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Entries Tagged as 'New Mexico'

States Will Be Slammed by Default

July 27th, 2011 at 4:22 pm 40 Comments

A federal default could cascade through state governments, cialis sale forcing tax increases and budget cuts on local taxpayers. Medicaid budgets could be slashed. Federal money for unemployment benefits could halt. State colleges could lose federal grants.

The Pew Center on the States reports that the municipal market would get swept along in the wreckage, severely constricting state budgets.

Different states would experience different kinds of shock.

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Logic More Endangered Than Historic Sites

June 16th, 2011 at 5:49 pm 36 Comments

As it has every year for nearly a quarter century, health the National Trust for Historic Preservation released a list of the America’s “most endangered” historic sites earlier this week.

Like most of the Trust’s past lists, viagra both the particular sites included and the restrictive, government-imposed regulations that the Trust and its local cohorts favor to “protect” them are questionable. Not all of the sites are worth saving and, in the end, the major way to save them should be to convince their private owners they can make money off of them.

One of the “endangered” structures, Northwestern University’s Prentice Women’s Hospital a particularly good example of an unimportant building that the Trust and its cohorts want to “save.”

Frankly, it’s not worth it and, even when structures are worth saving, private interests, not the government, should decide what to do with them.

Let’s start with Prentice. The maternity hospital, a design of 1960s kitsch architect Bertrand Goldberg, is an ugly, leaky, concrete monstrosity that sticks out like a soar thumb amidst the real architectural marvels of downtown Chicago.

And I know the building well: I was born there and three members of my family have practiced medicine there.

In any case, it isn’t “historic” by any commonly understood definition of the word, Prentice opened in 1974 nothing of particular historic significance has ever happened there. Chicago alone has several other hospital buildings of similar vintage and, for those who admire Goldberg’s questionable style, the city has several better, more useful buildings he designed.

If Northwestern wants to demolish Prentice and replace it with a building that better suits its needs (or, simply, isn’t an eyesore like Prentice) no government has grounds to say that it shouldn’t. In fact, getting rid of Prentice would almost certainly be better for the city than leaving it intact.

And worthlessness of Prentice, indeed, applies to most of the rest of the list. While several structures on the National Trust’s list — the home of jazz great John Coletrane, a Virginia slave plantation that later became a school for African-Americans, and a Chinese neighborhood in California — do seem worth preserving.

But only one, a Civil War fort in danger of flooding, is a place that government bodies have a clear role in protecting.

Most often, indeed, the government is an enemy of preservation. In one case — a region of New Mexico full of historically important native American relics — the same government that the Trust and its cohorts want to do more to protect history is actually endangering it with large subsidies for nearby wind farms and oil drilling. And several structures, a dilapidated veterans’ home near Milwaukee, an ugly flour mill in Minneapolis, and a very plain family farm in Pennsylvania, are arguably even less significant than Prentice.

While some old buildings and special places are worth protecting, the simple fact that something was built in the past does not make it public property or deprive its owners of the right to use it how they want. In the end, not every place is worth saving.