Stevens lets us Down
I am unsure why the AP headline is "Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes." The government has always had that right for public projects, replacing condemned buildings, and so on. The Court ruled today that local government can also apply that right for private economic gain, if they feel it can generate tax revenue, improve the economy, and increase jobs.
I would normally be all for such improvements, but not flying in the face of property rights.
"Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random," O'Connor wrote in the dissent. "The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."
I do not know how true that is--or, if true, how negative that actually is to the overall economy. But the essence is right. The value people place on their primary homes cannot be measured by an appraiser. What is the "fair market value" of a home that an elderly women bought during the post-war boom with her then-young husband, has lived in for the better part of a century, raised three children in, watched her husband die in, and now wants to live in in peace? And nevermind the affront to property rights.
NetworkManager's Connection Dialog
Morten: Utility costs are widely considered a non-traded input and not PPP-applicable. But I do not care if the Big Mac Index is tongue in cheek; the point of the post was the paper that I cited that showed case-in-point exactly how slow utility costs converge: 56 months.
Oh, and it does not matter how many renminbis a Big Mac costs on the moon. The interesting statistic is how many renminbis versus how many dollars. But the moon is a dumb example, for exactly the interesting points raised in the paper and admitted in my initial post.
Alkaline Trio tonight!