December 11, 2012 |
Budget discussions in Washington these days always seem to deteriorate into arguments over what government is supposed to do for its citizens, and what should be left aside. Is the reach of government strictly defined in the Constitution? Or tradition? And, if so, whose "tradition"? Here's a rule of thumb to consider for when government should take a role in providing a service: When it's cheaper. That doesn't mean cheaper merely in a narrow sense, such as cheaper at the cash register, or for some people rather than others.
August 6, 2011 |
They began with a hose and a few rags when Amilcar Santa Cruz and his 30 siblings and cousins set up a carwash in Havana's Miramar district, a little family business to help make ends meet. And that's all it was for several years. But in the last few months, the business has exploded. The carwash today is a bustling piece of new Cuban enterprise, complete with metal roofing, fluorescent lighting, a cafe and a full line of air fresheners to hang from the rearview mirror. "Everyone here is real hardworking," Santa Cruz said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2011 |
Beyond government budget jitters, there is a much bigger dynamic at play in the far-flung battle over public pensions. It goes beyond even anti-union hate, non-union envy and union gluttony. These are all key motivators in the pension tussle that has been brewing for years in Sacramento and the current all-out, anti-union attacks in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and other states. But they're merely a symptom, it seems to me, of a gradually declining lifestyle for working stiff Americans ?
November 6, 2010 |
Stock prices are at two-year highs and the U.S. job market is showing its strongest signs of life since spring. Yet many Americans may find it hard to feel elated about the sudden generous bump in their 401(k) accounts this fall. Even as the economy has brightened, Wall Street's latest burst of optimism has been driven in large part by bets on what will happen ? or won't happen ? in Washington. To that extent, going with the markets' giddy flow requires holding your nose. And that may not change soon.
July 27, 2008 |
Schools run by private enterprise? Free iPods and laptop computers to attract students? It may sound out of place in Sweden, that paragon of taxpayer-funded cradle-to-grave welfare. But a sweeping reform of the school system has survived the critics and 16 years later is spreading and attracting interest abroad. "I think most people, parents and children, appreciate the choice," said Bertil Ostberg from the Education Ministry. "You can decide what school you want to attend and that appeals to people."
September 16, 2007 |
His polished shoes have bronze tips, a rich man's trinkets on a poor man's feet. The shoes glow as he lords it over a stretch of sidewalk where, after paying off cops and other officials who sidle up to him with a wink and a smirk, he can earn $5 a day parking cars beneath the palms near the mall. Moving quickly through the traffic, Mounir Essawy co-opts public space and turns it into a sliver of private enterprise.