There’s a pretty remarkable and substantive exchange over at Tom Palmer’s blog. It was prompted by Tom’s scoop – assuming it’s true – that former County Commissioner Neil Combee has been lobbying commissioners to rollback or scrap impact fees on new construction. (Tom doesn’t source the report, but Neil doesn’t seem to deny it.)
Anyway, Neil responded to Tom’s post and set off a giant back and forth with several people about impact fees, bailouts, general economic issues, politics, et al. Neil is one of the more ideologically interesting local politicians I’ve covered. He always seemed to me to be balancing his Rush Limbaugh political and cultural instincts against the very different reality he tended to find in the world while actually doing his job. His close friendship with late Marlene Young may have had quite a bit to do with that. I found that Neil was always willing to listen and consider what people said, even if it ran afoul of his preconceptions. That’s a surprisingly rare commodity in a politician. It is also rare to see a public official – Neil is still a board member with the Southwest Florida Water Management District – debate citizens so publicly and honestly. It’s to be commended, even if you don’t agree with what he says. He lays out some striking thoughts.
Check out this passage: It seems to me that the best hope for the average person these days is to get a government job and hang to it until the pension checks start coming. If you have a government job, hang in there. If you can get a government job, by all means take it. i don’ like being so cynical and pessimistic but it is hard for me to believe that [Congress] can get us out of this. Think about it.
Wow. That’s a self-described conservative talking. Read the rest of it. It’s really good. And not just Neil’s part; several of the commentors make cogent and useful points. It what blogs can be at their best.
One note for Neil: I agree with your wife. Stop listening to Glenn Beck. Read more. Try Calculated Risk, the finance/housing market blog, with links to dozens of other useful sites. Glen Beck wants to report you as a widget for ad rates. He doesn’t care about informing you.