Saturday, July 30, 2005

Voice Views

Voice Views
Originally uploaded by Gringcorp.
Apologies for the paucity of posting, we've been somewhat occupied, and unusually enraptured, by the day job.

The purpose of this post is to put up another one of our Coney pictures, because, the art-clowns apparently do not require them. So instead we shall use one here. This picture demonstrates that hipsters come in all shapes and sizes, and that we really need to compose pictures better.

There's one drawback that we've discovered in the more devolved system of municipal government, as practiced here in the United States, and it basically covers the type of corruption available to your devolved governor.

And yes, it's inspiration is the stadium scam. We've been puzzled by the willingness of the city government to put quite so much weight behind the construction of new stadiums. It was interesting the way that new projects accounted for so much of New York's bid for the Olympics, and it was interesting how much the mayor put so much weight behind the projects even after the Olympics were lost.

And then it hit us - was there ever a city that suffered from such a tight linkage between real estate interests and municipal government? To be sure, real estate interests have always been part of the seamy undercurrent of any city's politics, but from Trump to Ratner to Related's Stephen Ross, they enjoy unusual prominence.

You'd think, for instance, that if the city was serious about attracting more convention traffic they'd have a go at stemming the tide of hotels converting into apartment buildings. Er, say what you like about Robert Moses, but the man had a vision, even if it included the Prospect Expressway.

In theory, any damage wrought by real estate money might come up against an alternative agenda on the part of the state government. But, even assuming that the state isn't run by a disgusting valueless hack like George Hacktaki, there's much less incentive to act against such small projects.

Back in our home country the corrupt industrialist or nationwide consulting firm might find it useful to bribe a national party but such corruption is much harder to effect at a local level. It is for instance, the reason why UK projects tend to come with much more vigorous feasibility studies, but that the projects take much longer to build. Just ask the poor sods building Wembley


Post a Comment

<< Home