Monday, August 09, 2010

Colorado Springs and the Dark Streetlights - The Difference Between "Can't" and "Won't"

(Subtitle:  Paul Krugman is Absolutely Positively Undeniably Bi-Partisan-ly Wrong On This)

I have railed recently against bailouts of our individual states and cities, trying to explain the concept of fiscal responsibility, and that every community has choices to make about what it values.  Today, I'll entirely avoid the topic of teachers, since, like puppies and kittens, education evokes emotional responses, making it impossible for people to analyze the situation philosophically and rationally.  As usual, it comes down to the difference between "can't" and "won't."  Towns claim that they can't afford certain services, but in most cases, the answer is really that the citizens CHOOSE not to pay for them - that they won't fund them via higher property taxes.  This is nothing new - it's been going on as long as towns have been collecting property taxes.

If you've read a major paper lately, you've hear about the city of Colorado Springs, where citizens have elected to make major cutbacks in spending and thus, in services received.

"Like many American cities, this one is strapped for cash. Tax collections here have fallen so far that the city has turned off one-third of its 24,512 street lights.

But unlike many cities, this one is full of people who are eager for more government cutbacks.
The town council has been bombarded with emails telling it to close community centers. Letters to the local newspaper call for shrinking the police department and putting the city-owned utility up for sale. A commission is studying whether to sell the municipal hospital. Another, made up of local businessmen, will opine on whether to slash the salaries and benefits of city employees.

"Let's start cutting stupid programs that cost taxpayers a pot of money," says Tim Austin, a 48-year-old former home builder now looking for a new line of work. "It's so bullying and disrespectful to take money from one man's pocket and put it in another's."
Such sentiments, which might draw cheers at a tea-party rally, are pretty much a mainstream view here in the state's second-largest city, the birthplace of Colorado's small-government movement.

Almost a decade ago, voters imposed strict limits on how much the city government can spend. Last November they turned thumbs down on a property-tax increase, despite warnings from city officials about a projected $28 million shortfall requiring at least a 10% cut in an already shrunken budget.

And so, faced with dwindling revenues, intransigent voters and widespread distrust of government, this city of 400,000 has embarked on a grand experiment: It is trying to get volunteers and the private sector to provide services the city can no longer afford.

Now, I applaud the citizens of Colorado Springs - that's their prerogative.  If they don't want to pay for these services, they don't have to - this was EXACTLY my point.  If you don't want to pay, THEN you have to make cuts.  Similarly, if you can't pay, then you have to make cuts - or those offering the services need to make compromises.

"It was when the street lights went out, Diane Cunningham said, that the trouble started.

Her tires were slashed, she said. Her car was broken into. Strange men showed up on her porch. Her neighborhood had grown deserted at night, ever since four streetlights in a row were put out on Airport Road, the street outside her mobile home park.

That is why Ms. Cunningham, 41, and her son Jonathan, 22, were carrying a flat-screen television out of their mobile home on a recent afternoon. “I’m going to pawn this,” Ms. Cunningham said, “to get a shotgun.”"

I don't really like the victim spin here, after all, if the citizens of Colorado Springs want streetlights, all they have to do is pay for them (and yes, they are absolutely positively non-debate-ably affordable, which I'll get to below), but let's move on.

It was today's Op-Ed from none other than Paul Krugman which set me off.  Now, again, I don't have a PhD in economics, or a Nobel Prize, but hopefully Krugman and Kartik Athreya will not write me off because of that.  Now, since Krugman's piece is titled "America Goes Dark," I'm going to focus on the implications for Colorado Springs, which he is clearly referring to.

Krugman writes:

"The lights are going out all over America — literally. Colorado Springs has made headlines with its desperate attempt to save money by turning off a third of its streetlights, but similar things are either happening or being contemplated across the nation, from Philadelphia to Fresno.

Meanwhile, a country that once amazed the world with its visionary investments in transportation, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, is now in the process of unpaving itself: in a number of states, local governments are breaking up roads they can no longer afford to maintain, and returning them to gravel.

And a nation that once prized education — that was among the first to provide basic schooling to all its children — is now cutting back. Teachers are being laid off; programs are being canceled; in Hawaii, the school year itself is being drastically shortened. And all signs point to even more cuts ahead"

Ok - so far nothing is really crazy - a little bit of a drama-bomb perhaps, but basically standard rhetoric.  I think he's wrong about roads "they can no longer afford to maintain" - it's really "they are no longer willing to pay to maintain," but let's continue:

"We’re told that we have no choice, that basic government functions — essential services that have been provided for generations — are no longer affordable. And it’s true that state and local governments, hit hard by the recession, are cash-strapped. But they wouldn’t be quite as cash-strapped if their politicians were willing to consider at least some tax increases."

Yes!  Holy Cow!  I practically jumped out of my chair when I read this - how could I actually be agreeing with Paul Krugman?   Of COURSE that's the solution - if you want the services, you need to raise taxes to pay for them!  I am, in general, fiscally conservative, but I'm also a realist and I know that services cost money.  I'd never be a "we can't raise taxes under any circumstances" pigeon-holed partisan.  I was feeling good, and imagining that if Krugman understood this, then perhaps there was hope for society.... Until I read the next paragraph:

"And the federal government, which can sell inflation-protected long-term bonds at an interest rate of only 1.04 percent, isn’t cash-strapped at all. It could and should be offering aid to local governments, to protect the future of our infrastructure and our children."

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!  Of course, he had to throw the children in there (note: Paul - you forgot the puppies and kittens!!!), but Krugman squashed my warm-fuzzy-feeling and returned me to the depths of despair over the Entitled American Attitude.

See, in case it's not clear from reading the WSJ article, the citizens of Colorado Springs made the CHOICE to cut back on these services.  It's not that they CAN'T pay for them, it's that they WON'T pay for them.   Again - I applaud the citizens of Colorado Springs - they can do whatever they want with their town, their money, their budget and their services, but it needs to be clearly recognized and LOUDLY shouted that, contrary to Krugman's solution, they deserve not a single dime of federal government funding to subsidize their desires

Colorado Springs, like many towns, has a bunch of budget documents online.   Perusing them, and combining information from the other articles, it's clear that this isn't a matter of "can't" afford it, but rather "won't pay for it."  Really - it's not Kid Dynamite's evil-capitalist-Ayn-Rand-worshiping-lost-in-a-philosophically-idealized-world interpretation.  Even though the WSJ article above already quoted members of Co. Springs' small government movement, I'll still give you some numbers. 

It would cost the average Colorado Springs homeowner $116 in increased property taxes to close the ENTIRE $28mm budget gap - not just the streetlight shortfall! (see footnote for calculations).  The increase for an average home would be from the current $83 they pay to the city budget, to the $199 that would be required.

The budget link above boasts about how Colorado Springs has decreased the property tax rate by 41% since 1990!  That is truly remarkable, and again, I applaud them for that - that is the financial benefit that they reap for the CHOICES they have made - the sacrifices that they have decided to make, and it is essential that the rest of the country not subsidize those choices. 

Some of my critics say I'm using the philosophical ideal of "fiscal responsibility" to punish people who make poor decisions.  On the contrary - I'm pointing out that these decisions are indeed choices, and that there is a huge huge difference between can't and won't.  When pundits like Paul Krugman use these choices to promote his own fiscal agendas, they must be exposed and soundly thrashed as intellectually dishonest.  Colorado Springs is not a victim who needs a Federal rescue, despite what Krugman would have you believe.


calculations: The city has a budget shortfall of roughly $28MM.  The city expects to receive roughly $20MM in property taxes in 2010 (page 13) (aside: their property tax rate is 1/6th of Denver's property tax rate).  The average household paid property taxes which included $83 toward the city budget.  That's eighty three dollars total - not $83 per $100k of assessed value.  Now, since the shortfall is $28mm,  in order to close the gap they need to raise $48mm instead of $20mm, so the average city portion of the property tax bill needs to go from $83 to $199.    That's an average increase of $116 - to close the ENTIRE budget gap - not just the streetlights (which would cost a mere $3 per person, on average: $1.2MM divided by roughly 400,000 citizens - and yes, that's a per capita average I calculated for the streetlights)

In case you want more numbers, the average sale price of an existing Colorado Springs home in 2008 was 243,000 (page 4), and the property taxes on that assessed value are $1130.  Just comparing it to my current situation:  citizens of Colorado Springs pay an average of less than 1/2 of 1% of their home's assessed value in property taxes.  I currently pay 2.7% of my home's value in property taxes. 


Yangabanga said...

Say it loud. Spend only what you can afford. Works for me, works for my town.

getyourselfconnected said...

Well where was the budget shortfall when I was a kid? I always had to go home when "the streetlights come on" (thanks mom!) and this way I could have been out all night!

Timing is everything it seems.

Carl said...

Don't you live in New Hampshire where there is no income tax and the state relies mostly on property tax for revenue. You can't compare 0.5% and 2.7%, then.

Kid Dynamite said...

fair point, Carl. of course, that wasn't a part of my argument at all, thankfully ;-)

getyourselfconnected said...

I do all my shopping in NH as I am right at the border. Escaping Massachusetts sales tax? Priceless.

Justme said...

Seems to me the point of the NYT article is that the victims are the trailer-park people, while the beneficiaries are the more well-off home-owners?

Daniel said...

Sales tax in San Mateo County is 9.5%. It goes up by a .25% to .50% every couple of years. These increases are supposedly "temporary" but somehow, never are reduced.

You can have way more fun with a shotgun than with a flat screen. Even if you have Wii.

Greycap said...

Of course nobody thinks that the citizens of Colorado Springs should receive a perpetual federal subsidy - that includes Krugman. His argument is that the federal government should temporarily borrow during the current recession in order to fund local expenditures because it is legally able to do so and in any case can do so more cheaply. The reason for doing this, as he sees it, is to prevent aggregate demand from falling further because of local government employment reductions. A decline in aggregate demand would in any case reduce federal revenue while raising federal expenses.

I'm not sure Krugman is right about this, because the quotes furnished by the WSJ indicate that the popular war on government transcends the current economic situation. Will politically sustainable tax rates be enough to sustain local expenditures in normal times? But of course, a substantial part of his piece is aimed at criticizing this attitude.

However that may be, one thing is sure: whoever refutes Krugman will not be you. For one thing, the "standard" rhetoric you dismiss so easily is in fact very effective; immeasurably superior to your own. What's with all the caps and exclamation points? Read your own comment section - your sermon isn't reaching beyond the choir.

But the main problem is that you haven't engaged Krugman's argument. That makes refutation impossible.

Kid Dynamite said...


"His argument is that the federal government should temporarily borrow during the current recession in order to fund local expenditures because it is legally able to do so and in any case can do so more cheaply"

i have clearly refuted that argument. The federal government absolutely should not borrow in order to fund local expenditures for locales that can but won't fund them themselves. It's not political, it's not hard, it's not radical.

there is no reason for "Aggregate demand" to fall, other than that the citizens want it to. this is not an economic strife issue, although Krugman would like to make it one. It's not a partisan anti-government issue - although he'd like to make it one.

honestly, i didn't even think it was possibly to disagree with this post, but i've learned to never be surprised.

the fact that Krugmans partisan rhetoric has more reach than mine is not the answer - it's the problem.

Kid Dynamite said...

greycap - my prior comment was rushed, please allow me to elaborate. First of all, I am talking about this specific op-ed that Krugman wrote.:

the problem with Krugman's piece is that, like most populist rhetoric, it uses a completely misplaced example as its foundation. See, Colorado Springs has nothing to do with Krugman's general Keynesian argument, and is an atrocious example of any possible time and place to use Government spending to stimulate demand.

Krugman throws around populist rhetorical talking points:

1) partisan political infighting - COMPLETELY irrelevant to Colorado Springs (CAPS! sorry, have to emphasize)

2) "no longer affordable," -completely irrelevant to Colorado Springs - they can absolutely positively afford it - they just choose not to pay for it - precisely my point. And it's the crux of the argument.

3) "three decades of antigovernment rhetoric." that may be remotely relevant, after all, CS is certainly anti-big-government, yet it still underscores the essential fact that they are making their own choices.

Krugman's manipulative title for his Op-ed "America Goes Dark," is shameful - there are no victims in this story, unless Krugman succeeds in influencing fiscal policy so that towns like Colorado Springs receive even a single dollar of additional Federal support - then we are all victims, and America is a dead and dying nation where responsibility and choice are irrelevant footnotes.

Since you recognize the effectiveness of Krugman's rhetoric, I would have hoped that you would work with me, rather than against me. The only reason I will not be the one to refute him is that my audience is not big enough.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the federal gov't should not dole out cash to cities which are just choosing to keep local taxes low and reduce local gov't spending. However, it makes Colorado Springs sound like crappy place to live, like the majority of voters are fixated on lowering taxes at all costs. Because, who needs city streetlights when you're in a gated community, who needs libraries when you have Amazon Prime, and who needs public schools when your kids are in private ones? Well, some people do... and they're the ones manning the gates, picking the orders at Amazon and even teaching at those schools.

Anonymous said...

straw men, straw men, everywhere.

i don't even think you and krugman are in the same debate -- completely different issues the two of you take up, despite appearances.

but setting that aside, when you say the "people" of CS decided/chose something, do you or do you not see the difference between that collective "people" (the deciders) and the individuals that purportedly constitute said collective?

just want to know. to understand where you are coming from. is all.

Kid Dynamite said...

anon @ 3:06 - that's a problem in ANY community - and guess what - that's why solutions should be MORE localized - not MORE nationalized... get it? ie, the ideal would be if your own house was it's own little government. that's hard. so the next best would be your own street - that's also hard, as is your own neighborhood. we settle on our TOWN as our own little government.

there are no straw men here - actually - that's not true - there is one massive straw man, which is exactly why i wrote the article - Krugman holds up CS as a strawman epitomizing all that's wrong with austerity and as I already mentioned: partisan political infighting and towns that have services which are "no longer affordable."

that is blatantly, downright, FACTUALLY false when referring to Colorado Springs, which was precisely the point of my post. (not to debate Krugman's general Keynesian policy solutions)

see where I'm coming from?
Krugman chose a terrible strawman for his agenda - he clearly didn't do his homework on Colorado SPrings - i'm guessing he just read the other NYT article that is also linked in my post

Anonymous said...

ok, more trying to see where you are coming from:

"the ideal would be if your own house was it's own little government. that's hard."

why is that hard? in your opinion, according to your world-view?

Kid Dynamite said...

anon @ 3:25 - if you'd like to have a dialogue with me, please sign your posts - initials, numbers, anything i can refer to.

one-man/ one-household governments would be hard because they are far too capitalistic for Americans to accept. It would mean that everyone would pay for only what he uses - people don't want that. We want socialism - at least on SOME scale - like our town - school systems, for example. We don't just want the rich to be able to pay for schooling - we want EVERYONE to share the burden.

those decisions have a price - it means that when everyone shares the burden, everyone has a say - and they may not disagree with you. I think this will just get off topic though - it's not unique to Colorado Springs or any other environment - in any situation with any sort of democracy, you're in some level at the whim of others.

but remember the point of this post which is: Krugman used an unacceptable example for his agenda. that's it. It's not hard at all! I am quite literally amazed that people want to argue that with me. I'm not arguing his agenda (although I disagree with it) - I'm arguing his blatantly false rhetoric (ohh - shame on America, we're even TURNING THE LIGHTS OUT because of our economic strife and refusal to subscribe to Keynesian solutions.) I didn't make this up - it's in the very title of his Op-ed.

Anonymous said...

i;m just confused (or more likely, stupid), hence the questions. i am just trying to figure out the difference between krugman and you. cause if you are at odds, it does not appear to be over the question of choice (window dressing/rhetoric aside).

krugman says:
"In effect, a large part of our political class is showing its priorities: given the choice between asking the richest 2 percent or so of Americans to go back to paying the tax rates they paid during the Clinton-era boom, or allowing the nation’s foundations to crumble — literally in the case of roads, figuratively in the case of education — they’re choosing the latter."

which, really is not (as a thought experiment) inconsistent with your:
"Towns claim that they can't afford certain services, but in most cases, the answer is really that the citizens CHOOSE not to pay for them - that they won't fund them via higher property taxes. This is nothing new - it's been going on as long as towns have been collecting property taxes."


Markg6078 said... Here is a list of rankings that Colorado Springs appears in. Notice that "#1 ranked Hellhole Because the Tax Rate is so Low" is NOT on the list. Noooo, the low tax rate in Colorado Springs has produced a town ranked at or near the top in quality of life, health, business environment, education, yada yada yada. Pointing to Colorado Springs as a problem just proves how hopelessly clueless Krugman is. Too much spending is the problem. More spending is not the solution.

Kid Dynamite said...

dialog - ok, a concrete example. my point: the streetlights in colorado springs are absolutely, positively NOT being turned off because of anything having to do with taxes on the richest 2% under the Clinton era. precisely. Colorado Springs is completely (and factually incorrectly) misplaced as an emotional hook (paraphrase: we can't even afford to keep the lights on because the rich won't sacrifice!) by Krugman.

let me put it this way, if Krugman had left Colorado Springs out of his editorial, I couldn't have written a post stating that he's definitively incorrect. But he is definitively incorrect to include them in this agenda, as their situation has nothing to do with economic strife. They are not the victim of "a large part of our political class is showing its priorities." It's not even debatable, and there's nothing to argue about - which is why i'm shocked people want to argue with me about it!

Surprisingly, and thankfully, given his agenda, Krugman did not blame the dark streetlights in Colorado Springs on the Bush Tax Cuts...

Anonymous said...

Colorado Springs is also the birthplace of several propositions that are on November's ballot in Colorado. Props 60 and 61 will reduce the ability of the state and local gov't to borrow their way into more spending.

Greycap said...

"It's not even debatable, and there's nothing to argue about - which is why i'm shocked people want to argue with me about it!"

Calm down, you're not helping yourself. And please, can you try to wrap head around the fact that I am just the messenger? You are the only one arguing. I am not speaking for myself, I am just pointing out that you have completely missed what Krugman is saying. That doesn't in itself make him right or wrong, but it sure doesn't look good on you.

The argument goes like this. There is a recession, resulting in some citizens of Colorado Springs losing their jobs. They go on to lose their houses, shrinking the tax base of the town. This reduces revenue at the current tax rate, but expenditures do not fall by as much as revenue. The difference can only be made up by increasing the tax on the remaining payers, but they choose to exercise their god-given and perfectly reasonable right not to accept this increase. As a result, some more citizens must be fired.

Why should this affect aggregate demand? Because the remaining taxpayers do not choose spend as much of the money they would have paid in extra tax as the fired people would have. After all, times are scary - people are losing their jobs. Better to save for a rainy day! Nothing in economic theory is certain - it's not a science, you know - but this effect is pretty well documented and it is absurd to claim that Krugman is wrong about this just by shouting. The onus is definitely on you to prove him wrong.

Anyway, given that aggregate demand falls, total unemployment rises and federal revenue falls. At the same time, "safety net" programs cause federal spending to rise. For this reason, it is possible in theory for the federal government to be better off financially by "subsidizing" Colorado Springs in defiance of the choices of its tax payers - so long as the subsidy is not permanent.

The argument above is not necessarily true, but you haven't done anything to undermine it - just gotten yourself really wound up. Why are your comments on other people's blogs so much more level-headed than your own posts?

Kid Dynamite said...

Greycap - the reason I'm so angry is because i took the time to write this post in a very straightforward, not political, non-opinionated manner. it's not about the philosophy of bailouts, and i used the real honest to god facts of Colorado Springs's situation.

I know that there are topics on which people can disagree - like the prior posts on subsidizing teachers - but this is as post that is so simple and straightforward that it should be impossible to argue with.

I understand your well put comment - I do, so let me re-state my thesis as simply as possible: Colorado Springs is the wrong town for Krugman to use as an example of the potential negative feedback loops that can result from his economic models. I am quite confident that I offered ample evidence in this post to prove that.

As i've mentioned over and over again, he deceptively used Colorado Springs for emotional effect (the DARK!) to manipulate his readers, as he frequently does, which is why it needs to be simply explained why CS is a terrible application of his theories/fears/model - which is what I did. CS needs no help! They don't need an economic overlord telling them what's good for them! That's documented in the post - this is the will of the people of CS.

your "thought process" described in your comment is Krugman's agenda, and it may very well apply to other towns - other towns that are hurting and want to have more services than they can afford. That is, without the possibility of debate, NOT the case for Colorado Springs - they can afford it, they just choose not to.

now, to your conclusion, which I know you state is a possibility, and not your thesis:

"For this reason, it is possible in theory for the federal government to be better off financially by "subsidizing" Colorado Springs in defiance of the choices of its tax payers - so long as the subsidy is not permanent."

I just addressed that in the prior few comments - on the contrary - the solution is not to widen the scope of decision making so that even after the citizens of the town make their decisions they get overruled by the government. The solution is to further compartmentalize the decision making so that more people can get precisely what they want, and pay for only what they need.

Do you really want to argue that Paul Krugman's economic models know what's best for us better than we do? No - i don't even think you do - you just want to say that I haven't debunked it. I think I have. Repeatedly. Do you want me to further debunk the fact that not everyone is a Keynesian and that Krugman's Keynesian views should not be forced on any municipality? Especially when their situation has been laboriously and deliberately arrived at by CHOICE, rather than circumstance?

asphaltjesus said...


I'm pretty sure you argue in favor of the idea that Colorado Springs is a good model of self determination.

You are selling a brand of moral righteousness that conveniently ignores the misery being shifted onto others to make your case.

There are two areas where your self determination argument is a fail.

1. Colorado Springs is a model scenario for you right now because large consequences of their actions have yet to materialize. I'd argue you are ignoring the immediate consequences already. (crime)

2. This model relies on exporting their misery/problems to surrounding governments. Until you address the impact on other citizens, this might as well be a discussion about the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin.

Kid Dynamite said...

AJ - are you now arguing that the Federal Government should overrule the will of the people? Come on - you're out in space. Are you arguing that when CS decides that they don't want to spend their money on streetlights that we need the Federal Government, or the Keynesian Patrol, to tell them that they're wrong????

are you arguing that Colorado Springs needs Federal stimulus? what are you arguing?

this isn't about moral righteousness - except in the sense that Krugman is being viciously unrighteous in appealing to the fears of his target audience by using an example that is irrelevant to his thesis.

by the way - make sure you stick with the facts - CS has been doing this for 20 years - it's not a new radical thing... so don't tell me that they're a time bomb waiting to happen that just hasn't had time to blow up yet. (but i understand that argument - and guess what - if crime increases, they'll vote to turn the streetlights back on - because we know that it's a matter of "won't" not "can't". we do not need the federal government involved in the decision. is it really that hard to understand?)

Kid Dynamite said...

AJ - ps - what does Colorado SPrings turning off its streetlights have to do with exporting misery to surrounding government?

and how is it that my argument "conveniently ignores the misery being shifted onto others to make your case"

I addressed what I think you might be talking about in a few anonymous replies above - ANY society has people who do not vote in the majority. It's unavoidable. If there were ever a case where we needed outside intervention, Colorado Springs is not it.

Kid Dynamite said...

Greycap - here's the letter I sent to the NYT Op-ed editor, so you can mock it and tell me how i missed the point and didn't prove anything:

"NYT readers should be informed that, contrary to what Paul Krugman would have them believe, the streetlights in Colorado Springs are not off because of any sort of partisan political infighting, because services are "no longer affordable," or because of "three decades of antigovernment rhetoric." On the contrary, the streetlights are off simply because the Citizens of Colorado Springs chose not to spend their tax dollars on this amenity.

Krugman's claim that there are "services that government must provide or nobody will, like lighted streets, drivable roads and decent schooling for the public as a whole" is blatantly false - it's up to the Citizens of each town to decide how they want to spend their money, and if the average citizen of Colorado Springs would rather have $3 in his pocket than have streetlights for a year, that's their prerogative, and requires no government intervention at all."

Kid Dynamite said...

and for anyone worried about the poor citizens living in the dark - rest easy, anyone who wants to can pay to have their streetlight turned back on:

Kid Dynamite said...

greycap - (amazing isn't it, that I just keep replying with more stuff - that's how much this is bugging me)

i think i figured out what the problem is: you laid out a very rational, economical thought process in your recent comment. That is what you know Krugman's Keynesian position to be. I understand (but don't agree with) it.

If Krugman wrote that in an Op-ed, I'd disagree with it, but it might be more of an opinion, and one that relied on philosophical views of the readers.

However, that's not what Krugman did in this Op-ed which i was responding to. What he did, well, I've already described it 15 times above...

So, I guess i'm not proving that Krugman's Keynesian Thesis is wrong - like you said - I'm proving Krugman's Op-Ed is unethical and based on false assumptions - that Krugman's use of CS as an example of the consequences of "Republicans and Centrist Democrats," "anti-government rhetoric," or "unaffordable services" is flat out incorrect.

None of those things (Krugman's causes) are the cause of the lights being out in Colorado Springs.


asphaltjesus said...

Colorado Spring's 'small government' is not virtuous. You remain blind to the fact they are leeching off their neighboring municipalities and exporting their problems at the expense of every surrounding municipality.

If you admitted to that much, it would be a serious blow to the rugged individual, self-determinism B.S. that passes for legitimate socio-political commentary.

There are legitimate problems with Krugman's article and we agree on a few of them. Colorado Springs' Shangri-la is not one of them.

Kid Dynamite said...

AJ - you've made the same statement again, without specifics, even after I asked you for evidence supporting what you were talking about. What exactly are they (Colorado Springs) "leeching off their neighboring communities?" Do you think they take their newspapers to the neighboring communities and read them under their streetlights? Are they dumping their dogs' poop in the neighboring towns parks so that THEY can clean it up? Are they overrunning the neighboring towns parks and leaving all their trash there? Explain. Please.

Aside, if you find my blog to be "rugged individual, self-determinism B.S. that passes for legitimate socio-political commentary" then I urge you not to continue to waste your time reading it unless you are here to correct errors that I made.