Bacon’s Rebellion: The Long March Version

Whoo, it’s been a long weekend — a “long march,” to borrow some revolutionary symbolism. I cranked out two full-length columns and edited/pasted up more than the normal number of columns. But it’s been worth it. We have some very strong content.

The Jan. 8, 2007, edition of the Bacon’s Rebellion e-zine is now online. But don’t count on the blog to remind you — subscribe for free and make sure you don’t miss an issue. Here’s this edition’s line up:

The Oregon Solution
Don’t take it on my word that mileage fees and congestion charges are the best replacement for the faltering gas tax. See what they’re saying in the land of Birkenstocks and lumberjacks.
by James A. Bacon

When All Else Fails, Try Capitalism
Community leaders in Tysons Corner are at wit’s end to find ways to reduce traffic congestion. One tool they haven’t considered is congestion pricing. Here’s how such a scheme might work.
by James A. Bacon

Transparency and Truthiness
More of one, less of the other, could help Virginia meet its transportation responsibilities in 2007.
by Doug Koelemay

Can’t Take This — Not Another Day!
Virginia politicians have finally discovered the “land use” word — they just don’t know what it means. Their so-called reforms will solve nothing.
by EM Risse

Summary of TRILO-G
Backgrounder: TRILO-G combines “The Shape of the Future”, “BRIDGES”, and “ACTION” to provide understanding of human settlement patterns, current commentary and a handbook for citizen action.
by EM Risse

Pre-K Politics
The Kaine administration has tipped its hand: It wants to make pre-K universal not because middle-class kids need it but to buy public support for an expansion of the program.
by Chris Braunlich

Our Humblest Apologies
While we’re begging forgiveness for slavery, genocide and other assorted sins of our ancestors, there are a few other offenses that Virginians should express contrition for.
by James Atticus Bowden

Grown-Up Follies
To Washington Post editorial writers, the “grown ups” support higher taxes to solve Virginia’s transportation quandary. Funny how the Post is the one throwing temper tantrums.
by Phil Rodokanakis

Minimum Wage, Everyone Pays
The minimum wage hurts small business, costs poor people jobs, and drives up costs. The winners are those hostile to competitive capitalism.
by Mike Smith

To Save the GOP, Curb Sprawl
The only way Republicans can preserve control of the General Assembly is to tame sprawl and keep taxes low. The House plan doesn’t measure up.
by Mitchell Smiley

Nice & Curious Questions
Skeletons in the Closet: Bones of Virginia
by Edwin S. Clay III and Patricia Bangs

A Chat with Mark Dixon, CEO of Regus Group
This is the first of three Q&As with commercial real estate visionaries exploring the changing relationship between workers and the workplace.
by James A. Bacon

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7 responses to “Bacon’s Rebellion: The Long March Version”

  1. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    re: “To Save the GOP, Curb Sprawl”

    good thoughts ..articulated well!

    maybe I’m jaded but do folks who live in NoVa and HR think in terms of “sprawl” overwhelming their last rural places?

    Hasn’t that train already left?

    I wonder if folks in NoVa/HR – really would rather have something done about traffic congestion while they ponder the relative pros/cons of sprawl in their neighbors outlying counties.

    The folks whom I know who are seriously into the Sprawl issue would no more vote conservative republican kiss their sisters…. really odd bedfellows… and methinks the GOP is literally grasping

    … because as you point out… they’re invoking the sprawl word but they’re pretty shy on real teeth proposals.

    so I sort of agree… They lose twice.

    1. – First the anti-sprawl folks are not going to vote for them

    2. – then the folks who are more concerned about congestion rather than sprawl and REALLY NOT going to vote for them.

    The BEST case scenario might be to hope that these disaffected folks stay home on election day .. and for the GOP to go back to their roots with an effective GOTV campgain.

    I predict… that an NoVa/HR folks that are serious about being competitive against opposition – better have some “beef” on the table come Fall.

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    I tend to agree with Larry. I’m not sure that most NoVA residents are concerned about sprawl per se. I think that the greater concern is development period. Most people, including those who just moved here, tend to think that NoVA has been over-developed and we need a time-out. I do, however, think that the observation about APF is right on point. Most Fairfax County residents would strongly support APF authority, especially if the law tied the hands of the Fairfax County supervisors who want to negotiate everything away.

  3. nova_middle_man Avatar

    Echo most people I talk to dont want any more development period.

    Education is really important to many people along with Parks and Rec.

    At the state level the only way “out” I see is having a regional district to generate funds and keep it up here or down there in HR

    The local level is even more interesting

    The one issue could be what happens to the real estate tax. With the housing market slowing down things government spending must be cut/reduced or the real estate rate will increase. If the D controlled board doesn’t look hard enough at cutting/reducing and increases the real estate tax rate at a “unreasonable” amount there may be an opportunity. The question is what is this tipping point in the minds of voters is it 5 cents, 10 cents who knows?

  4. E M Risse Avatar
    E M Risse

    Minor clarification:

    Most citizens do not want more “devleopment” like that which they have seen in the past 40, especially the last 15, years.

    Almost no one wants to stop “developent” if it is new office for their company, a new place to work for their children so they will not leave the region, a new house by a golf course for the empty nester… You get the idea.

    There in lies the problem. New Urban Regions need to evolve functional settlement patterns so those kinds of “wants” are accomodated without domination of autonomobiles, taking down the trees along the stream valley, etc.

    It is possible, but only with fundamental change in settlement patterns.


  5. Anonymous Avatar

    EMR – I found a very telling quotation in the Washington Times today. The article was discussing legislation that would limit eminent domain authority in Virginia.

    “John Taylor, president of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, said politics have made some lawmakers reluctant to act [on the legislation].

    “‘I made the assumption that Virginia was a conservative state, but it is not,’ he said. ‘Virginia is the most stereotypical example of a good old boy system I have ever seen. Under the … system, the state government is reduced to being a financial intermediary between people who produce wealth on one side and people who want access to wealth on the other side, who also happen to be large donors to political campaigns.’”

    A statement of profound truth. It explains why you are frustrated. Why Ray is unfairly restricted from building a single house on his property. It clearly explains the Silver Line and Gerry Connolly’s behavior. It explains that, despite large annual increases in real estate taxes, Fairfax County has 7th graders eating lunch before 10 am. It explains darn near everything that’s been discussed in this great website.

    The good old boy network worked under Democrats and under Republicans. Our current Governor is a prime practioner.

  6. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    But WAIT… there’s MORE:

    “Del. Johnny Joannau reminded the Tidewater Libertarian Party on the eve of the upcoming General Assembly, that government was formed – not to be in the real estate business, but to protect the rights of its citizens.”

    Last year’s [Emminent Domain] bill was killed by the Senate. Joannau said, “There was a lot of money against this bill. They had a coalition of 26 lobbyists opposing it, Joannau said. The intent of the bill was to allow imminent domain for public use, not public purpose. Not for economic development. Not to increase taxes.”

    Folks might ask what does Emminent Domain have to do with development in general.

    In the eyes of many – a LOT.

    Emmient Domain is viewed by many as only the MOST egregious of many development practices that ….

    co-opt the government to produce and support enabling legislation and policies favorable to those who derive their personal wealth from development

    Just behind the taking of land is
    the “taking” of gasoline and property taxes intended for (in the eyes of existing taxpayers) as NOT for infrastructure for NEW development but for infrastructure and services for EXISTING residents.

  7. E M Risse Avatar

    As we have written before there is real reason for concern about abuse of emminent domain.

    However, almost all of what is being said is political pandering and fearmongering to support a party strategy, not protect citizens from uncompensated takings or takings to shift economic advantage to the well to do.


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