The Conversation

General: General news and information.

Moral Hazard in Detroit's Housing Crisis

Feb 21, 2013 12:14 PM PT

A new study, worth reading, by Detroit News, finds that almost half the owners of the city's 305,000 properties skipped out on paying their share of property taxes. "The News reviewed more than 200,000 pages of tax documents and found that 47 percent of the city's taxable parcels are delinquent on their 2011 bills. Some $246.5 million in taxes and fees went uncollected[...]" 

That's nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in lost revenue to the state. The moral hazard here is articulated by Fred Philips, who owes over $2,600 in unpaid taxes on his home. "Why pay the taxes?," Philips asked. "Why should I send them taxes when they aren't supplying services? It is sickening. … Every time I see the tax bill come, I think about the times we called and nobody came."

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Debating Greg Sargent over Obama's gun control and the $9 minimum wage

Feb 21, 2013 12:02 PM PT

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'Gajillions,' Of Course!

Feb 15, 2013 12:58 PM PT

Man alive, I use "gajillions" all the time. How could I forget?

As far as the world ending, as a proud, card carrying Jesus-freak, I'm not opposed to that;  just not on a Friday. Monday through Wednesday would be perfect. But once the weekend's in sight, my vote is that we hold off.

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Expert: Meteor Shower, Asteroid Passing All a Coincidence

Feb 15, 2013 12:02 PM PT

CNN just had an astronomer on who said that the incredible meteor shower of explosions that hit Russia today and the asteroid that just missed us by thismuch, was all a coincidence; that one has absolutely nothing to with the other.

Now, I'm not an End Times kind of guy, and what happened today in no way changes that, but what are the odds of two once-in-a-lifetime space events occurring within hours of one another? If someone actually did the math, I'd bet its in the billion-billions (if that's a real measurement -- but you know what I mean).

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