Archive for February, 2008

3rd February
2008

First Published in The New York Sun, February 3, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

Mayor Bloomberg, with the connivance of Council Speaker Quinn, has proposed permitting the addition of 1,500 vendors to city streets. These vendors have long been a source of contention. In some cases they so crowd certain streets that they become a public nuisance, which is the rationale for having government regulate them.

Those who sell the same wares in conventional stores hate the street vendors with particular passion. After all, who wants a competitor opening up right in front of his door, a competitor not burdened with paying rent, an electric bill, or even, in some instances, taxes?

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1st February
2008

First Published in The New York Sun, February 1, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

The commission appointed to “study” the mayor’s congestion pricing initiative has come up with a proposal that hardly changes the original plan. This commission was front-loaded with committed proponents of the idea, a kangaroo court if ever there was one - if kangaroos acquit.

There now seems to be a shift in emphasis away from claims by proponents that congestion pricing reduces traffic (only a 6% reduction is projected) or will clear pollution from the air and cure children of asthma. There is now more of an acknowlegement that the plan is about only one thing - creating a new revenue stream.

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