Before Katrina nearly wiped the place clean from the map no one had much of a shot in New Orlean’s public schools. As in many big cities, especially in the south, minority students were locked into perpetually failing schools. Hopeless is probably not too strong a word.
In the wake of the storm the city tried something new. It embraced charter schools. Results are starting to come in nearly a decade into the experiment, and they are strikingly good. Test scores have improved dramatically and the country increasingly is looking to the city for ideas.
In the wake of the housing crash, wide swathes of the desert Southwest, Florida, Atlanta, parts of California, and other places were littered with relatively new homes which were empty. The pre-seeded lawn turf often hadn’t even taken root before the foreclosures began.
Each vacant home represented a personal economic disaster for someone. Families moved in with grandparents. Pets were left in shelters which were filled far beyond capacity. It was only a couple of years ago. For many the memory is still very fresh.
But at about the same time parts of Tuscon started to be reclaimed by tumbleweeds a few hedge funds (and banks) figured that there was yield to be made from renting the homes which were now unused back to the people who could no longer afford to own them. If the homes could be pooled along with the rents, perhaps the investments could even be sold as derivatives.
Market solution right?
I’d encourage everyone to read the attached article because it is a lovely example of the infatuation some people have with their masters. Actually that’s not fair. The guy makes plenty of good points from the progressive perspective. All the ones one would expect. We wouldn’t have any roads without government. (We would.) We’d all die from salmonella poisoning without the government. (We wouldn’t) Society would devolve into a scene from Mad Max where kids with mohawks marauded through the mall with chainsaws. (It wouldn’t.) All the ones one would expect.
We wrote a couple of weeks ago that Bitcoin was under all out assault. The cryptocurrency was being attacked (and it continues) on all fronts, legally, through DOS attacks, in the media, by Jamie Dimon who surprise surprise said that the government would just regulate the alternative currency out of existence and “that would be the end of them.” Of course JPMorgan, Dimon’s company, has been trying to get its own rival “alternative” currency off of the ground.
Old programs never die. Sadly they don’t fade away either. Sometimes they change their name though, and such is the case with the Federal education program which subsidizes broadband for schools, E-Rate. After a bunch of bad press and general mismanagement it changed its name to ConnectED. (Get it?)
Hollywood knows how to work the system. There is just something about movie stars which hypnotizes politicians. That and the pile of campaign contributions.
Boeing is working the system from every angle. From sweet taxpayer funded defense contracts to the sweet taxpayer funded Export Import Bank which subsidizes its civilian efforts, to only God knows what else, Boeing gets crony capitalism. It’s a master.