Saturday, November 22, 2008

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff 2

What a Nice Gesture
Scenic Houston, the organization behind the ban on "attention-getting devices" explains one of their reasons for promoting the ordinance:

relieve business owners of the expense of purchase, installation and frequent replacement of attention-getting devices
That is very nice of them to "relieve" business owners of this expense. While they are at it, why don't they "relieve" business owners of other expenses, like employee wages, inventory, and rent? Apparently Scenic Houston thinks it knows what is best for these businesses and must arrogantly force the owners to operate as Scenic Houston dictates. I guess they also want to "relieve" the business owners from the chore of thinking for themselves.

An Idea to Kick Around
Houston's professional soccer team-- the Dynamos-- is lobbying for tax money to build a new stadium. The Chronicle reports that the City has already spent $15 million to purchase 6 blocks of land, and now wants the County to chip in $10 million for the project. A rally was held last week to express support for the project.Those who support tax dollars being used to fund the stadium argue that the area proposed for the project needs to be "revitalized".

Dynamo fan Joachim Schaupp said he came to the rally because he thinks the team deserves a stadium.

"We are not second-class fans," he said, noting Minute Maid Park, the Toyota Center and Reliant Stadium were built with public funds. "We're just asking for about ten or 15 million dollars. That's peanuts for all that you'll get here, all the development, all of the jobs."

Mr. Schaupp considers $10 million or $15 million peanuts. In that case, I suggest that he pay for the new stadium. Instead, he would prefer to take a few dollars from each taxpayer so that he can watch his favorite sports team in a new stadium. Couple that with the hundreds of other pet projects competing for tax money, and it goes a long ways towards explaining why government confiscates so much of our wealth. Dynamo fans may not be second-class, but forcing others to satisfy their desires is certainly low-class.

An OpEd article in Thursday's Chronicle calls the decision to cut nearly 4,000 jobs at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston "irresponsible and immoral". In a series of points that seem more like a routine for a stand up comic, the author says

Morally speaking, whoever said a state-owned hospital should be operated like a Wal-Mart, for profit only?

Reducing UTMB's financial losses is necessary, surely, but the notion UTMB could or should "return a profit," while serving many of the state's poorest citizens, is absurd.

Furthermore, UT has worked hard during the past several decades to eradicate the county's private health care providers, especially on Galveston Island.

Having monopolized health care in Galveston, UT plans to gut what remains because the regents find it financially inconvenient.

What I find immoral is that there is even such a thing as a state-owned hospital. What I find immoral is that the state forces taxpayers to provide health care at all. This would have made for a much better article. Instead, readers were subjected to a long list of assertions founded on the premise that one man's need is a claim to the property of others.

A Milestone
Live Oaks reached 100 posts this week. In some ways that doesn't seem like a lot, and in other ways it is a bit amazing. I know that there are many blogs with thousands of posts, so 100 seems rather paltry. But to reach 100 posts in 7 months does require consistency and fortitude.

I must admit to some trepidation in starting this blog. I wasn't sure I wanted to make such a commitment. I'm glad that I did. I think my writing has improved, and I am having fun doing this. I write this blog for primarily myself, but it is nice that others enjoy it and find value in what I write.


Harold said...

Cool. I enjoyed your posts on the so-called "gay rights" issue.

Burgess Laughlin said...

> "While they are at it, why don't they "relieve" business owners of other expenses, like . . ."

Taxes on businesses?

Brian Phillips said...

Yes, reducing taxes on businesses would certainly be an easy and effective measure within government's control.