
Former Obama administration economic adviser Austan Goolsbee said Thursday that if given a second chance he would not have backed the Cash for Clunkers program or the home buyer tax credit passed in 2009 to stave off further economic distress.
Environmentalist, Government, Oops, Waste
Palm Beach County public schools decided to go green several years ago to help protect the environment and save on energy bills. But the switch to waterless urinals in numerous boys' bathrooms has become a costly mess on some campuses. Copper pipes behind the walls in at least two bathrooms at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton corroded, leading to urine flowing across floors and students holding their noses.
Environmentalist, Liberal, Incompetence, Oops
Howard Mauskopf, the festival's organizer, said he needed to shut down because so few people had shown up. "We're in a position where we don't have the financial ability to continue," he said, adding that he would have needed eight to 10 times the crowd that was present to make ends meet. He said he is going to try to reimburse food vendors next week. "I don't know why people didn't come," he said.
Government, Incompetence, Oops, Communism
Housing projects and infrastructure work is already underway, and will continue through 2030. These urban islands are intended to help Hanoi become a more powerful center of urban economic activity. The only problem is that nobody wants to move there.
Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Funny, Oops, Waste
San Francisco's big push for low-flow toilets has turned into a multimillion-dollar plumbing stink.
Skimping on toilet water has resulted in more sludge backing up inside the sewer pipes, said Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the city Public Utilities Commission. That has created a rotten-egg stench near AT&T Park and elsewhere, especially during the dry summer months.