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Eat the Poor, Boise Edition

In a nation with so many problems, it can be jarring to be informed about issues from ‘on high.’ What’s not so harsh is finding practical solutions performed by people living with the pain. But, unfortunately, we have to come down to earth and  to be grounded for that.

A case in point comes to us from the New York Times (the ‘on high’ bit) and the people in the trenches doing the hard but noble work (in this case, City Council in Boise, Idaho).

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Moving the Land to Those Who Will Use It

So wrote one of the original robber barons of the early nineteenth century. Yet almost 200 years later, the idea of holding land as a road to riches is alive and well in New York City. Though, of course, owning land is not so bad when the owner also uses it productively, provides employment, or builds affordable houses. But owning ground to make money on it while doing nothing to it is a problem New York doesn’t need.

In 2022, New York City is facing a new onslaught from the financial sector and their hedge fund billions. The city is enormous––700 square miles. But under the current cruel system, struggling families and small businesses have the nearly impossible task of finding a decent location to live or do business.

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Proposed Property Tax Cap in Montana

Montana does not provoke heavy angst when it comes to the conversation. If one were to judge from watching the streaming smash hit Yellowstone, open conflicts over land issues (and rights) would probably seem mysterious to urban and suburbanized America. The show’s underlying theme is that of a struggle between indigenous peoples and early white occupiers. However, those antagonists seem to be missing a common, overarching and destructive enemy: the out of town (or international) corporate land grabbers, who use political influence, lawyers and violence to, literally, pave paradise.