Posts tagged ‘New Mexico’

ACLU's Distaste for Commerce

Walter Olson writes (emphasis added)

Elane Photography LLC v. Vanessa Willock is the case in which an Albuquerque, NM woman has (thus farsuccessfully) sued husband-and-wife photographers under New Mexico’s “public accommodations” discrimination law for their reluctance to shoot photos of her commitment ceremony to a female partner. One of the most dismaying elements of the case is that the American Civil Liberties Union has taken the anti-liberty side. Adam Liptak in the NYT:

I asked Louise Melling, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, which has a distinguished history of championing free speech, how the group had evaluated the case.

Ms. Melling said the evaluation had required difficult choices. Photography is expression protected by the Constitution, she said, and Ms. [Elane] Huguenin acted from “heartfelt convictions.”

But the equal treatment of gay couples is more important than the free speech rights of commercial photographers, she said, explaining why the A.C.L.U. filed a brief in the New Mexico Supreme Court supporting the couple.

Earlier, Olson made the useful point that large organizations like the ACLU are not monolithic -- they have internal conflicts on issues like this.  But based on my interactions with the ACLU, I believe the key word is in bold:  "commercial".   For many at the ACLU, the fact that an activity is commercial or for money voids or cancels out any rights one has.  Property rights or rights exercised in the conduct of commerce tend to always come last (if at all) at the ACLU.  Which is why I donate every year to the IJ, the organization the ACLU should have been if they had not been founded by Stalinists.  Update:  That is unfair.  It's like criticizing someone because of what his father did or believed.  Many organizations move beyond their original founder's legacy.  But it is never-the-less undeniable that -- at best -- the ACLU has no interest in property rights or commercial freedoms.

In New Mexico, Forced Government Anal Probes are Way Better than Having Even One Person Smoke A Joint

Or so I am led to believe by the fine folks in Deming, New Mexico, who forced a man to undergo two forced X-rays, two anal probes, three enemas, and a colonoscopy under anesthesia because they worried that he might be hiding a smidge of illegal narcotics in his nether regions.  Oh, and they made him pay the hospital bills for these procedures as well, sort of like billing someone's estate for the electricity used to execute them in the electric chair.

Details here.

Update:  Orin Kerr has a legal anal-ysis of the case (sorry, couldn't resist).   His conclusion seems to be that the victim may be sh*t out of luck (sorry again) in seeking compensation.  From reading it, he may even be stuck with the medical bills.  I have come to expect cops to display this kind of excessive behavior.  What is particularly disappointing is to see a doctor so eagerly cooperate and even, apparently, take the lead in escalating the intrusiveness of the search.  It is depressing that Kerr believes the doctor may well enjoy qualified immunity for his actions.  Thousands of doctors every day are successfully sued for malpractice over honest mistakes and differences in judgement, but this guy is going to walk?

Most Honest Government Web Site

Congrats to New Mexico for this picture on their Department of Revenue site.  This is EXACTLY how I feel when I am trying to track down some bizarre new tax I have just found out that we may owe.

Worst American Rail Project Ever?

Last week I was in Albuquerque several hours early for my meeting in Santa Fe.  Several years ago I had written about the Railrunner passenger rail line that operates from south of Albuquerque north to Santa Fe.  Our Arizona Republic had written a relentlessly positive article about the line, focusing on how much the people who rode on it loved it.  Given that the picture they included in the article showed a young woman riding in a nearly empty car, I suspected that while the trains themselves might be nice for riders, the service probably wasn't a very good deal for taxpayers.

Of course, as is typical, the Republic article had absolutely no information on costs or revenues, as for some reason the media has adopted an attitude that such things don't matter for rail projects -- all that matters is finding a few people to interview who "like it."  So I attempted to run some numbers based on some guesses from other similar rail lines, and made an educated guess that it had revenues of about $1.8 million and operating costs of at least $20 million, excluding capital charges.  I got a lot of grief for making up numbers -- surely it could not be that bad.  Hang on for a few paragraphs, because we are going to see that its actually worse.

Anyway, I was in Albuquerque and thought I would ride the train to Santa Fe.  I had meetings at some government offices there, and it turns out that the government officials who spent the state's money on this project were careful to make sure the train stopped outside of their own workplaces.    I posited in my original article that every rider's trip was about 90% subsidized by New Mexico taxpayers, so I might as well get my subsidy.

Well, it turned out I missed my chance.  Apparently, trains do not run during much of the day, and all I saw between 9:30AM and 4:00 PM was trains just parked on the tracks.  I thought maybe it was a holiday thing because it was President's Day but their web site said it was a regular schedule.  I caught the shot below of one of the trains sitting at the Santa Fe station.

Anyway, I got interested in checking back on the line to see how it was doing.  I actually respected them somewhat for not running mid-day trains that would lose money, but my guess is that only running a few trains a day made the initial capital costs of the line unsustainable.  After all, high fixed cost projects like rail require that one run the hell out of them to cover the original capital costs.

As it turns out, I no longer have to guess at revenues and expenses, they now seem to have crept into the public domain.  Here is a recent article from the Albuquerque Journal.  Initially, my eye was attracted to an excerpt that said the line was $4 million in the black.  Wow!  Let's read more

New Mexico Rail Runner Express officials said Wednesday the railroad will receive an additional $4.8 million in federal funding this year that puts the operating budget more than $4 million in the black.

The injection of new money boosts Rail Runner’s revenues this year to $28 million, well in excess of expected operating costs of $23.6 million, said Terry Doyle, transportation director of the Mid Region Council of Governments, which oversees Rail Runner.

OK, I am not sure why the Feds are putting up money to cover the operating costs of local rail lines in New Mexico, but still, this seems encouraging.  This implies that even without the Fed money, the line was withing $800,000 of breaking even, which would make it impressive indeed among passenger rail lines.  But wait, I read further down:

The announcement comes as state lawmakers debate a measure that would require counties with access to the Belen-to-Santa Fe passenger railroad to pay for any deficit in Rail Runner’s operations with local taxes. Currently, almost half its revenues, $13 million, comes from local sales taxes.

Oops, looking worse.  Now it looks like taxes are covering over half the rail's costs.  But this implies that perhaps $10 million might be coming from users, right?  Nope, keep reading all the way down to paragraph 11

The Rail Runner collects about $3.2 million a year in fares and has an annual operating budget of about $23.6 million. That does not include about $41.7 million a year in debt service on the bonds — a figure that include eventual balloon payments.

So it turns out that I was actually pretty close, particularly since my guess was four years ago and they have had some ridership increases and fare increases since.

At the end of the day, riders are paying $3.2 million of the total $65.3 million annual cost. Again, I repeat my reaction from four years ago to hearing that riders really loved the train.  Of course they do -- taxpayers (read: non-riders) are subsidizing 95.1% of the service they get.  I wonder if they paid the full cost of the train ride -- ie if their ticket prices were increased 20x -- how they would feel about the service?

Of course, the Railrunner folks are right on the case.  They have just raised prices, which "could" generate $600,000 in extra revenue, assuming there is no loss in ridership from the fare increases (meaning assuming the laws of supply and demand do no operate correctly).  If this fare increase is as successful as planned, they will have boldly reduced the public subsidy to just 94.2% of the cost of each trip.

By the way, it is interesting to note in this Wikipedia article (Wikipedia articles on government rail projects generally read like press releases) that ridership on this line dropped by over half when the service went from free to paid (ie when the government subsidy dropped from 100% to 95%).  The line carries around 2000 round-trip passengers (ie number of boarding divided by two) a day.  It is simply incredible that a state can directly lavish $60 million  a year in taxpayer money on just 2000 mostly middle class citizens.  That equates to a subsidy of $30,000 per rider per year, enough to buy every daily round trip rider a new Prius and the gas to run it every single year.

Postscript:  This person seems to get it.  One thing I had not realized, the trip from Albuquerque to Santa Fe that I did in my rental car in 60 minutes takes 90 minutes by "high-speed rail".

Perfect for Climate Scientists

I propose a similar law for all climate scientists when they are presenting their computer model forecasts.  Actual legislation once proposed in New Mexico:

When a psychologist or psychiatrist testifies during a defendant’s competency hearing, the psychologist or psychiatrist shall wear a cone-shaped hat that is not less than two feet tall. The surface of the hat shall be imprinted with stars and lightning bolts. Additionally, a psychologist or psychiatrist shall be required to don a white beard that is not less than 18 inches in length, and shall punctuate crucial elements of his testimony by stabbing the air with a wand. Whenever a psychologist or psychiatrist provides expert testimony regarding a defendant’s competency, the bailiff shall contemporaneously dim the courtroom lights and administer two strikes to a Chinese gong…

In the case of New Mexico, this was meant as satire and eventually was removed from the final bill, but I think it would be a great adjunct for climate forecasts, better than a surgeon general's warning.

 

Angola?

I love maps like this one, and a year or two ago I linked an earlier version.  This one is from the Economist via Carpe Diem, and shows the name of the country whose GDP is similar in size to that of the state.

I have to criticize the map-maker, though.  They used Thailand at least four times on this map -- the original version managed to do it without repeats.  But I am amazed that Arizona ranks right there with Thailand.  This is not to diss the rest of the state, which has a lot going for it, but in terms of population and economic activity, a huge percentage in in just one city, Phoenix.

I do have to wonder whether New Mexico being matched up with "Angola" is really very flattering, and pairing Mississippi with Bangladesh is funny on a couple of levels.

Things I Am Tired of Hearing

Because I take cash deposits at a number of campgrounds around the country, we have accounts with 30+ different banks.  Every few weeks one of them asks for some outrageously intrusive piece of information or paperwork.  And I ask them, what is this for, and get told that it is "a new requirement of the federal government."  I appreciate the feds have put in all kinds of new bank account controls in a misguided attempt to do something about terrorism (side bet:  most of these have more to do with the drug war than terrorism).  But in most of these cases, either my 29 other banks are breaking the law, or my bank is misguided.  Or worse, BS'ing me by falsely blaming their own information acquisitiveness on the feds.

Today I had a tiny, tiny telephone company in southern New Mexico call me to say they needed my drivers license and a utility bill from a New Mexico resident to add a phone line.  This new phone line is 1) for my corporation and 2) about the 8th account with this same phone company.  Given the area they operate, I may be their largest customer in town.  I told her I thought the requirement that a corporate officer give up his drivers license to get an extra corporate phone line was absurd, and further if they wanted a personal utility bill in New Mexico they would be waiting forever.  After being kicked up to their supervisor, I was told that they would settle for proof of my corporations federal tax ID # and a copy of my lease for the campground in question proving I was the legal occupant.  When asked why -- I mean, do they really have a problem with people paying the phone bill for locations that are not theirs -- they said it was now required by the federal government.

Really?  this sounds like BS.  Again, my 30 other phone companies would probably like to know they are breaking the law.  But who knows, maybe the feds really care.  If I had to bet, this would again be chalked up to the war on terror, but if I really could get to the bottom of it, I would find its about the drug war -- one time somewhere a drug dealer set up a phone line in an assumed name in an abandoned building and now I have to get fingerprinted and have an FBI check to get a phone line (don't laugh at the latter, one still has to get fingerprinted for every liquor license as a holdover from 80 years ago when gangs ran speakeasy's).

We Have Clearly Run Out of Real Law Enforcement Challenges

Via the AZ Republic, the excepting of which will probably bring in all kinds of spam code into this post no matter how hard I try to get rid of it:

Arizona wildlife officials are investigating the shooting death of a prairie dog in southern Arizona.

Apparently the state is irritated because this prairie dog was brought to the state as part of a program to bring more plague-infested nuisance rodents onto our land - on purpose!

The prairie dog was one of more than 100 transported from New Mexico in October 2008 in hopes of reintroducing the indigenous species to southern Arizona.

Being Slower and More Beauracratic Than GM Can't Be Good

One of the reasons GM entered bankrupcy was that its slow and ponderous beauracracy couldn't handle the pace of the modern marketplace.  But one thing even than beauracracy could do was produce dealer rebate checks in a timely manner.  When many of your dealers are running on only a thin cash flow margin, even GM knew it was important to get rebate checks to dealers quickly.

So it is a bad sign that the government, who wants to run the auto industry, the banking industry and soon the health care industry, can't seem to process checks in a timely manner:

Some New Mexico auto dealers have backed out of the cash-for-clunkers program and more may do so as the federal government takes its time providing cash reimbursements.

Dealers across the state are owed more than $3.6 million, according to a dealers' group which says that so far Uncle Sam has only written three checks totaling about $14,000....

Dealerships put up the cash for the rebates after being told by the Obama administration they would be paid back within 10 days of the sale.

And here:

Hundreds of auto dealers in the New York area have withdrawn from the government's Cash for Clunkers program, citing delays in getting reimbursed by the government, a dealership group said Wednesday.The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, which represents dealerships in the New York metro area, said about half its 425 members have left the program because they cannot afford to offer more rebates. They're also worried about getting repaid....

Schienberg said the group's dealers have been repaid for only about 2 percent of the clunkers deals they've made so far.

Many dealers have said they are worried they won't get repaid at all, while others have waited so long to get reimburse

The problems cited in other analyses are two that I see all the time in dealing with the government:

  1. Obsession with minute paperwork errors, and rejection of applications for the smallest errors.  For a variety of reasons, government clerks in this kind of program seldom have the knowledge, the incentives, or even the ability to parse between errors and omissions that matter and errors and omissions that are irrelevant.   In fact, if the same application comes back 5 times, that's just more job security.  I have discussed this a number of times, as state liquor license boards have rejected our applications repeatedly for ridiculously small, meaningless errors (here and here, for example)

    Here is my prediction:  You will soon see someone inside the government blaming the dealers, saying it is all because they are not following the 300-page process correctly or not filling out the forms correctly.

  2. Absolute unwillingness to write a check.  Some of you know that I am in the odd position of being a libertarian who does a lot of business with the government, a result of my effort to privatize the operation of public recreation.  I am in the position of sometimes paying the government money (I typically don't get paid to operate a facility, I operate it for profit and pay the government a rent or concession fee) and sometime in the position of getting paid.  The government always demands all of its money owed to it well in advance (think of withholding, where you pay the government your taxes months before the true April 15 deadline).  The government only pays in arrears, and sometimes well in arrears.  Last winter, my funding troubles (when my bank holding my line of credit went bust) were aggravated by the fact that the government took 15 months to pay us $175,000 they owed us, at the same time it demanded an additional $500,000 in advance rent payments on the next year.

By the way, since every post related to the government this month must be related to health care in some way, what they government is doing on cash for clunkers is highly related to the difference in overhead costs between Medicare and private insurance companies.

The cash for clunkers processing is taking a long time in part because the government is worried about fraud and wants to make sure every car it pays out on was really qualifying and destroyed properly.  This takes time and manpower and overhead.  But this is exactly what private medical insurance companies spend their overhead on -- making sure that claims are real and justified and are not padded.  Medicare has lower overhead costs, in part because of government accounting hides some overhead, but in part because Medicare does not do any due diligence before it cuts a check.  It gets a form, it sends out a check.  It does little checking to see if the claim is real.

When is Curtailing Freedom the Mature and Wise Choice?

.... Uh, never.  Except of course at Colorado College, according to Amanda Udis-Kessler, Colorado College's Director of Institutional Research and Planning:

Social inequality is deeply grounded in a lack of respect-for women,
people of color, lesbian and gay people, and others. When we choose to
curtail our freedom to disrespect others in order to build a meaningful
society, we have made a mature and wise choice-and one that college
should help us learn.

The rest of the post is a roundup of the fallout over the punishment by the university of a parody of a campus feminist publication.  Basically, the argument boils down to the feminists feeling "dissed" and arguing that being dissed is a sufficient reason to curtail speech if one is in a protected group.   But remember this plea by the Colorado College feminists:

But please stop fabricating a story about humorless, offended feminists silencing men's free speech.

Oh, okay.

There are enough cases of this new theory of speech running around, that speech may be curtailed if someone in a protected group feels hurt or challenged by the speech, for real concern.  It is the same theory at the heart of the kerfuffle in Canada over the human rights commission's attack on conservative magazines and bloggers, and the same theory in the recent New Mexico decision that a photographer cannot choose not to photograph gay marriages.

Arizona Politicians Pursue Protectionism -- Against New Mexico

Taking the economically illiterate but apparently politically powerful notion that it is important that commerce across arbitrarily selected geographic boundaries be minimized, some Arizona politicians are taking the argument to the next, ridiculous level:  Not content to blame perceived problems in the state economy (which has outperformed most other states) on NAFTA, Mexico, or Mexican immigrants, Arizona politicians are now blaming them on New Mexico.

An Arizona energy regulator is frustrated that Arizona Public Service
Co. is passing up in-state wind-energy for power from New Mexico and
Utah....

The state's largest utility buys 90 megawatts of energy from the
Aragonne Mesa Wind Project near Santa Rosa, N.M., and officials have
informed Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes of plans to buy more
renewable energy from out of state, including from a Utah
geothermal-power plant.

"I am concerned that such out-of-state purchases hinder the development
of renewable energy here in Arizona, and potentially deprive our state
of much needed economic development," Mayes said in a letter to APS,
echoing concerns she raised at a regulatory meeting last week.

Of course, everyone knows that silly government energy mandates have much more growth potential than, say, low electrical rates.  So obviously the power company is just being treasonous in buying power from the cheapest sources:

When APS [one of our electric utilities] chose to buy power from the Aragonne project in New Mexico, it
rejected a similar proposal from a company that wanted to build a wind
farm in northern Arizona, which wasn't built because of the decision
from APS, Mayes said.

Brandt said the New Mexico project was better for customers.

"We put all these projects out with a competitive bid," Brandt said.
"Then we select the resource that comes out the best. It's not always
the cheapest. It's a combination of price, reliability and do-ability,
all the things a common businessperson would look at."

He said APS would rather support Arizona power projects, but so far those that have bid on power have not been competitive.

Of course, all of this, even taking the cheapest source, is more expensive than electricity would be without these mandates:

When the Corporation Commission approved the renewable-energy standard
in 2006, officials estimated it would raise an existing monthly tariff
on customer bills from less than 50 cents to $1.05 to help APS meet the
goal, but those projections have gone up. Regulators are expected to
set a new limit on the tariff in the next month, according to Mayes and
APS officials, with some proposals nearing $2.

The protectionist argument is summed up:

"This is Arizona ratepayer money that is currently going to other
states that ought to stay in Arizona," she said. "We are in an economic
downturn. It's a terrible time to be investing out of state."

Yes, yet another blow is struck against economic literacy and the concept of division of labor.  Just how arbitrarily small does a geographic area have to be before protectionists will accept that this area does not need to be self-sufficient of all products and services?

 

Those Dang Illegal Immigrants Taking All of Our Jobs

Via TJIC and Mark Perry come this excellent observation:

State unemployment rates for April were released last week by the
BLS, and there are now 18 states that have set historical record-low
jobless rates in the last year

Here are the 18 states with historical record-low jobless rates"¦

"¦California: 4.7% in November 2006
"¦Arizona: 3.9% in March 2007
"¦New Mexico: 3.5% in February 2007
"¦Texas: 4.2% in April 2007"¦

I wonder where our economy would be without those 15 million Mexican immigrants.  Negative unemployment?

Summarizing The Brackets

Here is the pick distributions for out 91 brackets.  The number to the right of the schools name is the number of players who picked that team to win that round/game:

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6
Midwest
1 Florida 91
16 Jackson State 0
1 Florida 88
8 Arizona 2
9 Purdue 1
16 Jackson State 0
1 Florida 76
4 Maryland 12
5 Butler 3
13 Davidson 0
12 Old Dominion 0
9 Purdue 0
16 Jackson State 0
8 Arizona 0
1 Florida 52
2 Wisconsin 20
3 Oregon 12
4 Maryland 6
6 Notre Dame 1
7 UNLV 0
15 Tex A&M CC 0
10 Georgia Tech 0
14 Miami Ohio 0
13 Davidson 0
8 Arizona 0
16 Jackson State 0
9 Purdue 0
5 Butler 0
12 Old Dominion 0
11 Winthrop 0
1 Florida 29
1 Kansas 21
2 UCLA 20
2 Wisconsin 9
6 Duke 3
3 Oregon 3
3 Pittsburgh 3
4 Maryland 2
7 Indiana 1
12 Illinois 0
4 S. Illinois 0
5 Virginia Tech 0
11 VCU 0
15 Weber St. 0
10 Gonzaga 0
14 Wright State 0
9 Villanova 0
13 Holy Cross 0
15 Tex A&M CC 0
5 Butler 0
12 Old Dominion 0
9 Purdue 0
8 Arizona 0
16 Jackson State 0
13 Davidson 0
6 Notre Dame 0
10 Georgia Tech 0
16 PlayinWinner 0
7 UNLV 0
14 Miami Ohio 0
11 Winthrop 0
8 Kentucky 0
1 Florida 17
1 Ohio St. 16
1 North Carolina 11
2 Georgetown 9
1 Kansas 8
2 Wisconsin 7
2 UCLA 6
3 Texas A&M 6
2 Memphis 5
3 Pittsburgh 2
4 Texas 2
3 Oregon 1
6 Louisville 1
7 Boston College 0
12 Arkansas 0
10 Texas Tech 0
14 Oral Roberts 0
11 George Wash. 0
13 New Mexico St. 0
3 Washington St 0
6 Vanderbilt 0
8 BYU 0
14 Pennsylvania 0
11 Stanford 0
7 Nevada 0
10 Creighton 0
15 North Texas 0
13 Albany, NY 0
4 Virginia 0
5 USC 0
16 CentralConnct 0
9 Xavier 0
5 Tennessee 0
12 Long Beach St 0
15 Belmont 0
15 Weber St. 0
11 Winthrop 0
6 Notre Dame 0
14 Miami Ohio 0
7 UNLV 0
15 Tex A&M CC 0
10 Georgia Tech 0
13 Davidson 0
4 Maryland 0
8 Arizona 0
16 Jackson State 0
9 Purdue 0
5 Butler 0
12 Old Dominion 0
16 PlayinWinner 0
8 Kentucky 0
7 Indiana 0
14 Wright State 0
10 Gonzaga 0
16 E. Kentucky 0
8 Marquette 0
11 VCU 0
6 Duke 0
5 Virginia Tech 0
9 Villanova 0
12 Illinois 0
4 S. Illinois 0
13 Holy Cross 0
9 Michigan St. 0
8 Arizona 49
9 Purdue 42
5 Butler 55
12 Old Dominion 36
4 Maryland 59
5 Butler 21
12 Old Dominion 7
13 Davidson 4
4 Maryland 78
13 Davidson 13
6 Notre Dame 49
11 Winthrop 42
3 Oregon 62
6 Notre Dame 15
11 Winthrop 13
14 Miami Ohio 1
2 Wisconsin 40
3 Oregon 38
6 Notre Dame 6
7 UNLV 3
10 Georgia Tech 2
11 Winthrop 1
15 Tex A&M CC 1
14 Miami Ohio 0
3 Oregon 87
14 Miami Ohio 4
10 Georgia Tech 54
7 UNLV 37
2 Wisconsin 75
7 UNLV 9
10 Georgia Tech 6
15 Tex A&M CC 1
2 Wisconsin 90
15 Tex A&M CC 1
West
1 Kansas 91
16 PlayinWinner 0
1 Kansas 82
9 Villanova 8
8 Kentucky 1
16 PlayinWinner 0
1 Kansas 70
4 S. Illinois 10
5 Virginia Tech 5
9 Villanova 4
8 Kentucky 1
12 Illinois 1
13 Holy Cross 0
16 PlayinWinner 0
2 UCLA 40
1 Kansas 32
3 Pittsburgh 10
6 Duke 3
4 S. Illinois 3
7 Indiana 1
12 Illinois 1
9 Villanova 1
15 Weber St. 0
10 Gonzaga 0
14 Wright State 0
13 Holy Cross 0
16 PlayinWinner 0
8 Kentucky 0
5 Virginia Tech 0
11 VCU 0
9 Villanova 64
8 Kentucky 27
5 Virginia Tech 69
12 Illinois 22
4 S. Illinois 46
5 Virginia Tech 34
12 Illinois 9
13 Holy Cross 2
4 S. Illinois 78
13 Holy Cross 13
6 Duke 60
11 VCU 31
3 Pittsburgh 57
6 Duke 25
11 VCU 7
14 Wright State 2
2 UCLA 59
3 Pittsburgh 19
6 Duke 6
7 Indiana 4
10 Gonzaga 2
11 VCU 1
15 Weber St. 0
14 Wright State 0
3 Pittsburgh 83
14 Wright State 8
10 Gonzaga 56
7 Indiana 35
2 UCLA 81
7 Indiana 6
10 Gonzaga 4
15 Weber St. 0
2 UCLA 90
15 Weber St. 1
East
1 North Carolina 91
16 E. Kentucky 0
1 North Carolina 84
9 Michigan St. 6
8 Marquette 1
16 E. Kentucky 0
1 North Carolina 44
4 Texas 42
5 USC 4
8 Marquette 1
13 New Mexico St. 0
9 Michigan St. 0
16 E. Kentucky 0
12 Arkansas 0
2 Georgetown 38
1 North Carolina 25
4 Texas 17
3 Washington St 6
7 Boston College 2
5 USC 1
10 Texas Tech 1
8 Marquette 1
14 Oral Roberts 0
15 Belmont 0
13 New Mexico St. 0
16 E. Kentucky 0
9 Michigan St. 0
12 Arkansas 0
6 Vanderbilt 0
11 George Wash. 0
1 Ohio St. 25
2 Georgetown 22
1 North Carolina 14
3 Texas A&M 13
4 Texas 8
2 Memphis 5
3 Washington St 2
6 Louisville 1
8 Marquette 1
4 Virginia 0
12 Long Beach St 0
5 Tennessee 0
11 Stanford 0
10 Creighton 0
15 North Texas 0
7 Nevada 0
14 Pennsylvania 0
9 Xavier 0
13 Albany, NY 0
15 Belmont 0
12 Arkansas 0
13 New Mexico St. 0
5 USC 0
9 Michigan St. 0
16 E. Kentucky 0
6 Vanderbilt 0
11 George Wash. 0
16 CentralConnct 0
10 Texas Tech 0
7 Boston College 0
14 Oral Roberts 0
8 BYU 0
9 Michigan St. 52
8 Marquette 39
5 USC 57
12 Arkansas 34
4 Texas 70
5 USC 14
12 Arkansas 5
13 New Mexico St. 2
4 Texas 86
13 New Mexico St. 5
6 Vanderbilt 55
11 George Wash. 36
3 Washington St 44
6 Vanderbilt 27
11 George Wash. 11
14 Oral Roberts 9
2 Georgetown 69
3 Washington St 15
10 Texas Tech 4
7 Boston College 3
15 Belmont 0
14 Oral Roberts 0
11 George Wash. 0
6 Vanderbilt 0
3 Washington St 67
14 Oral Roberts 24
10 Texas Tech 49
7 Boston College 42
2 Georgetown 80
10 Texas Tech 6
7 Boston College 5
15 Belmont 0
2 Georgetown 90
15 Belmont 1
South
1 Ohio St. 91
16 CentralConnct 0
1 Ohio St. 90
9 Xavier 1
16 CentralConnct 0
8 BYU 0
1 Ohio St. 79
5 Tennessee 6
4 Virginia 5
9 Xavier 1
13 Albany, NY 0
16 CentralConnct 0
12 Long Beach St 0
8 BYU 0
1 Ohio St. 41
3 Texas A&M 27
2 Memphis 15
6 Louisville 4
5 Tennessee 2
4 Virginia 1
9 Xavier 1
7 Nevada 0
10 Creighton 0
15 North Texas 0
14 Pennsylvania 0
13 Albany, NY 0
16 CentralConnct 0
8 BYU 0
12 Long Beach St 0
11 Stanford 0
9 Xavier 63
8 BYU 28
5 Tennessee 68
12 Long Beach St 23
5 Tennessee 42
4 Virginia 39
12 Long Beach St 7
13 Albany, NY 3
4 Virginia 76
13 Albany, NY 15
6 Louisville 64
11 Stanford 27
3 Texas A&M 61
6 Louisville 24
11 Stanford 4
14 Pennsylvania 2
3 Texas A&M 45
2 Memphis 27
6 Louisville 14
11 Stanford 2
7 Nevada 2
10 Creighton 1
15 North Texas 0
14 Pennsylvania 0
3 Texas A&M 85
14 Pennsylvania 6
10 Creighton 46
7 Nevada 45
2 Memphis 68
7 Nevada 15
10 Creighton 8
15 North Texas 0
2 Memphis 89
15 North Texas 2

Kudos to the IJ

If you are not familiar with the Institute for Justice, the IJ is like the ACLU but from an alternate universe where the ACLU was not founded by a Stalinist and actually believed in property rights.  The IJ represented Ms. Kelo in her fight against eminent domain to aid Pfizer in Connecticut, and often takes on stupid government licensing programs.  For example, the IJ is representing some folks in New Mexico who think that it will not materially harm public safety if they do interior design without a government license:

If you need a license to arrange flowers
in a vase, it stands to reason that you'd need a license to arrange
furniture in a house"”not to mention picking paint and window
treatments. Or so the state of New Mexico (along with four other
states) seems to think. To be fair, you can do interior design in New
Mexico without a license; you just can't call it interior design, or
call yourself an interior designer, which makes it hard for potential
customers to find you. Today two people who in most states would call
themselves interior designers filed a federal lawsuit objecting to the
state's protectionist censorship on First Amendment grounds.

In the past, the IJ has also fought for the right of hair braiders and casket salesmen to operate without a state license.

Government Funded Vacation

I run a recreation business that tends to be seasonal.  Many of the campgrounds we run are at high altitudes, and are closed most of the winter because they are snowed in.  We tend to open them in the spring and close them in fall, meaning we hire people in April or May and their job ends in September or October.  Everyone we hire knows from the time they get their job offer that the job is just seasonal, and they will not have a job past some date.

This arrangement is fine with most of my workers, since they tend to be semi-retired already and work during the summer and take winter off. 

The only state where we have a problem is California.  In California, we have an incredibly large number of employees who register for and get unemployment benefits over the winter, even when they have no intention of working.  Most states require that unemployment seekers be actively looking for work.  I don't know if California checks less or if California employees are more adept at gaming the system, but the state unemployment system there seems to be paying for a lot of my employees' vacations.  I know of several who are getting unemployment and are not even in the country - they are down in Mexico fishing all winter.

As a result, I am in the worst California unemployment category, cleverly labeled "F+".  In New Mexico I pay .03%, in Florida I pay 1.3%.  In California, I pay a whopping 6.2% of wages into the system.  Which leads me to another thought - even if no one was cheating the system, why should I be punished with the worst rating in the state?  The nature of my business is that I can only offer jobs April to September.  The only alternative is not full-time work, but no job at all.  The unemployment system was created for the GM guy who has worked the line for years and gets laid off when the economy goes bad.  But my employees know from the moment I offer the job that they are not going to have a job in November.  Unlike the guy at GM, they get exactly what was promised to them.  If this was unacceptable, if they needed full time work, they should have sought out another job.  Why am I punished with higher taxes because I only have seasonal work to give?  Why, when I only have seasonal work, do I have to fund full-time income?

Give credit where it is due, California has done a pretty good job over the last couple of years cleaning up its workers comp. system.  I would like to see them do something similar with unemployment.