Self-Reliant Cities

Originally published in 1982, we’re making this book available as a free download since many of its discussions are as relevant today as they were 25 years ago. The first half discusses the century-long struggle by cities to gain autonomy and authority from state governments and create their own planning and service delivery capacities. The second part describes the first urban-based localization movements and the successes and challenges. As a standalone document, we’ve also included the new foreword and the book’s last chapter, The Ecological City given the current revived debate about the subject.… Read More

Balancing Budgets By Raising Depletion Taxes

This June 2008 policy brief by Justin Dahlheimer concludes that states could generate hundreds of millions, in some cases billions, of dollars in additional revenue each year by implementing or adjusting depletion tax policies. The report illustrates how current depletion tax policies, in many cases, fail to account for the full value of the natural resources, depriving state and local governments of additional revenue that could be useful in current and future fiscal years.

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Preempt This! Michigan Cities Fight Back

Date: 6 Nov 2000 | posted in: governance | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

What does it take to get a group of polite Midwesterners riled up enough to propose an amendment to their state constitution? Michigan legislators can tell you it’s not too difficult: just pass a series of laws that weaken local authority. By Daniel Kraker… Read More

One Government, With Free Trade For All

(The following article appeared in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Sunday January 30, 2000.)

"Perfection of means and confusion of ends seems to characterize our age."

Thatinsight of Albert Einstein’s half a century ago aptly describes the current debate, or more precisely, non-debate, about free trade.

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Don’t Bribe ‘Em. Buy ‘Em: A strategic proposal on how New Yorkers can create–and control–a minor baseball league of their own

Inthe next two years, New Yorkers will spend nearly $50 million dollars to build two stadiums for minor league teams in order to lure away short-season, class A ball clubs from other communities. And in ten years? New Yorkers may well have to consider building bigger stadiums for those same teams so they don’t threaten to move as the Yankees are now doing. A better idea: For the same amount of taxpayer money, New Yorkers can create–and own–a minor league comprised of several good ball clubs and still have money left over to put toward stadiums. And New Yorkers can–for years to come–root for teams that are truly rooted in their own community.

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Place Matters Conference Summary

Date: 5 Nov 1998 | posted in: From the Desk of David Morris, governance, Retail, The Public Good | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The Place Matters Conference, held on November 12, 1998 in St. Paul, Minnesota, drew together a mix of businesses, organizations and individuals who, by their very nature, believe that place does indeed matter. These participants were all firmly anchored in their communities, representing small businesses, financial institutions, community-based nonprofits, farmers, and local governments in Minnesota. They were a mix of people who did not normally interact, yet had much in common. They shared a remarkably similar recent history: economic and public policy trends that had made their long-term viability much more tenuous and uncertain.… Read More

Rooting the Home Team: Why the Packers Won’t Leave — and Why the Browns Did

This article by David Morris and Daniel Kraker first appeared in The American Prospect magazine, September-October 1998

Onthe last Sunday in January, an elated John Elway stood on the gridiron where his Denver Broncos had just beaten the Green Bay Packers 31-24, and announced to millions of worldwide television viewers that the best part about finally winning the Super Bowl was how much it meant to his longtime fans, the people of Denver.

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Roots, Roots, Roots for the Home Team: Community-Owned Professional Sports

Community ownership of professional sports teams is an idea with decades of successful experience. The Green Bay Packers have been operating as a nonprofit corporation since 1923, during which time they have won three world championships and three Super Bowls, and have recently financed two stadium upgrades from retained earnings. Their ownership structure has generated unprecedented fan support while maintaining the fiscal discipline exhibited by corporations.  This report by David Morris and Daniel Kraker takes a closer look at the issues surrounding community owned sports. … Read More

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