Obama vs. FDR on Social Security

Date: 14 Dec 2010 | posted in: equity, From the Desk of David Morris, The Public Good | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Today, 75 years and 4 months since Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, a Democratic president is ignoring his wisdom and abandoning his strategy for protecting the program from shifting political winds. If congressional Democrats go along with Obama on this, it could mark the beginning of the end of Social Security as we have known it.… Read More

Lenders Have it Wrong and PACE Advocates Should Fight Back

Date: 7 Jul 2010 | posted in: Energy | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued guidance yesterday that drew a line in the sand against municipal energy financing, a.k.a. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs.  These innovative initiatives provide energy efficiency retrofits for homeowners that are repaid through a property tax assessment.  Since homeowners falling behind on payments must repay their PACE assessment before their mortgage, giant lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will consider participating households in default on their mortgages for receiving an energy efficiency retrofit via PACE.  Their rationale is paper thin.… Read More

Instead of Cap and Trade, Cap and Dividend

Date: 29 Jan 2010 | posted in: Energy, From the Desk of David Morris, The Public Good | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A new and vastly improved climate change policy has come out of nowhere to capture the imagination of state and national policymakers: "Cap and dividend." It works like this: Step one, impose a carbon cap. Step two, auction off all carbon allowances. Step three, return most of (if not all) the revenues generated to all households on a per capita basis.… Read More

Op-Ed: Municipal fiber needs more FDR localism, fewer state bans

Date: 11 Jan 2010 | posted in: information | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Community-owned broadband is one way to bring fiber to smaller markets, but many states restrict the practice. Researcher Christopher Mitchell argues that it’s time for a bit more Roosevelt-style localism in US broadband.

Following ILSR’s map showing states that preempt local authority to build Community Broadband Networks we published the following op-ed on the leading tech site Ars Technica.

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On Energy Questions, State’s Leaders Should Listen Better

Date: 10 Nov 2009 | posted in: Energy, From the Desk of David Morris, The Public Good | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

How many times do the people have to be proven right before their political leaders listen to them? The recent cancellation of Big Stone II by its investors brings that question to mind. Back in 2006, seven Minnesota utilities asked … Read More

Maine Needs Publicly Owned Broadband

Date: 27 Oct 2009 | posted in: information, MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Current providers won’t encourage the competition necessary to improve service and cut costs.

Last January, as the economy spiraled downward, Time Warner did what no other company could have gotten away with under the circumstances: It imposed a price increase of as much as 5.5 percent on its Maine customers.

Meanwhile, the state’s other major broadband Internet provider, FairPoint, has amassed a stunning track record of mismanagement and abysmal customer service.

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