info 06.1.05

Bad Ideas

How Many Economists Does it Take?
As it happens, 106. The non-partisan National Taxpayers Union recently released a study of the proposed Jets stadium by 106 economists from around the country. The conclusion? The stadium "will not generate significant net economic or fiscal benefits." $1.3 billion in subsidy costs to taxpayers, with a highly iffy upside makes the mayor's commitment to this project inexplicable and the stadium a bad idea.

Rapunzels
Riveting copy from the Times' new Thursday Styles article Rapunzels of a Certain Age: "women over 40 are defying the old rules about cropped hair." An Alex Kuczynski think piece about Woodbury Common comes in at eighteen paragraphs, sixteen too many. One Styles section, okay. Two Styles sections? As Susan Sontag wrote, "To emphasize style is to slight content…"

Overcrowded Classrooms
Some grades in city classrooms have thirty five students to a class. That's insanity. The Campaign for Fiscal Equity won a long court battle that challenged the state's education system of funding, saying it denied city students the opportunity for a sound basic education. In 2003, after more than a decade of litigation, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the CFE, ordering the state to do a costing-out study and begin reforms. The state had until July 30, 2004 to do this but Governor Pataki continues to fight the court order. Bad idea: bad for students, bad for teachers, and bad for New York.

Diet Coke with Splenda
Diet Coke with Lime, score. Diet Coke with Lemon, score. Diet Coke with Vanilla or Cherry, not so much. The new Diet Coke with Splenda? A creepy, sweet, tinny brew that curdles everything from your lips inwards, leaving a horrible, persistent aftertaste. Might have seemed like a good idea in the meetings, but did anyone actually taste it?

A Camel…
…is a horse designed by committee. The same governor who had time to fight the court order to reform education funding has apparently had little time to lead the rebuilding of Ground Zero, leaving the city with the ghost of an unloved camel.

Crying Wolf
Bad idea: you're under a slew of ethics investigations and you're lashing out at Dick Wolf, the producer of the Law and Order empire because you were mentioned fleetingly on a recent episode. It's not just a bad idea, it's making Tom DeLay sound pathological.
5 List: Shaving Cream
Anthony Shave Cream
Azulene Moisturizing Shave Creme
Brave Shave
Dr. Galen Lather Shave
Kid Glove Shave Gel


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