A very, very fair assessment of the situation in Richmond.
A few extras:
The food shuttles currently being run cost $2500 for four buses, making one trip a month from a public housing community to a grocery store and back. In the most recent month there were 24 participants total! so, over$100 per person in transportation costs. It is a pilot project, but early numbers indicate poor planning. It would be cheaper and more convenient to call a cab for all 24 people.
What being juxtaposed to certain services causes or does not cause is unknown, only weak correlations can be drawn. What is a verifiable statement is that policy directed at being in close proximity to a service is largely about what people feel they are entitled to, what they want to be able choose, but not what they care about enough to choose through the free market. Yet consider those who live in rural areas. They face a much greater burden to reach grocery stores, medical care, education and many other services and amenities, that are available to city residents within a few miles, although that may mean they are not in the corporate city limits.
Less fixation on what people ”should” have and more focus on what “is” occurring would help achieve a successful outcome.
The article is absolutely correct in that urban areas are more costly for grocery stores (thus they need a higher sales volume and more affluent clientele) and that given the difference between Richmond’s approval process and that of surrounding counties, its easy to see why many stores operate just beyond the city limits. This is to say nothing of differences in real estate costs and the size of available parcels and development patterns.
In Richmond, looking at the many grocery store locations just beyond the city limits and the food shuttle participation figures, its seems that the issue of food deserts is less about access to healthier food and more about the approach and culture of certain groups to eating a healthier diet.
If information is freely available, should government still try to change culture or should the individual have a right to pursue it freely?
Like the hot stuff, cold-brewing involves mixing pulverized beans with water, but the latter process requires about twice as much ground coffee. Those grounds infuse filtered water for 12 to 24 hours, creating iced-coffee concentrate. That liquid is cut with water to taste, at a ratio of about…
Great discussion about Haidt’s new book at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.
Great ending quote by David Brooks
”What you believe is less important than how you believe it. If you enter any belief with a sense of contingency, no matter what foundation you believe in, you will probably be a good player in the public space,” in contrast to those who bring a sense of absolutism and egotism.
With the separation of ages roughly into cities, suburbs, and retirement homes we have basically separated, removed and minimized our dealings and thoughts about death from daily life. In a world were the desire to be young is becoming almost an obsession there is no time for dealing with those who are old. In other countries and cultures, and perhaps due to financial constraints more than social norms, families take care of the elderly and the elderly do what they can to help the young. In the US the old are to think first about taking care of themselves and not burdening others, whom they cannot pay, with caring for them.
Living a long life is blessing. Feeling the passage of time should come from seeing grandchildren and young people, not from the increasing white hair of your neighbors. Nurses that come to assist with care offer a happy medium between home care and an assisted living center.
Two often the younger insist on treatment for the older, out of the younger’s fear of death, but at what cost? The author of this article suggest that the pain endured to keep someone alive and the quality of living may not be desired by the patient, suggesting that the barrage of end of life car is not wanted, before mentioning that it is very expensive.
It takes courage to face death and confront your mortality and realize the brevity of life. But those things do not block one from having a fulfilling, happy and meaningful existence.
The issue of income inequality has several dimensions to it, some of which I’ll address in the future. For now, though, I simply wanted to make the point that, as this superb analysis by the House Budget Committee demonstrates, the common understanding of government’s role in income inequality has things backwards: Tax reforms have resulted in a more progressive federal income tax, while government transfer payments have become less progressive. Why? In large measure because rising entitlement payments are going to wealthier seniors at the expense of lower-earning young people. For example, in 1979, households in the lowest income quintile received 54 percent of all transfer payments; in 2007, those households received just 36 percent of transfers.
Remember any government transfer, or tax credit or tax break is welfare.
Should the people who paid the most into social security, but need it the least receive benefits? What happens when someone contributes the most but takes the least? What kind of time perspective do people have who leave a leveraged future?
Max Weber--the three eminent qualities in political leadership
Max Weber, who was so (self-) critical of scholars as leaders, had also written a companion and better-known piece called “Politics as a Vocation.” In that essay he argued that the three eminent qualities in political leadership are passion, a feeling of responsibility, and a sense of proportion. By passion he meant the devotion to a cause—to take a stance—ira et studium. By responsibility he meant a “romanticism of the intellectually interesting,” rather than the easy path of routine bureaucratic duty. And by a sense of proportion, he meant an ability to remain realistic and dispassionate, to retain a sense of distance while getting things done. The forging of passion and dispassion in the soul of the modern politician was the vexing question that he sought to understand. Had he lived another hundred years, however, he would have seen that the question is no less germane for the leaders of the twenty-first century.