The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the month “March, 2021”

Infrastructure Bill

The proposal from President Biden includes substantial funding for affordable housing. These funds include funds for weatherization, energy efficiency, and public housing improvements. This is certainly a welcome development. Paul Dribin

A Powerful Story about Black Poverty and Crime in St. Louis

This is a good story from Post Dispatch about the level of violence in St. Louis and how it disproportionately affects the Black community. I am glad they mentioned a guaranteed income as a tool. Paul Dribin


Kim Gardner and 60 Minutes

Recently 60 Minutes ran a feature on the St. Louis Circuit Attorney, Kim Gardner. The feature portrayed Gardner as a hero attempting to eliminate crime, racism, and bad policing. While this view makes for a good story, it is far from true. Gardner has been a disaster. Her abrasive personality has lost her most of her prosecutors, she has bungled the prosecution of Eric Greitens, which was a phony charged, aided a crooked investigator, fails to get along with anyone, particularly the police, has a low conviction rate, and has seen a rising crime rate. I am not one to criticize the media, but 60 Minutes really missed the boat on this one. Written by Paul Dribin

Covid Vaccine Distribution Remains a Mystery

Missouri is lagging the country with the number of residents who are vaccinated, (23%). The whole distribution process remains a mystery. Critics have said that vaccine distribution has occurred outside the normal health department infrastructure but through hospitals and pharmacies. This has slowed the process and left health departments out of the loop. It also appears that Governor Parson has favored rural over urban counties for political reasons. Whatever the cause, the distribution has been a mess. Written by Paul Dribin

Medicaid Expansion in Missouri

Missouri has been one of the states opting not to enroll in expanded Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act. The voters passed a constitutional amendment requiring enrollment. Seems like a no brained. The Republican committee in the legislature has voted down the measure needed to implement the law. I am sure this is illegal and unconstitutional but will cost time and money. The irony is that the feds pay almost the whole cost, and the benefits have increased under the Coronavirus Relief Measure recently enacted. A disgrace for Missouri. Written by Paul Dribin

Webster Groves Has a Good Idea but state Limits It

The City of Webster Groves is presenting a ballot initiative that would tax internet sales of over $2000. The funds would be used to promote racial and economic diversity. The internet tax is klunky due to state law. All internet sales should be taxed but the $2000 limit is all the state allows. It relies on an honor system of collection which is certainly unreliable. I applaud our representatives in Webster Groves but wish the State of Missouri would fully get on board. Written by Paul Dribin

New Urbanism

I am vacationing in the Florida panhandle and am directly seeing the horrors of the New Urbanism style of architecture. This style encompasses zero lot lines, front porches, old style architecture made to look new, green spaces rather than back yards, and garages in the back. The classic movie the Truman Show was shot on location in Seaside, a community near here.

I must say that the feeling one gets is of living on a movie set. To compound the problem, down here in Florida, there are hundreds of miles of this stuff. It is horrifying and dehumanizing. Written by Paul Dribin

Coronavirus Stimulus and Guaranteed Annual Income

The stimulus relief package includes strong stimulus for families with children who will receive direct funding for every child they have. This means that we are one step closer to a guaranteed annual income. This is what I have been preaching; money directly in the hands of people benefits them more strongly and directly than grants which can be inefficient. Kudos to all who developed this policy. Written by Paul Dribin

Lower Priced Houses are Over Assessed

This is a disturbing trend which I just read in the Washington Post. Analysts have reviewed millions of assessments and reached the conclusion that lower priced houses are over assessed resulting in disproportionately high taxes. This occurs because the lower priced houses are often in below average condition which would result in a low sales price. Assessors don’t usually see this because they usually don’t go inside the house. A weird set of circumstances. Written by Paul Dribin

Why a Guaranteed Annual Income Works

This backs up what I have been saying.

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