Wednesday, December 16, 2009

World is watching

I will point out that the whole tuition tax miasma has gotten us into the NYT again.  Today: Pittsburgh Sets Vote on Adding Tax on Tuition. by Ian Urbina. Given what they could have focused on, they were pretty kind to us in general.  Up to 100 comments already as well.


Anonymous DBR96A said...

Can the state step in and say 'no' to this?

I worry that all the progress the city has made in the last 20 years will be wiped out if this passes.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 2:18:00 PM  
Blogger n'at said...

You sentiment was echoed by Peduto at the Post Agenda last week, DB. 15 years of his service building bridges between the Uni's and Grant Street...

If this passes, then I see old man peduts either seeking a higher position or continually dragging our boy mayor kicking and screaming into the 21-1/2 half century with reform initiatives.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 3:48:00 PM  
Anonymous DBR96A said...

Here's my approach to public pension reform in Pittsburgh:

1. Declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy -- Doing this would not only allow Pittsburgh the structural reform it needs, but it would also insulate the city from the imminent bursting of the public pension bubble nationwide. (Pittsburgh is far from the only city with these problems.)

2. Withhold pension payments until age 70 -- Besides people living longer than ever before, it's absurd that a police officer can retire at 42 and drive a Cadillac all over Florida for the rest of his life. After reform, if an officer retires at 42, he'll have to find some productive outlet for the next 28 years before he can cash in.

3. Privatize the pensions -- My idea would be for the city to set up individual, private IRAs. These IRAs should be made transferable too, so that way the police officer who retires at 42 can continue adding to it when he finds his new job.

4. Add bonuses for people who stay in Pittsburgh -- Don't force anybody to stay, but think of some ways to encourage people to stay. Something like a $300 monthly bonus or some tax breaks if they reside in Pittsburgh city limits. As it is now, I bet most people collecting pensions from the city live in Florida these days, and that's a perfect example of negative wealth transfer -- Pittsburgh tax dollars ending up as revenue in the coffers of Ft. Lauderdale.

I'm sure I'll think of a few more ideas, but those are my basic ones. As long as you're not taxing students against their wills, then I'm open to solutions.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 4:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are a telenovela for the rest of the country. They watch our politics the way most people watch Springer. It's a shame-based thing, but it's just so damned entertaining.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 4:52:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

In the article, Joe King, President of the Firefighters' Union, says that we have the 2nd oldest population by county, 2nd only to Dade County. I've heard this statistic rattled off before. But is it actually true? I have a hard time believing this fact. I would imagine a rural county would tend to skew towards an older population. I live in Beaver County, and I find it hard to believe that Beaver County has a younger population than Allegheny County.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 6:19:00 PM  
Anonymous DBR96A said...

Maybe the second-oldest county with 1,000,000+ population.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 12:34:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

the metrics that have Pittsburgh, the region, or the county, as '2nd oldest' always have a qualifier (whether stated or not) that the benchmark is against other large regions or counties. There are lots of smaller metro areas, or places within regions that are extremely old. At a neighborhood level they might be characterized as Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities or NORCS.

Beaver county does look at have a slightly higher concentration fo elderly and a higher median age than what Allegheny County has right now. But I am not sure that has always been the case or at least the difference has not always been as noticable. AlleghenyvCounty is showing up younger in recent years which would match our population projections for it. But in terms of absolute number, I am sure Allegheny has almost an order of magnitude more elderly than Beaver depending what you measure. But perceptions are based on proportion I would imagine.

Maybe we can characterize Beaver county as one of the largest NORC's around. I'll have to think about that. If so it reflects again massive population loss 25 (now 25+) years ago which was very age selective (young left, old stayed). Since Beaver County was hit so much harder than even the region bak then was it would make sense. That and Allegheny County is more like to the attracting new young residents when they first arrive... especially immigrants which tend to be younger. The suburban counties of the Pgh region are really some of the mostly extreme areas in the nation in terms of being devoid of recent immigrants.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 8:06:00 AM  

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