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OpenMarket: Marc Scribner

  • Why Can't We Have a "Three Strikes" Policy for Public Financing?

    January 12, 2010
    For residents of Minneapolis, few local policy issues can stir debate like the future of downtown's Block E. The neighborhood long catered to a not-so-family-friendly clientèle, but it wasn't until paranoia over punk rock and pornography swept the nation in the 1980s that the city of Minneapolis decided to clean house. This culminated in a 1987 city council decision to condemn the entire block and turn it into one giant open-air parking lot. Nearly overnight, Block E went from seedy business district to full-blown urban wasteland. The neighborhood's astronomically high crime rates in no doubt helped a witty New York Times reporter famously dub the city "Murderapolis" in 1995.

    Over the past few decades, hilarious crime-fighting and urban development programs have ensued, which include blasting Italian opera music over...
  • Anti-Takings Abuse Bill Introduced in the House

    December 16, 2009
    The Strengthening the Ownership of Private Property Act of 2009, introduced by Rep. Stephanie Sandlin (D-SD), would prevent any federal economic development funding from being disbursed to state or local governments that seize private property in order to transfer it to another private party.
  • Property Owner Fights Nashville Land Grab

    November 19, 2009
    Yesterday, Tower Investments filed a motion to dismiss the Nashville-chartered Metropolitan Housing and Development Agency's Petition for Condemnation of the company's 5.6-acre downtown property. MHDA is attempting to clear land for the proposed Music City Convention Center, the construction of which is currently projected to cost nearly $600 million.

    What makes this case particularly interesting is that Tower doesn't oppose the development plan per se; rather, it wants to build a hotel "in such a way that enhances and accommodates the convention center." The problem is that the development authority's master plan includes the construction of a similar...
  • Pfizer to Close Facility Behind Kelo Case

    November 10, 2009
    Yesterday, Pfizer announced it was closing its research and development facility in New London, Connecticut. This is the same complex that was at the center of the redevelopment plan at issue in Kelo v. New London. From the Castle Coalition:
    This was the same bogus development plan that five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court refused to question when the property owners of New London pleaded to have their homes spared from the wrecking ball.  Justices mentioned that there was a plan in place, and that so long as lawmakers who are looking to use eminent domain for someone’s private gain had a plan, the courts would wash...
  • Greider: $1.4 Trillion Deficit Isn't Enough!

    October 30, 2009
    I'll admit it: William Greider is an easy target. The former Rolling Stone reporter and current national affairs correspondent at The Nation has a habit of making a fool out of himself, to the delight of the right and to the chagrin of the brighter segments of the left. Left-wing economist Paul Krugman, reviewing his 1997 anti-globalization book One World, Ready or Not, said that "the main lesson one really learns from [Greider's book] is how easy it is for an intelligent, earnest man to trip over his own intellectual shoelaces."

    In his latest Nation column, Greider takes those concerned...
  • Fighting Eminent Domain Abuse

    October 13, 2009
    Popular outrage over eminent domain abuse may have waned a bit since the Supreme Court's poorly-reasoned Kelo ruling in 2005, but economic development takings remain incredibly unpopular throughout the country. Public opinion polls indicate that more than 80 percent of Americans oppose eminent domain for economic development, which is surprising when one considers the relative inaction on the part of state legislatures to meaningfully protect their citizens' property rights.

    However, there are reasons to be optimistic. Brooklynites fighting the proposed Atlantic Yards development...
  • Eminent Domain Abuse in New York (Upstate Edition)

    October 7, 2009
    The court found that the mall was not liable because the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency condemned the property through eminent domain, which stripped all rights J.C. Penney had.
  • It's Complicated

    September 28, 2009
    Journalists have a tendency to present overly-simple explanations of current events that often turn out to be false. Part of it is due to the fact that most have no formal training or particular expertise on the subjects they write about. Case in point is Barry C. Lynn's latest piece in The American Prospect.
  • ACORN Tied to Brooklyn Land-grabber

    September 21, 2009
    The multi-billion dollar Atlantic Yards development project in Brooklyn, New York--subsidized to the tune of $1.6 billion by New York taxpayers--is facing new scrutiny after politically-connected developer Bruce Ratner's ties with embattled left-wing activist group ACORN were revealed. As it currently stands, the public-financed redevelopment plan relies on extensive use of eminent domain that would leave many long-time residents and business owners out in the cold.
  • Matt Taibbi versus Sensible Health Care

    September 3, 2009
    In a blog post at Rolling Stone, Journalist In Name Only Matt Taibbi accuses the media of "help[ing] sandbag health care reform." In the rambling, incoherent post, Taibbi goes on to complain about his current private insurance plan and how he "can’t have the pleasure of a routine proctological exam unless I want to pay cash for it." Given his profanity-laced description (which I won't re-post here), it appears he has some sort of high-deductible plan.

    Many on the left are critical of of health savings accounts and high-deductible health care plans, claiming they reduce consumption of preventive health care and drive up costs in the long-run. Now, leaving aside the...

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