Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Economist Robert Frank wrote in the NY Times "What Sweden Can Tell Us About Obamacare." One could add that the U.S. is not Sweden.

The differences are clear but often overlooked by those who look to European policy examples.  This morning's LA Times celebrates the various "pocket parks" being opened in LA. "Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveils new donwtown L.A. park."

The story also notes "Downtown residents, although excited that construction is complete, were already buzzing about the potential problems that could befall Spring Street Park — including crime, litter and pet waste."

I recently blogged about a pocket park in my neighborhood that was fenced off almost as soon as it was built because it became an encampment for homeless as soon as it opened ("City not beautiful").

To borrow from my friends in Washington DC, can we at least have "a conversation" about the fact that street life (and civic life) in U.S. cities is not promising until we find a better way to deal with the "homeless" that we put on the streets because we cannot figure out what to do with/about them?  We do have many "conversations" about how awful it is that so many Americans withdraw to private communities and private spaces.