My Poor Old Pennsylvania Home!

So the average Pennsylvania township has a couple of thousand souls but self-governs. For many towns this arrangement is increasingly unsustainable as federal aid is cut and state-level tax slashing guts once-reliable sources of support for schools and roads and social safety nets. Yet service consolidations and mergers between jurisdictions are not only rare, but sometimes fail after the fact.  Everybody loves their town!  Struggles faced by small Pa. towns.

Self-Interested Professors?

So, says this Dean, more than the academic quality of community college courses is involved when transferring students arrive at a four year college only to discover that not all their courses count towards the bachelor’s degree.  Faculty self-interest, helped along by an arcane credit system that dominates academic bean-counting, is also in play.  Who’d a thunk?  Don’t Forget Self-Interest… | Inside Higher Ed.

Stockton Snake Oil

Like many jurisdictions, Stockton, California dug itself a hole in the late 1990’s by assuming that a few banner years’ return on pension investments would continue forever—so why not skip or cut back on pension contributions to pay for other things?  Wrong!  Facing a financial cliff, Stockton then bit on a Wall Street firm’s sales pitch to reduce its pension debt by rolling it over into new, lower interest loans that were a good deal as long as the economy grew steadily, a very bad deal if it did not, which happened, bankrupting Stockton.

Irish Hovels: Custom-Built

Where to start?  How about what happens when you buy totally into deregulation by leaving it all to the industry–builders in this case?  Or what happens when starry-eyed governments let banks off the hook for the economic collapse their financial excesses did much to bring about?  What happens is folks owe 350K on condos they can’t even enter.   Restrain me!  It’ll be easier than restraining the seething Irish if they lose it.