Bacon Bits: Incompetence and Failure Everywhere You Look

Where are the social justice warriors? SJWs are super sensitive to subtle signs of “institutional racism.” Perhaps they should focus on the widespread incompetence in Virginia’s local foster care systems. For instance: A Virginian-Pilot investigation has found “a pattern of mismanagement, retribution and poor performance” in Norfolk’s foster care program. “Employees say they saw the foster care program go from bad to worse. It started with  children languishing in foster care for years, with little done to get them adopted. In more recent years, case workers say they’ve been pressured to get kids off the foster care rolls by any means necessary, even if that sometimes meant putting the children in harm’s way.” Sometimes foster children have been placed in situations where they have been assaulted and sexually molested. These children are disproportionately African-American. Why hasn’t this failed system become a cause celebre of the Left? Could it be that it doesn’t fit The Narrative?Metro free falling.

Ridership on the Washington Metro system continues its steady decline, sinking to fewer than 600,000 average weekday trips for the first since since 2000, according to the Washington Post. Ridership peaked in 2008 at 750,000 weekday trips. The passenger rail system, plagued by safety and maintenance issues, has been engaged in a SafeTrack rebuilding program that may account for some of the loss. But the system suffers chronic problems, such as too few trains, too many service disruptions, and the emergence of ride-hailing alternatives such as Uber and Lyft.

Why so few starter homes? Why are home builders constructing so few starter homes (defined as those selling for $200,000 or less)? 

Economist Elliot Eisenberg, cites two factors. One is high labor costs due to low unemployment and a labor shortage in the construction trades, he said in an address to Fredericksburg-area groups recently, as reported by the Free Lance-Star. The other factor is regulation. The average cost of regulation in the price of a new home went from $65,224 in a 2011 to $84,671 in 2016. Said he: “It’s a triple, quadruple whammy.”

Environmental hysteria bites environmentalists in the ass. The No. 1 priority of Virginia’s environmental groups is to build more renewable energy in Virginia. But solar developer sPower has run into a  buzz-saw of opposition in Spotsylvania County based in part on fears of toxic chemicals and environmental damage. I mentioned the overblown concern about cadmium telluride in a previous post. But solar foes, consisting mainly of nearby homeowners, have cribbed notes from the environmental movement in conjuring all manner of negative environmental impacts. Reports the Free Lance-Star: The proposed 615 million, 6,300-acre solar farm could create a local “heat island effect,” create land-disturbance and erosion issues, hurt property values, and strain the electric grid. The fears are almost entirely without merit. But the controversy shows how difficult it has become in Virginia to build large infrastructure projects of any kind.

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4 responses to “Bacon Bits: Incompetence and Failure Everywhere You Look”

  1. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    I haven’t written about it, but others have. As you noted earlier, JLARC was on this and the report had great impact. The 2019 General Assembly can point to its work on foster care as a success, with a fairly modest increase in spending.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    On the foster care – you can be a half-glass full guy or a half-glass empty guy. It’s a tough area and success is difficult and never 100% and there are the usual local pockets of problems – just know that there are other local areas that do well so it’s what you what to focus on and some folks always look at the bad no matter how much good. perfect is the enemy of good – always.

    On METRO – all transit ridership across the nation is falling – is that a “failure”? I think an article discussing this in terms of changes might be informative.

    on the starter homes and the cost of regulation – balderdash – let’s see some numbers! Let me guess… fire codes are bad , right?

    on the solar – Lies and NIMBY is the name of the game. You get that right off the bat when dealing with the cadmium telluride – just outright bald-faced lies and it goes downhill from there. This is all about a property owner who was paying thousands of dollars a year in taxes on this land and he needed to get an income to pay for those taxes. So he had the timber cut – paid his taxes and had some left over for his 401K and then wanted to retire and sell the land

    The question is – what would ANYONE do with that land – sufficient to generate enough income to pay the taxes on it. Take your choice. The solar which is well shield from adjacent property owners will generate income for the property owner as well as the county with minimal impacts compared to other uses – such as another subdivision or someone that wanted to run cattle on it or spread biosolids (sewage sludge).

    The adjacent property owners always had and still do – the option of themselves buying that land and “preserving” it for their own enjoyment as opposed to preventing others who own it from their right to do what they need

    there are very minimal impacts of this to adjacent lands.. it’s just NIMBY on steroids with large dollops of lies thrown in for effect.

  3. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    You are right about the foster care issue. Perhaps there was not so much made about it during the session because there was widespread, bipartisan agreement that something needed to be done. The same was true about the high eviction rates–a package of bills was introduced for which there was a consensus beforehand and it went through quietly. (The Black Legislative Caucus is not giving Northam enough credit for these initiatives and for the money he put in the budget for the eviction issue and other priorities of theirs. It is as if his “blackface” debacle just wiped the slate clean and he gets no credit for his past actions, including Medicaid expansion.)

    As for the housing costs, I am with Larry. Show me the figures. What “regulations” result in $85,000 that would not have otherwise been spent?

    The proposed solar farm in Spotsylvania–if the neighbors succeed in blocking this project, the landowner should sell it to a pig farming operation. No rezoning needed for that, I would think, because, if I remember right, this land is zoned agricultural. (On a much smaller scale, I was able to secure a rezoning to residential for some land my wife inherited by suggesting to the town council that, if it were not rezoned, I would seek a buyer who could utilize the industrial zoning for which the land had at that time. They took the hint.)

  4. Did you hear the latest? Solar panels that are used to warmth during daylight hours are said to float off and wrap themselves around nearby homes to extract the heat from them at night, leaving cadmium telluride dust all over! Their kids can’t look out the windows and see stars any longer! NIMBY comes in many forms.

    About that METRO decline in ridership: the WaPo article yesterday spoke to the fear that ridership could reach a downward-spiral tipping point; but also noted the trend of greater work from home and the negative effect on tourists and locals of long waits on weekends, plus the obvious price paid for weekday unreliability and delays. Metro can buy all the rolling stock and train all the drivers needed but my fear is the system trackage is simply not robust enough to handle NYC levels of train traffic and therefore will never generate the operating volume and revenue required to make a go of it without bigger subsidies. Why? Because the DC system was built on the cheap, without third, alternative and passing, tracks and extra fourth tracks through the tunnels and other pinch points — unlike the NYC and other systems. That’s why DC service has to shut down early every night to allow maintenance which can be performed only at night, which NYC and others can perform anytime by closing down a track and still maintaining full service on the others. That’s why DC has to allocate time slots to the trains passing through the Rosslyn Tunnel, cutting back on Orange/Blue Line frequency to make room for Silver line traffic. This mess won’t improve till Congress and the three user jurisdictions pay for costly new tunnels that simply aren’t going to happen in the current political environment.

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