Monday, November 14, 2005

[This would have made a good third story]

Ben Waxman has a post at Young Philly Politics titled "why blogs matter," but it's really about the interesting notion that focus on ethics could be distracting us from much larger problems in the city and elsewhere. (He hopes that blogs can help keep other perspectives in view of the mainstream media and the citizenry too.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waxman's post has more holes than a hunk of swiss cheese. He's gets a lot of basic facts wrong, like the number of City employees (it's more like 24,000) to the number of City employees who've been convicted recently...he's forgotten to mention the L&I plumbing inspectors, the Water Department folks, etc. He's also wrong not to recognize the quality - not quantity - of the current batch of corruption. The Mayor's inner circle, his brother, all caught up in funny business. Corruption costs the honest citizens of the City money in the form of lost opportunity to do honest business with the City, in terms of wasted public funds, and the general harm it does to the City's reputation elsewhere, which has an economic impact here. Heck, the Mayor's inspector general was violating the residency requirement. On the tax cuts, the City accounts continue to grow - did you see that even Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown has put a BPT tax cut bill into the mix? When Noel Weyrich retires, Ben can take over his "Contrarian" duties at Philly Mag.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with that assessment, and I'd prefer to post a comment here rather than YPP because they get so bitchy when you disagree with them. But really, the young (and generally ignorant) Mr. Waxman gets a lot of the facts wrong and comes off as somebody who doesn't understand City government, how it works, and what's important. He's always harping about services to the poor, but never has any constructive solutions, just knee-jerk moaning.

7:36 PM  
Blogger ACM said...

Always nice to hear your ad hominem attacks, anonymous I and II...

I did think about the plumbing inspectors, though -- that was a pretty big story, and with the taxi inspectors next on the block, it's hard not to imagine a general system of petty bribery. yuck.

Still, I stand by my comment at YPP that whether or not ethical issues are widespread, they sap people's feeling that the political system can do anything good, and thence they sap civic participation. A sense that we can set in motion some movement to reform city government can recapture for many the sense that there's some power remaining for the average citizen; this might yield returns in participation in future efforts on other fronts. And that's valuable in the long run.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Ben Waxman said...

Wow. Tough crowd over here. The point I was trying to make was pretty simple: corruption is bad, but it cannot be blamed for everything wrong with our city. People who think a BPT cut and throwing Mariano behind bars will fix everything are missing some important poverty, affordable housing, and lot's of other things.

12:16 PM  
Blogger ACM said...

People who think a BPT cut and throwing Mariano behind bars will fix everything are missing some important poverty, affordable housing, and lot's of other things.

Geez, man, you have some crazy ideas about what's important!

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, but doesn't Mr. Waxman distract us from ethics reform by making noise about poverty abatement and bashing Nutter but not offering any constructive solutions or insight? What does Ben have to hide? Does he work for those who might be the focus of the current ethics investigation?

1:56 PM  
Blogger ACM said...

What does Ben have to hide?

Pretty funny stuff, coming from somebody who insists on making their attacks anonymously. Hardly the way to be taken seriously in a discussion!

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"attacks"?? pu-leez.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Ben Waxman said...

My e-mail address and screen name are not hard to get. If either of the anonymous posters want to engage in a real debate or ask any questions, they can contact me directly.

There is a lot of material that has been written about progressive forms of economic development and alternative strategies for growth. Societies with high union density tend to do better than the current low-wage/low-tax model we seem to be stuck with. I'm not contrarian-- just an unreformed liberal.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Ben Waxman said...

YPP recives no funding from any elected offical or campaign committee.

Anon, who do you think we're working for?

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not Let's settle this today, after school at 2:30, in the playground, behind the swings :)

11:59 AM  

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