Local business development is the answer

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jpopeye
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This is the most important topic. People argue for less government, lower taxes, and that people should be self sufficient. People argue for better support for each other through collectivism. Neither group is wrong - we just don't agree. The truth is some reasonable combination of both perspectives. There must be a fundamental problem in our economy that is messing us up. If we can agree to suspend the bickering and focus on something bigger, some game changer problem that is not being addressed we might get somewhere.

Here is what I came up with. Our current transportation model is flawed. Who really believes that it is in our best interests to support the infrastructure necessary for each citizen to have a box with wheels on it that is used a few hours a day? Think about it. Most of the people I know drive less than three hours each day yet we pay for the infrastructure 24 x 7. While you are working or sleeping your car is at rest but the roads are deteriorating and soaking up revenue. The costs of acquiring land, constructing and maintaining roadways, and dealing with traffic pollution/congestion are astronomical. If we adjust to a culture where vehicles are productive and useful rather than status and convenience our funding imbalance would disappear. No one is wrong, we are just trying to make something work that does not make sense.

So local business and development is the most important topic. Want to be a true patriot - think local and let's change the culture that is so clearly impossible to sustain and govern.

Bonkers
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jpopeye

To avoid public transportation for various reason, as long as there are people who can afford to drive a car, alone usually, will do so.
However they will expect that taxes supply them with the necessary roads and bridges to drive upon.

Pollution-----well that is another matter. With the AC on it's not so bad.

Another case of the government "forcing" people to ride public transportation in order for all of us to survive.

jpopeye
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@Bonkers

I agree. Public transportation is not the answer.

The Wedge
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It sounds like you are advocating a commune

where you must live where you work. also schooling must be very localized. A mass transit system would establish settlements in a line so that one could walk to each place once off of the transit. It sounds like a version of collectivist hell. No thank you, I will resist the borg

Cyclist
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Resist the borg...

I'll ride my bicycle.

AtHomeGym
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Resisting & Rejoicing

Pedal away, just be careful of that chain getting caught in your speedos. Why not all rejoice in the Bravos start and hope that they continue down the "W" road!

jpopeye
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Go Braves!

That was a great game Monday, I'm sorry they are not on today.

jpopeye
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@The Wedge

I meant to say it would be better if we had employment and the things we need here, run by our neighbors. But the current tax base/business plan is putting too much into something that is messing us up. The big ticket I came up with was aggregate transportation funding. The solution might be something else.

jpopeye
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taking care of our own (it's a long term concept)

Supporting our local businesses seems like it would be a way to make things better.

jpopeye
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Some data to look at

For the sake of discussion here are some figures to look at. Since I maintain transportation is the best area of improvement (game changer) I plugged in some ideas at the end.

Total Federal receipts (2009) $2,105,000,000,000
1.00% increase adds $21,050,000,000
Total Federal expenditure (2009) $3,518,000,000,000
1.00% reduction saves $35,180,000,000

Total Federal operations (2009) $1,042,000,000,000
2.00% reduction saves $20,840,000,000
money distributed (2009 expenditure - operations) $2,476,000,000,000
1.00% reduction saves $24,760,000,000

current distributed/operations $2.38 Ratio of dollars distributed to economy for each dollar spent on federal operations.
improved dist/ops $2.40 Improvement by reducing federal workforce by % listed.

DOT annual (2010 request) $79,000,000,000
33.00% reduction saves $26,070,000,000
DOT ARRA (2010) $26,600,000,000
33.00% reduction saves $8,778,000,000

vehicles in US (2007) 247,265,000
reduced by 33.00% 165,667,550
population of US (2007) 301,579,895
veh/pop ratio (2007) 0.82 Number of vehicles per person in US.
improved veh/pop ratio 0.73 Improvement by reducing vehicles by % listed.

jpopeye
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and this data is just federal

What is the change if we add in Georgia's figures too?

jpopeye
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If supporting local business is a good thing...

How do we leverage technology to support this aim?

One idea is to utilize satellite office space. Most of us currently identify with the company we work for. If someone says "Where do you work?" most people reply with who they work for. What if this was different? Instead of saying "I work at Jones Services" what if people said "I work at Fayette Commons". Leasing offices could set up work communities that make telecommuting easy, secure, and cost efficient. Jones Services could still be a multi-national company based in NJ but the local leasing satellite office company would be "ours" and employ more of "us".

Workers could change their identity to be members of that workplace community. People might shop for workplace amenities like better conference support, good food, pleasant services, etc. Satellite offices could contract with local maintenance and personal services vendors. This could start to repair the fractured lines of community involvement that the current transportation centric commute culture engenders.

The first step is to envision the change and work out objections. But I don’t want to move your cheese.

jpopeye
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Here is another idea (raw form)

We seem to be fighting this big box thing all the time. What if instead of allowing some corporate group to build the next big box we build a Fayette big box (or take over an empty one)? The products and displays could be changed and rotated based on community needs and seasonal interest. This is basically how K-Mart or many stores operate. They put up/run the market place and contract with vendors who fill the shelves. The way it is now our community is pushed and pulled by the changing tastes of a board of directors off in who knows where. If we had a Fayette Market we could have some community guidance and influence.

This idea is clearly half-baked with a lot of ingredients to figure out. My point is, if we want a community we need to invest in it and do some work. There is nothing wrong with the free market economy as a tool but we don't have to let it determine how we live our our lives. Let's use the tool and create community life once more.