Harshing My Mellow — Week of March 9

I’m pressed for time again this week but a few comments on economics and other local issues:

– Why is the Dow Jones the indicator versus an indicator of the economy? I see this more and more and I find it a bit troubling. I think it’s seductive to look at one number on a day-to-day basis as a gauge of the economy but I think it leads to madness and ad-hoc policy.

– False choices: I hear more and more of the debate on the Amsterdam that is versus the Amsterdam that will be. We need to execute on both versus viewing policies as mutually exclusive. In short, we need to rid the blight now and we need to plan ahead at the same time.

-Taxes: I think it’s too early for any concrete analysis on the city and school taxes. I will say that this line in the Gazette story is odd: The proposed budget would keep all programs intact at a price: Without state aid and reserve funds, taxpayers would be looking at a 35 percent increase next year. I think this works out to $7 million dollars in shortfall and I’m not sure if this is even a plausible scenario.

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