February 4, 2013 |
Social costs are why the government cannot be run like a private-sector firm. Governments should rarely invest in private-sector companies. However, that happened at the peak of the recession when vehicle-makers GM and Chrysler were bailed out. Did the government make the right decision? To answer that you need to know not only the financial returns but also the social costs of not assisting the firms. The U.S. Treasury invested about $49.5 billion in GM and $12.5 billion in Chrysler so they could survive the Great Recession.
July 28, 2012 |
With competition for a second Philadelphia casino license now under way, it's worth heeding Gov. Christie's wise caution about expanding gambling at the Meadowlands complex in North Jersey. Christie's staunch opposition to a Meadowlands casino, reiterated at an Assembly hearing last week, rests mostly on the sound observation that it could undermine the state's efforts to boost the fortunes of Atlantic City. The Shore resort has struggled in the face of growing competition from casinos in Pennsylvania and other states.
February 26, 2012 |
Every gas and electric utility in the region assists its neediest customers, but the burden falls heaviest by far on Philadelphia Gas Works. PGW customers on average paid $200.58 in 2010 to subsidize their neighbors, three times as much as the next closest gas utility in Pennsylvania, according to the Public Utility Commission. PGW customers paid eight times as much for social programs as suburban gas customers served by Peco Energy Co., and 12 times more than gas utility customers in New Jersey.
July 3, 2011 |
Barbara Simkins might have been just another struggling bed-and-breakfast owner after opening the Green Rocks Inn near the New York state line in Ridgefield, Conn. After her state's Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in October 2008, Simkins, 60, was named a justice of the peace. She performed more than 75 weddings for such couples in 2010 and may perform more than double that number this year. "We saw an opportunity," she said of the inn she runs with her fiancee, Natacha Merav Friedman, 41. "We're doing very well.
May 23, 2010
An American Story of Love and Fear in the Homeland By Stephan Salisbury Nation Books. 312 pp. $26.95 Reviewed by David Cole Much of the debate surrounding the effectiveness of the Bush administration's response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, focuses on zeros. Defenders of the administration point out that there have been no successful terrorist attacks on the U.S. mainland since 9/11. Critics note that the Bush administration cannot point to a single imminent attack averted through its preventive initiatives, and that of the more than 5,000 foreign nationals it detained in the U.S. in the first two years after 9/11, none stands convicted of any terrorist crime.
April 12, 2008 |
As an Illinois legislator in 2003, Barack Obama voiced strong reservations about the expansion of legalized gambling as a means for states to cover budget gaps. "I think the moral and social cost of gambling, particularly in low-income communities, could be devastating," he told the Chicago Defender newspaper. Now, as he runs for president, Obama has accepted substantial financial help from the principal owner of the SugarHouse casino proposed for a site on the Delaware River in Philadelphia.
April 11, 2008
THE state Supreme Court has ordered the city to grant zoning to Foxwoods. The court said Foxwoods "spent months working with the city to craft a plan of development that addressed issues of concern to the city and to residents living near the Foxwoods site. " This statement is based on a bald-faced lie. One of the main issues of concern, yet to be addressed, is the social and economic cost of having a casino in the neighborhood. We have asked Gov. Rendell to do his homework by defining the economic and social costs associated with casinos.
May 13, 2007 |
Depending on who's doing the talking, the arrival of slot-machine gambling in Philadelphia is either the biggest economic development opportunity in recent history, or a scourge that will destroy neighborhoods, families, and local businesses. Amid all the hyperbole, the real numbers are often lost. The simple tax-revenue numbers can be dazzling: The city would get about 28 percent of the more than $700 million in projected slots revenues, or about $200 million a year to pay for city services, fund tax cuts, and expand the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
April 23, 2006 |
How did Philadelphia's taxes get so high that 11 years of rate cutting haven't brought them into line with other cities'? Political patronage played a role. So did a desire to help the city cope with state and federal cutbacks on social services - a huge factor given that nearly one in every five Philadelphia families lives in poverty. For a time, the city was overly generous with its workers in both wages and benefits. Until recently, it maintained a workforce bigger than in the days when the city had 30 percent more people.
February 8, 2001 |
She's almost five and there's no doubt about it: Dolly, the first clone of the DNA of an adult mammal, is no one-hit wonder. But she may have brought in a new age - one that endangers human love itself. For to justify human cloning, we can assume only that human beings are nothing special, no different from any other animal. Depressing but true. We may be about to witness the Dollification of human reproduction - and the death of love. The nuclear transfer technology that brought her to us, first reported by Dolly's Scottish progenitors in 1996, has been successfully reproduced in other animal species by researchers around the world.