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January 12, 2013

Rich white men think they can save Detroit by seceding from America

America already has the lowest taxes in the industrialized world, but still many white guys feel they are taxed too much. The solution all too often is to create a New Perfect Place where the taxes will be low, the laws will make sense, and a guy can be free to do whatever he wants. The buy in for the never-gonna-happen Detroit plan is $300K to get in the door. Unless you are part of the 20% immigrant slave population they are letting in to do all the manual labor. The crazies behind this plan say a billion dollars is all it'll take to get it started and then they'll secede from America and it'll be perfect. They'll have their own laws, their own currency. Will they dump their sewage in American waters? How will they get food? Will their workers be actual chattel slaves or just de facto slaves? How does Canada feel about this? And with a billion dollars, couldn't you just save Detroit? Or are there too many black people there for your tastes? It's a ridiculous, evil notion. I hope they waste a lot of money on it before failing utterly. Developer pitches $1B commonwealth for Belle Isle | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com
Detroit — As the broken city thinks big and radically about its future, a developer is stepping forward with a revolutionary idea: Sell the city's Belle Isle park for $1 billion to private investors who will transform it into a free-market utopia. The 982-acre island would then be developed into a U.S. commonwealth or city-state of 35,000 people with its own laws, customs and currency. City officials are likely to reject the plan. But on Jan. 21, supporters including Mackinac Center for Public Policy senior economist David Littmann, retired Chrysler President Al Sperlich and Clark Durant, co-founder of Detroit's Cornerstone Schools, will present the Commonwealth of Belle Isle plan to a select group of movers and shakers at the tony Detroit Athletic Club. Among the confirmed reservations of about 50 people who will hear the pitch are Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, and Beth Chappell, president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Club, organizers say. It's not clear if they know what's in store. "We are among the people looking for answers to the city's problem," said Rodney Lockwood, a Bingham Farms developer who is the driving force behind the idea. The former chairman of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and current board member of the free-market-oriented Mackinac Center for Public Policy has written a self-published book about the plan called "Belle Isle: Detroit's Game Changer." A website called commonwealthofbelleisle.com debuts on Jan. 22.

January 11, 2013

California has beat its deficit, will have a budget surplus this year

This is HUGE news. Jerry Brown has done it again. The first time he was governor he turned a deficit economy around and created an enormous surplus. It's also the first really solid sign that the recession is ending. California Balances Its Budget - NYTimes.com
“The deficit is gone,” Mr. Brown proclaimed, standing in front of an array of that-was-then and this-is-now charts that illustrated what he said were dramatic changes in California’s fortunes. “For the next four years we are talking about a balanced budget,” he said. “We are talking about living within our means. This is new. This is a breakthrough.” Mr. Brown was not just talking about a balanced budget. He projected that the state would begin posting surpluses starting next year, leading to a projected surplus of $21.5 million by 2014, a dramatic turnaround from the deficit of $26 billion — billion, not million — he faced when he was elected in 2010. The governor said California’s finances were strong enough that he wanted to put aside a $1 billion reserve fund to guard against future downturns, and included in the budget sharp increases in aid to public schools and the state university system, both targets of big spending cutbacks.

New York to sharply limit prescription painkillers in ER rooms

Prescription painkillers are the most abused drugs in America. NYC is trying to do something about it. New York City to Restrict Powerful Prescription Drugs in Public Hospitals’ Emergency Rooms - NYTimes.com
Under the new city policy, most public hospital patients will no longer be able to get more than three days’ worth of narcotic painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet. Long-acting painkillers, including OxyContin, a familiar remedy for chronic backache and arthritis, as well as Fentanyl patches and methadone, will not be dispensed at all. And lost, stolen or destroyed prescriptions will not be refilled. City officials said the policy was aimed at reducing the growing dependency on painkillers and preventing excess amounts of drugs from being taken out of medicine chests and sold on the street or abused by teenagers and others who want to get high. “Abuse of prescription painkillers in our city has increased alarmingly,” Mr. Bloomberg said in announcing the new policy at Elmhurst Hospital Center, a public hospital in Queens. Over 250,000 New Yorkers over age 12 are abusing prescription painkillers, he said, leading to rising hospital admissions for overdoses and deaths, Medicare fraud by doctors who write false prescriptions and violent crime like “holdups at neighborhood pharmacies.” But some critics said that poor and uninsured patients sometimes used the emergency room as their primary source of medical care. The restrictions, they said, could deprive doctors in the public hospital system — whose mission it is to treat poor people — of the flexibility that they need to respond to patients.