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Archive for January 18th, 2013

Doing My Little Part

Yahoo News asked its readers this month: Which one big idea could help the country address our most pressing national problem?

Unless they want a two-thousand-page answer, I would offer dropping the question. To humor those at Yahoo News, I shall explain. Treating people like little tyrants who want to wave a magic wand and instantly get everybody right where they belong will not work. One cannot make one big fix (e.g., abolishing the IRS) without lots of bad side effects (e.g., a huge spike in demand for unemployment benefits). Over at “Downsizing the Federal Government,” scholars at the Cato Institute have compiled multiple pages of suggestions to improve the federal budget. These pages only skim the surface of one dimension of the country’s ills.

Still, I believe if we stopped treating each other like math-phobes on the verge of panic, some good minds could come up with a tough-love solution with minimal casualties in about eight days.

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De-Annexation

The beautiful thought of de-annexation is being discussed in Mills River. Unfortunately, it pertains only to a dozen parcels serviced by two fire departments. Speaking from my own experience, there’s nothing like placing a 911 call and listening to dispatchers debate for ten minutes who needs to answer the call. But in this case, the problem pertained more to the way taxes ought to be paid by one district to the other.

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Beer Is Green, Beer Is Good

It is hoped the brewers locating in the Asheville area will donate spent brewers’ grain to biodiesel manufacturers. A grant of $750,000 has already been awarded from the Biofuels Center of North Carolina, which, in turn, gets its funding from a settlement with the TVA over environmental degradation caused by coal-powered plants.

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