While I'm on the subject of taxes, here's a truly interesting essay, just in time for Labor Day, on how to deal with the mass employment disruption that robots are bringing to the workplace.
Joseph Bachman, from the New Urbanism list, 8/14/03: "I've never understood the rationale behind taxing property, anyway. It means if you have a cashflow problem, you have to liquidate some of your property to pay your taxes, and considering that property has an almost religious significance in our country (the US), I'm surprised that this system has persisted here. With income taxes, on the other hand, you only have to pay if money is coming in. Such a system gives taxpayers total control over the taxes they pay. Want to pay less income tax? Just lower your income. Works every time."
Wired: "'California has been such a great success story that we've been resting on our laurels a bit,' White said. 'We've been taking for granted that we're always going to be a great climate for business. The needle has been pointing in the other direction for a while. We need to get it back to center, and we haven't figured out a way to get it back there yet.'" How about -- not borrowing excessively? Tackling the NIMBYs who stifled sustainability by dictating sprawl? That's just for starters.
Charles Siegel, writing on the Bicycle-Friendly Berkeley Coalition bfbc-talk mail list on Aug. 2 (not archived anywhere): "Comparisons by Newman and Kenworthy show that cities with stop and go traffic have less air pollution than cities with smooth flowing traffic: though there is more pollution per mile driven, people drive less in cities with stop and go traffic, and the net result is less pollution."
Assocated Press: "The iBOT is complex enough that the wrong person using it could get hurt or injure bystanders, so Independence Technology set up an FDA-approved program to strictly control sales."
Los Angeles Times: "According to a federal survey, the increase in vehicular travel over the last decade was primarily caused not by extra commuting, but by a rise in such discretionary activities as shopping and running errands." (via BATN)
Robert J. Matter: "A residual benefit of the high density city is multi-family buildings are more energy efficient than single-family detached homes too."