Harbor Point and Baltimore's Taxpayer-Funded Edifice Complex

In Baltimore, a small, toxic spit of land that juts out into the Patapsco River is the latest battleground between the free market and government subsidies.

For 20 years, Harbor Point, a 27-acre site of an abandoned chromium factory, has been a dream in the eyes of developers. It's the last big unbuilt site on the city's waterfront and arguably the most sought-after real estate in all of Maryland.

Yes, developers have lusted after the site, but they just didn't want to have pay the full cost of, well, developing it.

In a city as desperate for growth as Baltimore, they don't have to. Baltimore's political class has committed  $400 million in public subsidies to a controversial plan that supporters claim will generate 6,000 jobs and build a complex of skyscrapers, residences, and public parks that will forever transform the character of the city.

City officials believe the $1.8 billion-dollar project will spark an economic turnaround. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake considers Harbor Point a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to reverse the half-century-long exodus of residents and businesses that have hollowed out Baltimore. Rawlings-Blake and developer Michael Beatty have campaigned relentlessly for the plan, offering promises of urban renewal and jobs in a city with 10.3 percent unemployment.

Yet Baltimore's citizens aren't convinced. The public hearings and frequent street demonstrations outside City Hall have revealed a tale of two cities: sweetheart deals for the well-connected along the waterfront and decades of neglect for the majority of its blue collar residents. The subsidies are a major sticking point, as is the use of an Enterprise Zone for the benefit of wealthy residents. Tax increment financing, known as TIF, will exempt the developer from taxation for a decade. To many residents, Harbor Point is just the latest example of socializing risk and privatizing gain.

Why are the public coffers wide open to wealthy developers? That's the way business has always been done, in Baltimore and elsewhere. Just upriver from Harbor Point, the city's famed Inner Harbor is the result of similar top-down, heavily subsidized development. Decades ago, city politicians spent billions to sweep away Baltimore's crumbling industrial-age infrastructure, replacing it with office towers, popular chain restaurants, museums, and an aquarium, all of which attracts millions of tourists, year after year.

More than just creating a pleasure for daytrippers, the development of the Inner Harbor set a precedent for the nation, as other cities rushed to make their own versions of the scene. In Baltimore, developers lobby politicians for special deals. If they don't get what they want, they give themselves a tax cut by moving their business to the surrounding county, where property taxes are much lower than in Baltimore proper. It's a dynamic that's left large sections of the city abandoned, with only a few tax-exempt institutions such as Johns Hopkins University and the Catholic Church continuing to thrive.

Even the widely praised Inner Harbor has failed to stanch the flow of 300,000 residents who've left Baltimore since 1960. Instead of revitalizing the city's fortunes, the rise of the waterfront has paralleled the decline of basic city functions. Violent crime remains high, public schools underperform, and the cityscape is blighted by the presence of tens of thousands of vacant buildings.

Ironically, the Harbor Point project has overcorme every political obstacle in its way only to be put on hold pending an environmental review of hexavalent chromium in the soil. Despite that delay, developers and their friends in City Hall remain confident that the project will soon be moving forward and that it will both revive Baltimore's fortunes and the reputation of planners who push corporate welfare. It will likely take a decade before the project is up and running and the rest of us learn whether Harbor Point is just another tax-aided mega-project that fails to provide the economic stimulus its backers promise.

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  • Rich||

    Don't forget to give Harbor Point its own Light Rail stop.

  • Sevo||

    And Tesla dealership!

  • Doctor Whom||

    For decades, city and state leaders have assured us that redevelopment in Baltimore, subsidized by taxpayers statewide, would turn around the city's fortunes, and we see the result. But this time, it's different. This time, it will work. This time, the stars will align.

  • Doctor Whom||

    I also like this from the article:

    The city also has counted on raking in increased fees from the approximately 9,000 employees who would use the 9-building site, which would include a Morgan Stanley facility, other office buildings, residential towers, stores and a hotel.

    Those workers and employers would contribute an estimated $88,000 in speed camera tickets, $65,000 in red light tickets, $61,000 from the admissions and amusement tax on entertainment venues, $40,000 toward the bottle tax and $600 in minimum wage violation fines, among other anticipated fees, according to an analysis by the city’s consultant, Municap Inc.

    But remember: Camera traffic enforcement is about safety, not revenue.

  • Hydra||

    If you tax and fine them, they will come.

  • ||

    Yeah I was just looking at that.

    If you get a ticket you can bring that claim to court as a defense, right?

    What is a bottle tax?

    Y'know, reading over this article it seems pretty clear to me why they are in an economic decline. It is like they only know one way of doing things, anything else is unthinkable.

  • JW||

    Harbor Point is just the latest example of socializing risk and privatizing gain.

    That's a feature of democracy, not a bug.

    Enjoy the view from the monkey cage.

  • OneOut||

    The idea of lowering taxes and fees on everyone so that they can do something, so that they don't have to give tax breaks to get someone special to do something, has never entered their minds.

  • Surly Chef||

    It absolutely has entered their minds. However, the ever shifting shell game of tax and subsidy exists to be shifted, if necessary, to get reelected. Fixing it, even unfairly, would be a boon to the economy but, only a useful issue one election cycle. The pols aren't blind, they're evil.

  • Hydra||

    There's no memorials to Calvin Coolidge in DC.

  • PaulinePhelpsmee||

    up to I saw the check of $8495, I did not believe ...that...my best friend actualy earning money part time from their computer.. there friend brother started doing this 4 only fourteen months and as of now cleared the dept on there appartment and got a top of the range Ariel Atom. website here
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    http://www.tec30.com
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Is this going to make parking worse in Fell's? I bet it is. More rich d-bags going to Bond Street. If so, this proposal can definitely eat a big bag of dicks.

  • Dweebston||

    So if the proposal involves a parking garage, it's dandy?

  • Edward Snowden||

    People don't go to Baltimore because of the high probability of getting killed.

  • GILMORE||

    I grew up in NYC in the 1980s, were shell casings and crack vials on the street were simply past of the scenery.

    When I visited Baltimore in the early 90s to consider going to school there, I was like, "Whoa. Shit is pretty thug up in here". Apparently it actually *got worse*.

    I have only ever been equally impressed with the nastiness of pre-Katrina New Orleans, where while I was walking down the street, a Nun pulled over and demanded I get in her car because she said, "you'll never make it another block". She was specifically referring to 6 guys following me. I got in the car. nice lady.

  • Dweebston||

    I was hoping she'd shake you down, 'cuz a sister gotta eat, too.

    That would be pretty thug.

  • GILMORE||

    That would be mad thug. She didn't even sell me weed.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Was the nun actually Princess Leia?

  • GILMORE||

    She looked more like a black Yoda.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Oops. SugarFree'd the link.

  • ||

    a Nun pulled over and demanded I get in her car because she said, "you'll never make it another block".

    Awesome. Like a 70's action b-movie.

  • Dweebston||

    NUNCHAKU, the nunchuck-wielding nun. Doing the lord's work, one cracked skull at a time.

  • Pulseguy||

    that is such a cool anecdote...

  • ||

    We were in NO around ten years ago, around Xmas, really nice weather, had a great time. Stayed in a fairly cheap place pretty far from French Quarter, so we were basically walking home a long way every night. Never felt any sense of danger. Not doubting you, I guess we were just oblivious or got lucky.

  • GILMORE||

    N.O. is a wonderful walking city which is partly why and how 'wrong turns' can happen. that said, I don't really know what its like post-Katrina. I doubt it changed as much as people might think.

    If you were going directly from one tourist area to another (e.g. say, down St Charles from the Tulane/Audubon park area to the quarter) you likely would never see anything unpleasant. Its when you wander off into 'the wards' that what looks like a "historic district" turns into "Haiti with a serious crack problem" in about 100 yards. Its literally a block-by-block phenomenon. (like say, South Philly, where I saw the city literally crumble away beneath my feet a 1-mile distance from downtown).

  • SusanM||

    That's what we call "local flavor".

  • bassjoe||

    NO lost a substantial number of citizens, it is about 25% smaller than it was in 2005. A portion of those are people from the 9th Ward who got evacuated to Houston, etc., and never returned (simply because they didn't have the means).

    That said, when I went to Mardi Gras in 2009, my local guide made it clear that you can go from relatively safe French Quarter to "where the eff did this knife-wielding maniac come from" one minute after a wrong turn. For the most amazing cemeteries in the city -- literally blocks from Bourbon Street -- you were NOT recommended to go alone to and told NOT to separate from the tour group you go with.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You were walking back from Jazz Fest, and the nun was Haitian. You tried to give her money but she refused, but she did allow you to take her out to eat.

  • GILMORE||

    Oh, look. Bo's not wearing his 'Professor Asshole' cap anymore.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Professor Asshole

    That's my porn alias, by the way.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I know those details because you posted this same story before, under a different name.

    Which is ironic, given that you're one of those rending their garments over someone posting under a different name.

  • GILMORE||

    I may have posted that story here before, but not under a different name. The only other handle I ever posted under was REAL AMERICAN and that was a sockpuppet all-caps mouthbreather used to make fun of Lonewacko.

    And at least one detail is false. The others are disturbingly accurate, which leads me to believe you.

    before I tell you to go fuck yourself for basically admitting to being Bo, can you actually find your referenced example? Its possible someone's plagiarized me. Wouldn't be the first time either. (I have good stories)

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    Meh, I change my handle occasionally. I keep coming back to this one, though.
    Also because I can't seem to spell "occasionally" today...

  • SugarFree||

    Tulpa, you desperate little shitbird...

    http://reason.com/blog/2006/01.....ent_368652

    GILMORE posted it under his own name. Try and find the story told under a different handle. Go on.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I remembered that as being dhex rather than Gilmore. Unless the name has been edited in the intervening years, which seems improbable.

    Apologies for the misidentification. I'm loath to be like SF and make false accusations.

  • SugarFree||

    You managed to post that under your own handle. Good job, Tulpa.

    Remember kids, when you catch Tulpa in a lie, that makes you the liar.

    Some fifth rate school actually pays him to teach children. Think about that.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You were not lying about me here, but have done so in the past. I have no idea if you were a liar before we met or will continue to be so after I move to the next stage of my life journey and you're still here in the sandbox.

  • GILMORE||

    "after I move to the next stage of my life journey "

    Tell me this involves sitting in the lotus position, a gas-can and matches. *please*

  • SugarFree||

    Yes, this horrible place that you are so desperate to remain a part of. How can a joke like you be so unfunny?

  • Tejicano||

    No shit. When some phrase similar to "is this the rollo to your tulpa" has just about hit the local lexicon you would think a sentient being would just disapear.

  • GILMORE||

    "Tulpa (LAOL-VA)|3.30.14 @ 4:18PM|#

    I remembered that as being dhex rather than Gilmore."

    Dhex (Mike), as it happens, is/was a friend of mine in NYC, and the guy who suckered me into H&R.

    Not a 'handle', sorry.

  • GILMORE||

    Also mostly unrelated = here's some of Dhex/Mike's latest(?) electronic-noise compositions.

    https://soundcloud.com/dhex

    I think he still has my joe meek preamps.

  • ||

    Holy shit!

    dhex used to post on H&R? I really like his stuff and also his posts on Noisefanatics (RIP).

  • GILMORE||

    Wow, that was old. Good memory Tulpa. Despite being completely wrong about the name thing.

    I totally forgot about the food part. I probably need to drink more.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    From my days at Tulane till now I have a soft spot for tales of what a shithole the Big Easy has become.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    With the port almost totally mechanized there's no reason for that city to exist anymore. Post-Katrina it should have just been allowed to go back underwater as the spaghetti monster intended.

  • GILMORE||

    Did they have the vending machines with beer in them when you attended Tulane?

    When I found that (~1994? maybe), I cried with joy, as though I'd found the holy grail by accident.

    Then I realized I had no change.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    They had them in the chow hall at Biloxi in 1972. First and, so far, only time I've ever seen them.

    The vending machine logo was for "Busch" beer, for whatever that's worth.

    ... Hobbit

  • Tejicano||

    ...which I somehow feel a need to point out to Alanis Morissette (had to google the spelling) that this is not ironic.

  • GILMORE||

    "there's no reason for that city to exist anymore"

    Funny... you know what else has no reason to exist anymore?

  • ||

    When I visited Baltimore in the early 90s to consider going to school there, I was like, "Whoa. Shit is pretty thug up in here". Apparently it actually *got worse*

    That's when I was at Hopkins, and it was pretty bad. We knew exactly where the streets were that marked "no go" territory. I had two friends who were one block outside of the "safe(r) area" one night and got chased by a group of people. It scared the shit out of them.

    The funny thing is that on the other side of campus (the side with the park) bordered an increasingly nice area, which is why I got my apartment over there.

  • ||

    I hate to tell you Gilmore, but like Baltimore only knowing one way of doing things, New Orleans is rapidly returning to it's pre-Katrina condition.

  • Madisonian||

    We stopped in Baltimore to go to Phillips Seafood restaurant on the way home from the 2nd 9/12 rally, and really enjoyed it. The inner harbor is beautiful, had some old ships, an aquarium that we planned to return and visit, etc. A year and a half later a man was stripped and beaten 2 blocks from the mall we parked in, and a little research showed it was a growing trend. Plans changed.

    The increased violence has also stopped us from visiting Philadelphia; soon enough, I expect my own city to be as bad, should DiBlasio have his way.

  • Hyperion||

    You will be fine at the inner harbor, at least during the day.

    We go down there all of the time, it's fine.

    Just avoid about 90% of the city, and you are good.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I was walking to Camden Yards one time when someone asked me by the convention center where the inner harbor is.

    Ummmm, over there where the water is?

  • ||

    Philadelphia is fine if you are staying in the Center City area.

  • Hyperion||

    I was wondering about that, because I've been wanting to go up there. Close as Philly is, seems odd that I've been to Manhattan with the wife 6 times and never to Philly.

  • Spoonman.||

    One somewhat sensible thing Philadelphia did is make it so any property with new construction on it doesn't get reassessed for 10 years. As mentioned above (and SLD) it would be better to just have lower taxes, but it has led to a lot of improvement in most neighborhoods. Philadelphia is completely fine during the daylight.

  • Hyperion||

    Look, there is nothing corrupt going on in Charm City.

    OT:

    Has anyone seen this yet?

    What's wrong with your eyes, grandpa!?

  • Dweebston||

    “You didn’t have to go to the bathroom before you saw me … I’m telling you, you pulled in here to avoid me.”

    Imagine that: wanting to avoid the thugs with guns and a legal mandate to hassle him.

    I missed it, but another fracas with APD made the H&R roundup earlier this week. Another pointless confrontation by police escalated into a senseless murder. Why would anyone wish to have any interaction with police?

  • ||

    Idaho is fun.

    In eastern Washington we call all Western Washington residents "Those god damn liberal west siders.

    In Idaho they call us Eastern Washington residents "Those god damn Washington liberals"

    Sadly the trend does not follow eastward into Montana...though it might in Wyoming where they could call Idaho residents "Those god damn Idaho liberals" I don't really know.

  • Aloysious||

    Most of the 'god damned liberals' are concentrated in Boise, the North End.

    Almost everyone else is a social conservative.

  • prolefeed||

    Nothing is more likely to turn a city government's fortunes around then giving subsidies of $15 million per ACRE to wealthy corporatists.

    Instead of, say, lowering taxes for everyone and cutting the government staff levels that require high taxes to finance.

  • Hyperion||

    Why do you hate the children?

  • ||

    cutting the government staff levels that require high taxes to finance.

    You mean cutting pensions of retired union members.

  • ||

    2.2% property tax vs 1.1% property tax...

    hmmm...

    I would also guess that assessments are also high in Baltimore compared to the surrounding counties.

    The solution is damn simple....too bad it will never happen.

    Hey John don't you live somewhere near all this?

  • Hyperion||

    I think that John lives closer to DC.

    The property taxes in Baltimore city are like twice what they are in Baltimore county. I looked at a house here and found out that the taxes were almost as much as the mortgage. That's when looking at houses in the city, stopped.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Or is he in Virginia?

  • Hyperion||

    Maybe NOVA, but I think it's MD, but closer to DC than Balmer.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Can I get a clarification here? Where is Balmer, and do they say "hon" a lot?

  • Hyperion||

    Clarification:

    Balmer, city in east Murlan.

    Hon is necessary part of every sentence; ending in 'hon'.

    Hope that helps.

    Also: crabs, Old Bay, National Bohemia, .

  • Hyperion||

    BTW, National Bohemia is actually the best cheap beer, ever, on the planet, hands down.

  • Pi Guy||

    Ugh.

    Natty Boh is like sex in a canoe: f#€&ing; close to water.

  • Hyperion||

    Not at all. The would be coors lite, miller lite, bud lite.

    National Bohemia is good beer, for the price.

  • GILMORE||

    "Hyperion|3.30.14 @ 5:12PM|#

    BTW, National Bohemia is actually the best cheap beer, ever, on the planet, hands down."

    mm.

    That's actually tough. I like it, being fond of 'cheap lager' in general.

    However, I'd have to give the "best" to Gerst in Nashville.

    http://www.beeradvocate.com/be.....020/67505/

    it was (in the mid 90s) cheaper than almost except The Beast, and on par flavor-wise with a Sam Adams or Anchor Steam.

    I actually don't know all the good cheapest brands of beer in the country, but there's gotta be a million of them. Yuengling is damn good for how cheap it is. They sell it for $2-3 a pint in most places in NYC. in NY, that is near-pabst prices.

  • Hyperion||

    Yuengling is good for the price. I was buying it here in MD for about $15 a case, until I got sick of it.

    I like National Bohemia a lot better than Yuengling, it has a very clean taste with none of the nasty after taste that other economy beers, like Budweiser has.

    I can get an 18 of NB for $16. But I usually like to buy it in the tall cans, which runs about $13 for 12.

    Honestly, I have 12 Heinekens ($15 for 12) and a 12 of tall NBs in the fridge and I'm on my 5th NB, Heinekens still undisturbed.

    I also have a few bottles of Ayinger Brau Weisse in there, which I am saving for later.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Oh Boy! What a Beer!

  • Pi Guy||

    B-more's about 40 mi north of DC up I-95.

    They do say "Hon" but simply quoting it doesn't do the accent justice. Some of my grand- and great-grandparents did "Goin' downey ocean, Hon!" as if they were straight off a John Waters' movie set.

    PS: Orioles Opening Day tomorrow, 3"+ of snow on the ground in Manchester, 30 miles northeast of the the Big City.

  • Hyperion||

    It's very difficult to actually emulate a true Balmer accent. I worked with a guy who grew up in Dundalk, and he had it down to a fine art.

  • Hyperion||

    There's not any snow in the city, and I live in the NW hilly area. It was sleeting earlier, but it's all pretty much melted now.

  • ||

    You live in a frozen hell. *shakes head*

    It was sunny and 77 today here. I worked in the garden and trimmed some muscadine vines ( yeah I know its late for that, but they will be fine). I am already cutting grass for the second time this season.

    It is 72 and unbelievably pleasant now.

  • Hyperion||

    The day I left Brazil, March 18, to come back to frozen hell, it was 97 with 83% humidity.

    72 is frozen hell, dude. (:

  • Hyperion||

    Also, plants there growing beside the road, like weeds, that you can't even imagine.

  • ||

    Maybe NOVA, but I think it's MD, but closer to DC than Balmer.

    Isn't going from DC to Baltimore like driving from Tacoma to Seattle?

  • GILMORE||

    "the half-century-long exodus of residents and businesses that have hollowed out Baltimore"

    What's important is that no one ever ask why this part happened in the first place.

  • Hydra||

    Shipping good manufacturing jobs to the Far East and India?

  • GILMORE||

    "De-industrialization" was an iceberg, not a bolt of lightning.

    When you say "shipping jobs" you almost sound like you believe in some zero-sum economic theory

  • GILMORE||

    As I noted above = Bmore was already genuinely and deeply fucked up in *1992*. You'd think maybe sometime in the interim 20 years someone might have thought about something bigger than using city-money to fund ANOTHER bullshit 'Dave and Busters' down on the Waterfront.

    (*note: I got very baked, went to D&B AND the Aquarium, and fucking loved it. Thank you crony capitalism!)

  • Pulseguy||

    You walk into a store, there are two racks of white shirts, and you need a white shirt. One rack, well made, are $20 a shirt, but made in China. The other rack, also well made, are $80 a shirt, made in the USA! Which do you buy?

    No one is shipping manufacturing jobs elsewhere. People are buying things made elsewhere because they are cheaper. The consumer rules here, not business. And, the consumer has spoken.

    Now, check your closet. Anything made in the US?

  • Rich||

    Hey, I *know* this T-shirt was printed in the US!

    *** checks tag ***

    "Made in Honduras"

  • ||

    I for one blame Republicans and the rich and the only thing that could possibly turn back the tide is a government financed and government run open air farmers market.

  • AdamJ||

    Easy. Racism.

  • Mike M.||

    OT: professional race pimps and slimy lefties in the JounoList are irate at Kobe Bryant over comments he made about the Trayvon Martin case. His horrible, offensive statements:

    "I won't react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” he said. “That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, we’ve progressed as a society, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.”

    The horror! Go ahead and and call him an "Uncle Tom" now, "Bo Cara Esquire".

  • Hydra||

    link don't wrk

  • Hyperion||

    No, Hydra, that's a bad Mr. Hydra! You have violated sacred protocol here.

    You are supposed to say 'SF'd the link!'.

  • Mike M.||

  • Dweebston||

    The @MiamiHEAT didn't defend #trayvonmartin because he was Black. It was the ASSUMPTION of guilty due to wearing a hoodie, @kobebryant.

    No, you nitwit, it's the assumption of Martin's innocence because the shooter was white.

    Incredible that a black man can make an imminently reasonable statement of fact (we don't know what we don't know), and assert his willingness to withhold judgement, and he's taken to task by people who had the case figured out backward and forward before the second round of headlines made it to paper. Because he's being unreasonable. Right.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well Zimmerman is not classically deterministic "White", he's quantum probabilistically "White". Schrodinger's White.

  • Dweebston||

    Not according to the fine folks at Huffington Post and elsewhere. It's really very binary: Zimmerman was not ethnically distinguishable from whites the way "traditional" hispanics would be, nor was he part of another protected class from behind which he might claim credibility, and therefore his intentions were racist. Full stop, guilty as charged, no need to impanel the jury.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    nor was he part of another protected class from behind which he might claim credibility

    Why are you ignoring his morbid obesity, you fat-shaming size bigot!

  • Agammamon||

    Obese *women* are a protected class - Obese *men* are just disgusting.

  • ||

    +1 class consciousness

  • ||

    I meant to up-vote Agammamon.

  • Agammamon||

    Its good you clarified that. Can't have people thinking there's any merit to HM's insensitivity.

    Every right-thinking person knows that women suffer from unrealistic body-image expectations due to Barbie but that men should do whatever it takes to look like He-Man. They get away with not doing so only because of the sexism and privilege that comes from the domination of the Patriarchy.

  • Banjos||

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Men are dumb and lazy.

    Education has become so important, in our knowledge-based economy, that some experts now say we should consider making college mandatory, just as high school has been in most states for nearly 100 years.
  • Pulseguy||

    That makes sense considering how well college grads are doing these days.

    Everyone needs an Art History degree to succeed in this society.

  • GILMORE||

    "Education has become so important, in our knowledge-based economy, that some experts now say we should consider making college mandatory, just as high school has been in most states for nearly 100 years"

    Translation:

    Public High Schools have become so incompetent at educating people in basic areas such as literacy, numeracy, and civics, and universities so diluted in their mandate given such massive demand from an oversubsidized population, that most graduates from the university system are currently less basically-skilled than high school graduates of only a generation ago. Throwing more technology and money at this problem is doing nothing. THEREFORE = Throw EVEN MORE money at the problem!

  • ||

    Making things mandatory: the immediate go-to of the statist control freak. Think about this person's idea: people who are technically adults would be forced to go to college even if they didn't want to or couldn't afford it (more loans!). Now let's compare this idea to when the idea of forcing people to serve in the Peace Corps or similar organizations was floated.

    Or the draft.

    The funny thing about the college idea is that in the military draft, you at least get paid. In the Peace Corp draft, you don't (as far as I know), but you don't have to pay them. In a college draft, you would have to pay for the forced education. And it's expensive. And there's no way the colleges are going to waive that.

    Force, force, and more force. It solves everything, doesn't it?

  • GILMORE||

    ""Think about this person's idea""

    Awww?

    Can' I just have *feelings* about it?

    -----------------

    I have met people like this and tried to explain how countries like Egypt made university education basically free and mandatory; and how it effectively created millions of useless people and helped devastate their economy. Wash, rinse, repeat. This does nothing to deter progs - who STILL look at bankrupt Europe, and go: "That's what WE need!"

  • ||

    But your argument is a utilitarian argument. The force aspect of it is a moral argument, and therefore the one that matters.

    Of course, both arguments would mean nothing to people like this. They're sociopathic and don't see the masses as humans, but rather cogs in their machine that, if just spun correctly, would provide a perfectly tuned and functioning outcome.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    They know they are just a few tweaks away from building their human perpetual motion machine!

    If only they didn't have issues in the Quality Assurance department when ginning out their human cogs, they'd have it already...

  • lap83||

    But in Europe everyone rides bikes and eats at cute cafes and there aren't any WalMarts. It's basically utopia. /hipster douche

  • ||

    here aren't any WalMarts

    There are, just they're called TESCOs.

  • Derpetologist||

    You get paid in the Peace Corps. I got paid about $225 per month and got about $5,000 when I finished.

  • GILMORE||

    Where'd you Bring The Peace, out of curiosity?

    My ex-GF was working for the UN and had some peace-commandos sheep-dipped to her in Ghana. When ask to account for her time there, she would begin a 30min preamble about economics and culture and blah blah blah. I would often cut her short and answer the person, "she traded cell-phones for sex slaves".

    which is basically what she did. They were called Trokosi

  • Derpetologist||

    I was in Tanzania from 2007 to 2009.

  • GILMORE||

    Word.

    Sex-slave-trade? or digging wells and shit?

  • Derpetologist||

    Teaching math & computers mostly.

  • GILMORE||

    Should have sent you to Newark

  • GILMORE||

    Now that I think about it though, no one would volunteer for that.

  • Derpetologist||

    My cousin is a gym teacher at an alternative school in Hackensack, NJ.

    He has some interesting tales.

  • sloopyinca||

    This will be a long way off. First they will need to raise the drop out rate from 16 to 18 which has been floated around recently. My poor mother who is a special ed teacher is horrified by this possibility as she reaches limits as to what her students can learn and becomes nothing but a babysitter to them. Some of them will even have a job lined up, but are forced to waste their time being forced to stay in school learning the same thing over and over again not be able to retain any of it.

  • sloopyinca||

    Oops, Banjos wrote this, not sloopy. Forgot to sign in.

  • Agammamon||

    So Sloopy is Banjo's sockpuppet - the truth is outed!

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Sockpuppets everywhere! Who isn't a sock. It's enough to turn an ordinary man into J.J. Angleton.

  • Warrren||

    Was he a sock magnate?

  • Agammamon||

    He was into stockings and bondage.

  • Pi Guy||

    This greatly piques my curiosity with respect to Babies Reason and Liberty.

  • Hydra||

    High school isn't mandatory in any state as far as I know, it's an age-based requirement (obviously).

    Is this person saying we should raise the age of compulsory schooling to 22?

  • lap83||

    So 30 will become the new 20. "I just graduated from college, so I'm going to take a year off. Figure out what I want to do"

  • Pulseguy||

    I don't know enough about the specific project to comment, but it possibly isn't as bad as it looks. Sites like this are so heavily regulated no one can take the chance to develop them. You buy it and could spend ten years trying to get it cleaned enough to build on it. And, it would be almost impossible to get any assurance you would be allowed something. I'm sure it is zoned industrial and requires a re-zoning. When you put that in the way it will sit there forever. The government forces its participation. The developer would much rather be given a site with no restrictions and told to present something with vision and size.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    ...Harbor Point, a 27-acre site of an abandoned chromium factory...

    An abandoned chemical factory is poison to a developer's business plan. That's another reason to get the city and state involved, because they will run legal cover for the developer when all the residents start filing cancer-related law suits.

    I'm not saying the site is toxic, but just pointing out business risks.

  • Hyperion||

    Maryland is just cronyism, all the way down. There is nothing else that happens here, for any other reason.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Oops, Banjos wrote this, not sloopy. Forgot to sign in.

    Another sockpuppet unmasked!

  • Banjos||

    Yes, but am I his sockpuppet or is he mine?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The sockpuppet is the one who's penetrated in the relationship, so that would be him.

  • SusanM||

    Are you a man dreaming he is a sockpuppet or a sockpuppet dreaming that he's a man?

  • Banjos||

    Are you a man dreaming he is a sockpuppet or a sockpuppet dreaming that he's a man?

    I may be confused, but not "gender identity" confused.

  • SusanM||

    Count yourself lucky then ;)

  • Agammamon||

    So are you a man dreaming that he's a woman dreaming that she is a sockpuppet or a sockpuppet dreaming that it is a man dreaming that he is a woman?

    Sock-inception! Blew yer mind! Gotta go down another level.

  • Pi Guy||

    Maybe Banjos is a gay guy but doesn't know it because she's trapped in the body of a woman.

    It's starting to feel like barber shop mirrors in here...

  • The Late P Brooks||

    an abandoned chromium factory

    WOOP WOOP WOOP!

    DANGER, WILL ROBINSON.

    Who wouldn't want the EPA as a business partner?

  • Sevo||

    "an abandoned chromium factory"
    WIH is a "chromium factory"? You don't manufacture chromium, you dig it out of the ground.

  • Hyperion||

    This.

    But, then you use it to get filthy rich and kill the peasants.

    After all, that's what factories are for.

    .... Umm, so what exactly what do you make in a chromium factory? Vitamins that kill the peasants?

  • ||

    I presume they mean ore refinery.

  • Agammamon||

    When you dance with the devil you stay until the song is through.

  • Sevo||

    How 'bout some international business foolishness?
    According to the WTO, China isn't allowed to not sell some materials:

    "China quotas on rare earths violate trade laws, WTO finds"
    [...]
    "PARIS - China has broken international trade law by restricting the export of rare earth elements"...
    http://www.sfgate.com/default/.....360307.php

    Hmm, not surprising that the story is datelined Paris, but it was the US who initiated the action.
    As I understand it, the US has plenty of deposits, but the EPA finds them icky, so of course, China must be required to make up the difference. 'Cause Obo is so dreamy or something.

  • ||

    It's not "China, you have to export more metals", it's "China, you can't prevent the export of metals"

  • SugarFree||

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Force, force, and more force. It solves everything, doesn't it?

    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

    The proles must be protected from their poor judgement.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    WIH is a "chromium factory"? You don't manufacture chromium, you dig it out of the ground.

    I assume (I don't actually read any of this stuff) they mean "chrome plating" which has been a target of the EPA for a long time.

    It's nasty.

    Too bad it's a hugely beneficial industrial process.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yup. When I worked in P&C insurance, there were a lot of 'XX - Do Not Cover's in the metal plating liability underwriting guides & ratebooks.

  • Agammamon||

    Its not that *China* can not choose to not sell something.

    Its that the Chinese *government* can't put in place regulations restricting Chinese *businesses* from selling to international customers.

  • Agammamon||

    Well, that was supposed to be a response to Sevo.

  • Sevo||

    You and C the J have a point.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I'm watching the Formula 1 race; jumping back and forth between Malaysia and St Pete. Even running wheel to wheel, these new F1 cars don't look fast. They are ugly, they sound horrible, and they look slow.
    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The turbodiesel Audi and Peugeot Le Mans cars sound weird; low rpms, deep grumbly noise, but they look cool and they HAUL ASS.

    F1's eco-friendly "powerplants" suck.

  • Agammamon||

    Why, why, why would anyone think that 'eco-friendly' and 'race-car' could possibly be compatible.

    And what's the point anyway - you could make every F1 car 100% guaranteed no emission from operation and the manufacturing process and it would do nothing compared to an infinitesimally small increase in efficiency for ordinary cars.

  • Tejicano||

    I would bet their "point" (besides the one one their heads) is to push corporate design teams to find better green engine refinements. Of course this overlooks how little relation there is between how F1 engines and standard commercial engines function.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Indycar is putting on their usual clown show.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Something that really jumped out at me in that video were all the empty spots in that marina. Everywhere I've been in the last few years with a harbor is bursting at the seams. I know there's a lot of demand for slip space all along the eastern seaboard. Baltimore must be fucking up big time if their docks look like that.

    -jcr

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