Link roundup for May 20, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Here are a few links from the past few days that I've been meaning to write about but don't think I'll be able to write up a full post for.

  • New York Times two days ago - tobacco prices may go up some more (33 cents) in San Francisco to pay for the amount the city spends on cleaning up cigarette butts. The city spends $10.7 million a year to clean them up, which is one quarter of its budget for cleaning up litter. Too bad for the conscientious smokers out there, but the majority don't seem to think that their cigarette butt should count as litter; multiply that by a few hundred thousand people and suddenly there's a problem. One better solution IMO would be to enact a 1 cent deposit on each cigarette butt that can be taken in for a refund. Those with a ton of cash will still throw out their cigarette butts on the street or in the trash, but at the same time those that have little or no money will have another small source of revenue, and this will clean up the streets without having to pay for city workers to do it. That's why you never see bottles on the street either, because they're worth money.
  • Today - Obama's new emissions rules to transform the US auto fleet. Very supportive of this, as technological development is often spurred by necessity, and having something to strive toward will be good for US automakers in the end. Lazily putting out SUV after SUV for years upon years was what made them so bloated and complacent compared to automakers in other countries.
  • Great writeup by the Washington Post on the negatives of being poor. Not only do poor people make less money, but at the same time they have to use more time and money to do things that are almost effortless for those with more. Without a car to go to supermarkets in the suburbs for example those on lower incomes usually have to shop nearby, generally in stores where prices are much higher. Time is also wasted by having to go to the laundromat as well, etc. See an article here on public housing (among other things) in the Netherlands for a possible solution.


Anonymous said...

On the negatives of being poor

What is the solution? The people living in safe, clean suburbs do not want these people moving in and trashing their neighborhoods and schools. Would you? In any case, I remain confused why street gangs are tolerated. Aren't these people domestic terrorists?

Regarding small stores being forced to charge higher prices: Distributors discriminate against the small buyer. Enact a federal law to ban "volume discounts" and then there would be no need for anyone to shop at a large store such as Wal-Mart. Prices would then be the same regardless of size of retail store......

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