Photo credit: @julesdwit.
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The issue of campaign finance reform was brought up in this segment, and I thought I'd weigh in. Many years ago, the late NYU economics professor Ferdinand Lundberg wrote in his book (which he had difficulty getting published) "The rich and the super-rich" that the solution is to provide salaries for federal and state legislators that should make them immune to gifts or contributions. Give the president $6 million tax free, each senator $3 million, each representative $1 million (all corrected for inflation). Then any money, gift, emolument, or kickback finding its way to them would be considered a bribe, and be treated as a felony. Lobbyists would still exist, but I would require them to wear fluorescent green jumpsuits, having a sign in 280 point type saying "paid lobbyist for..." The suit would be required in the legislature, on the golf course, and in posh restaurants. When citizens see how many green monkeys surround their elected reps, it would give us a betetr idea of what really goes on.
I think both guests clearly avoided addressing the placement of the cameras for enforcement of congestion pricing. The installation of hundreds or thousands of cameras in a perimeter around the city will certainly create an increased state of scrutiny when the situation calls for it. Look at London, there are more cameras there than anywhere else, and every time there's a scare the cameras are used. I think it's very possible that Congestion Pricing was/is a Trojan horse to increase security in NYC.
whatever happened to light rail (trollys) instead of digging up the streets for subways,(very expensive, bring back light rail. using electricity eliminates pollution. suspend them above the streets. bring back $1.00 fares. if cheap fares don't take drivers off the streets, nothing will. the opposition will be powerful; oil companies, automobile and tire companies--those groups got together and removed the original trollys.I have no hope of this ever happening, politicians never do the right thing until the public revolts and it become physical.
When we are assured that the cameras will not be used for purposes other congestion pricing, let's look to the bellwether for this program, London. See:
To see that Transport for London have caved in to using the cameras for law enforcement.
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Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
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