Welcome to Kansas, the bastion of how not to run a state, but claim things are just dandy.  I noted in a prior blog that Kansas has no reserves.  And apparently a $350 million deficit in 2016, a continuing trend for a number of years now.  And bigger deficits to come.  Kansas is the poster child of why cutting taxes a lot does not work.

How did they get here?  The state governor and legislature decided that cutting taxes spurs economic growth.  So if you cut a lot of taxes, you get lots of growth. They cite the Laffer curve, a  totally discredited economic tool drawn on the back of a napkin  by Arthur Laffer at a 1974 dinner to argue why Gerald Ford should not raise taxes.  On the face of it it makes no sense but that has not stopped supply side politicians from using it for nearly 40 years  to cut taxes.  The problem, it is wrong.

Cutting taxes does not spur enough economic growth to make up for the loss in taxes when you go down the Kansas role.  If you s cut them too much, it is really hard to raise them if you run short.  The result is that  economic growth in most of Kansas will be stunted for years due to the lack of investment in Kansans.  Now you would think that Kansans would be up in arms about the poor stewardship by elected officials. But no.  See if you get constant bad news, just stop reporting revenues and deficits.  No news is good news right?  Welcome to Kansas!

http://www.governing.com/topics/finance/gov-kansas-connecticut-budget-news.html


Congratulations to the students that presented Last Night in Little Havana!  Good job!

Our Department is co-sponsored, along with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a community meeting to look at the work of two groups of our senior design students who have been working with the community and a developer on a means to identify acceptable projects for the Little Havana neighborhood.  The event was held in Little Havana at the Ball & Chain, which provided the use of the back patio and the stage at no charge. The Mayor of Miami opened the “Community Discussion,” to discuss the work of the FAU students. The National Trust sent a senior staff member from New York to participate in the Discussion.

For many years there has been public and private argument about the future vision for Little Havana. Yet, in many instances there has been little graphic presentation of the components of a vision. The National Trust for Historic Preservation designated Little Havana as the 11th most endangered site in America.  The work of these students provides possible templates for mixed-use and multi-family residential development, proposals that now show what can be designed and built under current rules and regulations. The National Trust for Historic Preservation co-sponsored this community discussion to share their philosophy on urban revitalization, and as a continuation of their commitment to Little Havana — by helping the community respond to actual designs and through dialogue, hopefully reach a consensus over the next few months that will move the revitalization efforts forward in a positive manner for all stakeholders.

The students provided extensive graphics and can give you excellent options to provide visual elements to the story. This presentation marked the mid-way point of student efforts, and provided stake holders with the opportunity to review initial concepts and to comment on the proposals.  Participants saw what is allowed under current land development regulations and have the opportunity to discuss changes needed to protect Little Havana’s character. In addition, students were seeking continuing input during the Spring semester as designs are modified to address concerns of the community.

Good job students.  And thank you Frank Schnidman for setting this up!


Oxfam’s statistics are beyond belief. Inequality is the biggest threat to the global economy – and it’s getting worse.  Today, eight people have the same wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population. Stop and think about this. It is a mind-boggling concept.Last year we said we would have needed a double-decker bus to transport…

via Eight men earn more than 3.6 billion people: our economics is broken | Mark Goldring — The Guardian


The troubling aspect of that is that Governing magazine reports that many state are likely to see less revenue in 2017 vs 2016.  Governing‘s analysis of projected 2017 budget data from the National Association of State Budget Officers shows shows states now have a median 4.9 percent of annual expenditures saved for the fiscal year, down from 5.1 percent the previous year.  Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey and North Dakota have no reserves as of 2017.  They add to Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Montana who had no reserves last year.  And Alaska that is burning though theirs.  Economic and tax policies are to blame.  The Kansas solution to cut taxes to create economic growth has not worked.  The state continues to get farther behind and it is becoming harder to pretend all is well.  Having no reserves is a crazy bad idea.  It is hard to explain just how crazy bad this idea is – it means that if a negative economic issue occurs, these states are in huge trouble unless they start cutting education and other essential services.  The best way to get out of a budget hole is not cutting education – the one thing needed to dig out and attract new economic activity.  Clearly these officials did not learn from 2008-2011 when there reserves were depleted to address the economic downturn. That makes no sense and dooms their residents to a repeat of 2009/2010, only worse.

 


It’s Baaack!!  just in time for the end of January.  The B-17 returns along with its companions – B-24 Liberator and Mustang.  If you have never seen these WW2 planes in person, you need to.  My Dad flew 25 missions in WW2 on a B-17, starting in the turret, then in the tail, and finally as bombardier on the last two flights.  After a purple Heart and 25 missions, he was assigned to desk duty for the remainder of the war.  At the tiem he enlisted, the proability of getting to 25 missions was small when he enlisted in late 1942 – the first plane to do it was in late 1943 – teh Memphis Belle. Over 1/3 of these planes were shot down during bombing runs, yet the guys on thee B-17 swore by their safety and capability.  They could fly on two (of 4) engines (Dad mentioned that it was preferable that they be on opposite sides of the plane however), had redundant hand controls in case the hydraulics were shot out, and could navigate with parts of the tail and wings missing.  They’d land and get put back together, ready to fly out a couple days later on another run.  Crazy times for a bunch on 20 year olds – something we cannot comprehend.

Go see some history!  Take your kids.  Do a tour.  Take a ride (I did).  Dates below.

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January 20 @ 2:00 pm – January 22 @ 4:30 pm

2240 SE Witham Field Drive
Stuart, FL 34996 United States

January 23 @ 12:00 pm – January 26 @ 12:00 pm

1401 NE 10th Street
Pompano Beach, FL 33060 United States

January 26 @ 2:00 pm – January 29 @ 4:30 pm

3300 Airport Drive
Boca Raton, FL 33431 United States

 

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