Posts Tagged ‘NJ’

The Backlash against “Born and Bred”

Trenton is a boosterish town.  It’s the kind of place where if a visitor said, “My, those buildings look grungy”, his host would say, “Oh no, that’s its patina”.

Ask any Trenton native and they’ll tell you how proud they are of the city, “I’m Trenton Proud”.

What?

We’ve done such a great job running the place that our industry has left town, our education level is among the lowest in the state and we’re on the verge of bankruptcy.  Yea for us! Read the rest of this entry »

The Role of Eminent Domain in the Train Station Revelopment Plan

Economics is all about the choices humans make and in the aggregate human societies (micro economics and macro economics).  Negotiating can be thought of as a specific case of micro economics closely linked to the core concepts of marginal utility and marginal value.  Therefore, Reinvent Trenton is taking this opportunity to explain basic concepts in negotiation and the role of eminent domain in them. Read the rest of this entry »

Taxation as a revitalization tool

A good first step towards Trenton’s revitalization is reinventing its tax system. Restructuring the tax system will take strong leadership, a good ability to communicate and a desire to be a leader in NJ’s efforts to reinvent its urban centers. My hope is that our next mayor can take up the mantle of making this important change. Read the rest of this entry »

An ill-conceived partial State takeover of Trenton

The Trenton Times reported in “A ‘Capital’ idea that may improve Trenton” that a state agency, the Capitol City Redevelopment Corporation (CCRC), is seeking the power to use taxpayer dollars through bonds and fees to become a developer in downtown Trenton.  Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, is pushing this bill through the legislature.

Bill “S-3116” greatly expands the role of CCRC by Read the rest of this entry »

The Arrogance of Green Economics

How many of us have started industrial scale businesses that have gone on to produce great value and therefore great wealth? How many have started industrial companies that produce “green” products?

I suspect none.

I know plenty of entrepreneurs (some successful) but not one has started a successful industrial, much less “green”, company. One can argue that the U.S has regulated all industrial production green or otherwise out of the country. Read the rest of this entry »

Fixing Beautiful Trenton

Last Christmas, I wrote an article about how community spirit is a necessary and present ingredient for Trenton’s revitalization.

Community spirit as an economic engine

Beautiful Trenton is the best example of that spirit to date but there are problems.

Read the rest of this entry »

The chicken and egg of Trenton’s revitalization

One of the most maddening debates you can have in Trenton is about city investment in new business vs. residential living.

Almost, to a person, the political elite in Trenton will tell you that investment in business is the top priority. I’ve had this debate countless times and you can see it in the political rhetoric of our candidates. However, when pushed by the logic of residential development, they’ll eventually say, “well it’s really a chicken and egg” problem. Read the rest of this entry »

First Kinston, Next Trenton

President Obama’s Attorney General must have little regard for the mostly black voters of Kinston, North Carolina.

Kinston is a quiet little city of 23,000 between Raleigh and the coast. I know many folks from Kinston (I’m a native North Carolinian) and have found them to have above average intelligence.

This wasn’t the same conclusion to which Attorney General Eric Holder arrived.

Kinston recently voted to adopt a non-partisan election process for its city council and mayoral elections, similar to Trenton’s. The theory is that this type of system prevents any one party from dominating elections. Read the rest of this entry »

Property tax rebates lead to higher property taxes

A popular New Jersey Gubernatorial campaign promise this year (and the last campaign as well) is to offer property tax rebates. Voters should think seriously about the wisdom of this. Read the rest of this entry »

The South Ward Council election is no time for politics of the past

Jim Coston was a transformational councilperson for Trenton and the South Ward but with his leaving, the race to fill his spot is wide open. Read the rest of this entry »