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Chair Seats Should Tip Up

How many times have you sat down on a chair with a smooth seat and found your butt sliding to the front of the chair? Happens to me all the time. Why don’t chair manufacturers build chair seats with a slight upward incline?

AZ Central’s Light Rail Deception

Arizona Central (Arizona Republic) is repeatedly claiming that “Phoenix voters have approved light rail 3 times.” This statement is very misleading because light rail has never been sufficiently popular to gain the support of Phoenix voters on its own. The last big tax increase is a good example. The instigators of this tax increase proposed it for the sole reason of paying for light rail. However, they were not stupid. They knew that support for light rail is very thin (because light rail is wasteful, inefficient, polluting, congestion causing, expensive, inappropriate in our age of autonomous vehicles, etc, etc). Therefore, they tried to give every Phoenix voter something to support. They threw in road repair, buses, bike lanes, walkways, and anything else they could think of to get enough votes to pass the measure. Near the end of the process they even threw in $16 million for police, just to be sure they got something for everyone.

A standalone vote for light rail never would have passed. Therefore, to suggest that voters have “approved light rail 3 times” is playing Pinocchio.

Republicans and Democrats are headed for bankruptcy

Today both major parties, Republicans and Democrats are careening toward bankruptcy. The Democrats are headed toward philosophical bankruptcy by their sharp turn to the left (free stuff for everyone) and are making their candidates unelectable. Republicans, on the other hand, are careening toward moral bankruptcy by their refusal to publicly censure President Trump’s improper and sometimes immoral personal behavior.

This looks like an opportunity for Libertarians. Congressman Justin Amash is the most consistently libertarian member of congress. He should reregister Libertarian and run for president. He can show the country what a true believer in limited government, combined with a man of impeccable character, can accomplish.

Convention Center Shops

When it’s 110+ in Phoenix the thought comes to mind that it would be nice to have an indoor mall in the downtown area. Recently, after leaving an event in the downtown area, I walked through the convention center just to cool off and realized that there are huge open areas on the inside. Why don’t we allow some retail businesses to lease space and create our own downtown mall at very little cost?

Phx Pension Debt-Vote Yes on Prop 106

Pension Debt Will Bury Us—Vote yes on Prop 106
One of the biggest problems in America at all levels of government is pension debt. It keeps growing because politicians can buy votes by promising higher pensions which they know they will not have to pay for now but will have to be paid for by our children and our grandchildren. Phoenix is no exception to this problem. Our mayor and council have kicked this can down the road for years. The chickens are coming home to roost.
But we have a chance to save our city by voting yes on Proposition 106 on August 27 (or before by mail). This is not a draconian measure. It does not reduce anyone’s pension. It simply requires that the promises we have already made be properly funded instead of running up debt to pay for these obligations, which is what our mayor and council have been doing. Bankruptcy is looming in many governmental entities. Let’s not risk that in Phoenix. Hold our politicians’ feet to the fire and vote yes on Prop 106.

Mission Creep at the Corporation Commission

Bob Robb’s recent column on the Arizona Corporation Commission was right on when he suggested that the ACC is involved in “mission creep.” And, unfortunately, the creeping is in the wrong direction. Instead of creeping toward less regulation, as they should be, the ACC is creeping toward ever more involvement in areas that are not within their assigned duties. One that Bob mentioned was mandating the type of energy that Arizona utilities should purchase. The recent example is renewable energy mandates. Social policy like this should be left to the Arizona legislature and the ACC should stick to its proper mission of ensuring that Arizona ratepayers get the most efficiently produced energy possible. The Goldwater Institute sued the ACC over this overreach (I was the plaintiff—Miller vs ACC). The case went through all levels of the court system, but we ultimately were unsuccessful. The overreach by the ACC is a classic example of the saying that “When you have a hammer in your hand, every problem looks like a nail.” This is especially troubling to me as a lifelong registered Republican since the ACC has been dominated by Republicans for many years. The authority to manage the operations of the utility companies in Arizona should be left to the utility companies and the ACC should stick to their job of rate and service regulation.

The latest ACC overreach is their attempt to force APS ratepayers (I am one) to pay for charging stations for electric vehicles. Because it is mostly wealthy people who can afford electric vehicles, this is simply forcing poor APS ratepayers to subsidize the wealthy. Electric charging stations should be provided by private companies.

As a final observation, I must point out that the ACC is obsolete. The days when utilities were a natural monopoly are gone (if they ever existed). Utility companies should be allowed to compete. This has been done successfully in Texas and some other places. Let’s do it here.

Bike Lanes on Indian School??

Why do we have bike lanes on Indian School Road? First, they are dangerous. There should not be bike lanes on major arterials. Second, they are not used. Third, they are not continuous and, therefore, even more dangerous. Finally, even though there is little or no bike traffic on Indian School, either east or west of Central, there IS a tremendous amount of vehicle traffic at that intersection which regularly gets backed up. If you have ever traveled eastbound on Indian School toward Central in the right lane you have probably been irritated by the need to change lanes to the left in order to accommodate the bike lane (even though there are no bikes). When I challenged the Phoenix transportation planners on this and suggested that they might have made a mistake with the plans for this intersection, their comment was “We don’t take out bike lanes once they are installed.” Isn’t it comforting to know that there is a government entity that does not make mistakes?