In New York it’s more or less prohibited by regulation, with the attendant high rents, but the regulations are about bedrooms, not unit size, hence the common experience of living 3 or 4 people to a large apartment, one that in Continental Europe is largely restricted to lower-income cities like Lisbon or Berlin. For what its worth, people were buying PTACs in Seattle a while back, to deal with one of the rare heat waves. Now, it’s not Wall Street money. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. But somehow we let public works wither on a vine somewhere while we all decided to place capital in a position of near worship. But where is the point where the perception starts to shift, I don’t know and from my vantage point, it seems like a herculian task. Enormous amounts of private capital have been invested in the areas around transit line, in no small part because of the presence of the transit stations. Furthermore, DC is a very nice city to live in. In Public Affluence, Private Squalor, Mark Paul and Micah Weinberg examine the roots of California’s pension crisis and the legal obstacles to reform. There is life west of Ninth Avenue. No wonder the MTA remains so devoted to antiquated operating practices. Houses are bigger than ever, but our water mains are less reliable. A more recent image is diametrically opposed to this and emphasizes the affluence of later life. That is far more than in any other American transit system; the average in cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington is about $100,000 in total compensation annually. It requires political will, and often a good model – I suspect Finland was able to develop good government so quickly because it consciously imitated Swedish governance. As Littlefield notes elsewhere, the compensation/pension structure in the NY public sector today has many “tiers”, where earlier employees are grandfathered into overly generous pension plans while more recent hires get less generous pensions and lower pay. Interesting article, thanks. How feasible is it to replace the steel sections of the line with concrete columns and decks? In Finland there was a reluctancy to change anything at all – since they feared all changes would be part of the ‘russification’ of the country. They’re about equally wealthy, and I’ve lived years in two and spent a lot of time in the third. Democrats need to turn out a diverse base of voters to have a shot at winning. Private Affluence, Public Squalor. In Public Affluence, Private Squalor, Mark Paul and Micah Weinberg examine the roots of California’s pension crisis and the legal obstacles to reform. Changes in the laws in Finland and Sweden were less syncronized before 1900 than after. Even today there is a degree of coordination between Finland and Sweden when new laws are introduced – since swedish is one of the two official languages of Finland this process is quite easy to cary out. Public-sector wages are uncompetitive, so workers are either nerds with particular personal or social interest in the field (sanitation, public transit, etc. I’d like to compare three cities: Paris, New York, Boston. But by definition, the bigger the income inequality in a society, the greater the financial distance between the average and the wealthy. That is a big part of the problem. Joining the two gave us modernity. Also, all the lines will be pretty full from the beginning, which lowers the cost per rider. The administrative side does a great job of living up to stereotypes about paper pushers and time servers. The figures you quote are averages across all employees, but they are heavily influenced by rest-and-vest deadwood longstanding employees in the higher tiers raking in huge amounts (mostly in pension). (In Mumbai even the first Metro line intersects the Suburban Rail without a transfer.). Then, these recommendations were binding. A good example of this is the Veterans Administration. Manhattan in most cases relies on nearby property owners to adequately light the street. Second, look at the mix of jobs for city workers: managerial jobs, intermediate professions (teachers, social workers), dangerous jobs (cops, firefighters), generally physically painful jobs (bus drivers). Galbraith noticed that privately owned resources were generally clean and … Burning the Midnight Oil for Energy Independence, Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Akron, Cleveland Arts And Livable City Blog, Jim Aloisi, Trimount Consulting and Board Member at TransitMatters. When I lived in New York, everybody loved to complain about the MTA but very few realized that the MTA was being asked to run a 21st century subway service on a budget. I dont think they even have them in Boston or DC. Technical staff at USAID, CDC, USDA and other agencies I have worked with are very intelligent, motivated and competent. A few decades ago, the primary school teacher would “recommend” wich form of school the child should go to after primary school (4y or 6y in some states). But it’s not just politicians and their political appointees – there’s punch-clock behavior and agency turf battles below that level. This is not as stark a distinction today. Fair point about salary without benefits or pensions, although I doubt many private sector workers receive benefits equal to 80% of pay, which is what it would take for household income+benefits to equal public sector income+benefits. This is not negligible, but in still pales in comparison to private sector compensation where in France CEOs of companies like BNP Paribas, Renault, Total SA, and Engie are making between E1.84M and E7.4M per year, plus stock grants etc. You can’t expect to just walk out of school and make a bunch of money, but if you are smart and resourceful, you should be able to be reasonably successful. Huh, I hadn’t realized that Gymnasien don’t admit by competitive examination. Thankfully it’s building lots of metros at *checks notes* 490 million dollars per underground km. Car travel will never be able to serve everyone efficiently in these very large and dense cities. Increasingly, the middle class and higher move between private spaces such as homes, restaurants, and shopping areas, via private transport, spending less and less time in the dirty and pedestrian-unfriendly streets. The people I talk to in New York and Boston are sharp and informed and often difficult to keep up with”. Silicon Valley is filled with people with San Jose State degrees. Sure, and Germany literally provides segregated public education (“Gymnasium”) for the middle class and a smattering of poor kids who impress their primary school teachers. NYC does not particularly care where the street light is positioned in regards to the crosswalk, which is where it is most needed. So you have a lot of resentments in the United States that make the citizenry reluctant to pay for the common wealth. Managers II-IV are making between $170-190k salary and benefits. Instead it comes down to whether you prefer cars or transit. (Nor does Paris have lights flooding windows.). India has a lot of class segregation, no? Meanwhile compensation for new employees choosing between the public and private sectors is indeed uncompetitive, especially if those new employees are uncertain whether they’ll stay long enough to qualify for any pension at all. I think this kind of perception that the public sector is unsalvageable is generally common in much of the developing world? Worse, public transit in the United States has the reputation of a social service. Gesamtschulen (all of the three (Gym+Real+Haupt) integrated into 1) have 319k. Life expectancy in France is higher than in the US by 3-4.5 years depending on source, and life expectancy in Germany is higher by 2-3 years. It’s true that if one rents a car (for out-of-city trips) it comes with a driver, but that’s very different. Status quo was the best option. "Private affluence and public squalor" might be a condensation of the hard-left depiction of society in the speech delivered by Catiline, reported in ch. A competitive resource. “The good news is that most public-sector workers in the US are not incompetent political appointees. 20 of Sallust's narrative of the Catilinarian conspiracy. It appears that in most of India (including Bangalore and even Delhi) the metro system is not developed enough to serve most people’s needs, while in Mumbai there is the opposite problem of suburban rail being much too crowded for comfort. Mumbai did pass zoning reform last year, but construction rates are still not great – I think 5/1,000 people per year, i.e. Despite many major metro areas in India building rapid transit systems at different stages of construction, the rate of highway expansion is much faster. Meanwhile, the inability to pay the rapacious managerial salaries funded on Wall Street means poor managers? Construction on the major rebuild of the North Side Main Line started a few weeks ago. This draft manuscript, which still needs serious editing, is an effort to document and describe the extent to which a wide array of social and economic problems in the contemporary United States are caused and exacerbated by the influence of an Both Bill Clinton and Obama — the last two Democratic presidents — pushed forward the plan first proposed by Nixon and first implemented by Mitt Romney (a Republican). Private Affluence, Public Squalor. There's a disconnect between the work to be done and the jobs we have designated. I mean investing in public services, and paying the people who provide them competitively. 1. Part of our trip consisted of two weeks of driving around France, mostly south/central parts of the country. So, don’t blame growth, blame the state’s inability to deliver public services, especially in remote tribal areas, where the police and forest officers tend to be rapacious. Slapping a window unit in doesn’t cost much and takes a few minutes. One thing I would add in terms of incompetence of public employees in the US, is related to the fact that state capitols are all located far from major metros (Albany-NYC, Sacramento-SF/LA, Springfield-Chicago, etc etc) and are generally not great places to live for an ambitious person. I would also recommend the trades. Instead out jobs are (typically) *for* enriching someone. The Republicans — even Romney himself — weren’t interested in improving it — they were interested in scrapping it. Help keep Vox free for all by making a contribution today. This is of course only partly true; we can be proud of many of our public services. I would think cities employ lots of janitors, school cafeteria cooks, groundskeepers for parks, customer service reps, etc., with duties similar to the cleaners, cooks, and cashiers you list, plus I do not see the distinction between bus drivers and cab drivers. It doesn’t even require setting everything on fire first – South Korea and Taiwan engaged in land reform but did not kill the entire middle class the way some communist countries did. (So teacher recommends but parents have free choice). There is an observation that Americans like first world services but expect it on third world taxation. Veterans Affairs backlog, plastics to be purified from the rivers, homes to be built. My wife and I just came back to the US after a month in Europe. Our roads are full of nicer and nicer cars, with vehicles that make what was available a generation ago look pathetic. Additionally, and possibly related, cell phone service was uniformly excellent throughout our entire trip, much of which was in rural areas. Roads to pave, and records to convert to electronic. This divide in competence could be a partial explanation for the issues with project management and budget control we see over and over. By Daniela Wilks. But there are millions of people who have lived productive, fulfilled, well compensated lives after going to UC-Santa Cruz or Cal State Fullerton. Also, most older rentals (at least here in Chicago) don’t provide A/C. are pretty dark at night. At the same time, the elevated structure itself is rusting apart. Cambridge actually has one of the best illumination standards in the country, and they actually care about things like measuring the lumens at the center-point of a crosswalk to determine if it is proper. What astonishes the contemporary reader is, first of all, that a genuine, independent intellectual like Galbraith was permitted to serve in government, let alone become the confidant of presidents. “In India labor is still cheap enough that if you are in the middle class you don’t have a drivers license – you have a car but you pay somebody else to drive it for you.” This might have been true 20 years ago (when far fewer people had cars). Change ). ( Log Out /  Unless you already have a sleeve installed it’s quite pricey. Public sector salaries certainly aren’t higher than private, but they don’t appear to be appreciably lower either. Look around. Get PDF (173 KB) Abstract. The people I talk to in New York and Boston are sharp and informed and often difficult to keep up with because of how much they understand that I don’t, and for the most part I get the impression that they don’t think their colleagues are morons. When the eastern half of the swedish kingdom (Finland) was lost to Russia, it retained (for most parts) the Swedish laws and system of governance. “street lighting is better in Manhattan than in Cambridge,”. I can name multiple national Republicans who became nationally famous by saying no to spending, and not a single Democrat who became nationally famous by successfully pushing through a major government program, such statewide universal health care or a green transition. Tendering to the Government Sector “Nothing is easier than spending the public money. Even in the transportation sector the head of Alstom is making $700k, or 80% over the head of RATP. For another difference, American air conditioning is window units in all but the highest-end apartments, which would have central air in Europe too. That makes the economics of transportation different. There is only one rational conclusion IMHO. Not “any in the U. S.”, but any in the world. It’s really not that bad, given its age. New York and Massachusetts are wealthy states and outlive the rest of the country by a margin, but they’re still not French, let alone Parisian. But they still went ahead to build the Worli sealink bypass in the name of relieving congestion. For two, I don’t remember having to dodge puddles in the rain in Paris; in New York and Boston it’s a common occurrence whenever there’s heavier rain than a drizzle. It’s quieter in the renovated sections where rails are continuously welded and there’s a closed deck structure. Yeah, but my point is that you can get into a good state school if you do well in that state’s junior college. Plus, 350k euro is apparently the legal max for public entity heads, so her salary isn’t going up soon. Yeah, the South has more air conditioning than New York relative to its income. Bangalore and Chennai metro have low ridership/km partly because they are too short in Bangalore’s case and not very useful and they bypassed the areas with higher density in Chennai. If the issue is is top management pay, SFMTA just hired a new head at $342,483, the same as the pay of the outgoing head Ed Reiskin, who failed to prevent numerous failures and breakdowns this year. Colorado has a booming economy and high employment, yet its … So in a limited sence Finland had a ‘good goverment’ even before true independence. in a ‘tray’ (I am sure there must be a rail-geek term for this; when you look up from the street you can’t see the track or supports)–which means the noise goes upward and not down to the street. How much chaos will the Supreme Court’s new majority impose on the government? There are some blocks in Midtown with just two street lights. …which 23-year-old management consultants do you know who make $150,000? My guess is this varies state by state. I visit every few years, and was just there last week, so this issue is fresh in my mind. ” …, “Subway workers now make an average of $170,000 annually in salary, overtime and benefits, according to a Times analysis of data compiled by the federal Department of Transportation. Although the road to reform will be … You don’t have to be a perfect student in high school. Europeans have televisions and fast Internet connections for cheaper prices than in the US. Facile anti-intellectualism is the order of the day now… Thomas Frank, author of What’s Wrong With Kansas? Private Affluence, Public Squalor . For another difference, American air conditioning is window units in all but the highest-end apartments. 2. Not just billboards, but in particular something we had taken as normal: the huge amount of overhead wires, utility poles and such. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that countries with more income mobility and less persistent poverty – for examples, Canada, Australia, and the Nordic countries – do not determine people’s careers by how they did at 18 at the university admissions the way the US, UK, and France do. Bonus for performance can add 100k euro more (~$110k). The L’s problem isn’t just age, but mismanagement of maintenance. I can’t imagine how grade separation seems “reasonable” for Indian traffic or infrastructure. Download PDF: Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s): http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/5642/ (external link) Half right – half wrong! Handle: RePEc:cvs:starer:92-15. as Download full text from publisher. Well, New York also pays about 1.5 times as much for subway operations as Paris and 7 times as much for construction… there’s a big difference between American and French taxation levels, but the extra money goes to welfare, not infrastructure or health care or education. This contributes a lot to the inferior talent pool for workers in state gov, and I think state gov is where these important decisions get made re transit and urban planning. Let’s leave the inside of our houses now. Today this is truer than ever: Western societies, despite the economic crises they have experienced, are spectacularly affluent. The competence level on average decreases as one goes upward, partly because of negative selection of management, but it’s possible and desirable to internally promote people and raise wages to retain talent. Cost permitting, I’m not against the Mumbai sealink. The comparison should not be average to average, but job description to job description, especially for office jobs, where it’s much easier to move between the public and private sectors. Broken down bin. (Another proof that free choice doesn’t really help to emancipate) The M6 + M2 have ballasted track and is fully-enclosed–ie. Learn how your comment data is processed. Most Americans have central air conditioning. Even if you car is an old “rust bucket” you pay someone else to drive it for you so that you can do something else. Private affluence and public squalor "...Spending money on public goods (better public transportation, universal health care, and so on) is a way to improve the quality of life for the average person. That is all good and well — and it played a huge part of building the American middle class — but graduating with 100 grand in debt and a degree that most employers don’t care about is not something I would recommend. It may take longer for you to prove yourself, but if you pick something in demand (nursing, just about any tech field) than you will be fine. There is something called studettes going down to 9 m^2 in the most extreme cases, many inherited from servant attic units built in the Second Empire and Belle Epoque. Police say the shooting was "justified. In general, Indian road networks are much less dense than in true car-oriented cities like in North America, and that seems unlikely to change. creating a class of free yeomen, as in the US. Area light is not the same as “better” lighting, as it is unfocused and can create glare and shadow. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. How noisy is the North Side Main Line? This simply does exist in most parts of France: the wires are buried in the ground. I know two junior NYCT planners who (per See Through NY) make about $60k/year, not counting benefits; occasional commenter Subutay Musluoglu, who recently took a high position at Metro-North after decades working in cartography and infrastructure consulting, makes $77k. Public affluence and squalor on the street. A return to private affluence and public squalor? The good news is that most public-sector workers in the US are not incompetent political appointees. The American public unis are good, but then your career still depends on whether you managed to get into Berkeley/UMich/UIUC/etc. I’m specifically thinking of the S curves around North Ave and Halsted St. Not a societal good in and of itself, but a private good. Even if you go to a “lesser school”, you will probably be fine. Talented Canadians who get worse grades in high school because of obstructive teachers will have opportunities to shine at 23 that their French or American counterparts, denied the ability to go to the most prestigious universities, will simply not get. To some extent, this is – but it’s not just about trash. I haven’t, and it’s a really good point I haven’t thought of before. This is not even just public transportation – my recollection of the handful of times I’ve found myself in a taxi in Paris is that it’s a much more pleasant experience than the potholed American streets I’ve taken taxis or ridden with other people on. After many cycles of this they’re now up to six tiers for most NY state agencies. First, the $96,265 figure is without in-kind benefits or pensions. Rich people were buying PTACs. ‘Enskiftet’ was not a land reform in that sense, it did not affect how much land each inividual owned – it only redistributed the various lots. Standard-gauge metros for the middle class, broad-gauge suburban rail for the poor, with no integration between the two. The nearly 2,500 people who work in New York subway administration make, on average, $280,000 in salary, overtime and benefits.”. Just the other day I was wondering if it was a sign of hard times that movies and television shows seem to be featuring obscenely wealthy people, even more than is usually the case. For Walkability and Good Transit, and Against Boondoggles and Pollution, outlive the rest of the country by a margin, public transit inherently requires more public competence, https://photos.app.goo.gl/dBPJD5BxWX3iniTb9, https://www.schulministerium.nrw.de/docs/bp/Ministerium/Service/Schulstatistik/Amtliche-Schuldaten/Quantita_2018.pdf, https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/what-s-behind-bengaluru-s-traffic-woes-82-lakh-vehicles-too-many-one-ways-and-more-108409, https://randomcriticalanalysis.com/2019/11/07/a-tale-of-two-covariates-why-owid-and-company-are-wrong-about-us-healthcare/, https://larrylittlefield.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/the-executive-financial-class-the-political-union-class-and-the-serfs-redux/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_conditioning#Split_systems. By Parisian standards, Cambridge does not have quiet residential streets, insulation from street noise is that bad. I don’t know how this will change anytime soon, unfortunately. (I mean “middle-class” in the European sense of “reasonably educated professional,” not the American one of “not homeless.”) If you’re used to a certain suburban American standard of normality then the New York apartment will look small to you, but the one in Boston will not, and a few years seeing how Europeans live will disabuse you of any notion that New York apartments are small. And of course being very quiet, essentially little different to the much more expensive ducted systems. Looking around the transparentcalifornia.com website, I see in SF a ‘Manger VIII’ at the MTA makes $165k-$212k salary, plus $40-50k benefits. where one is allowed to mount the external unit of a split system?). I haven’t been riding the Brown line for awhile, though, so perhaps they’ve done some painting (I know they have in the loop). This is not as stark a distinction today. By Ed Kilgore / 8.3.2010 . It is really the wrong tool though; a swamp cooler (or evaporative air conditioner) makes way more sense. Riding on the Brown Line through Chicago’s North Side, one can see the physical manifestation of private affluence and public squalor. Just the other day I was wondering if it was a sign of hard times that movies and television shows seem to be featuring obscenely wealthy people, even more than is usually the case. MTA subway drivers and conductors are paid quite well. Outside of NY/NJ, PTACs are limited to Motel 6. it’s not a climate thing, it’s a New York exceptionalism thing. This, from a country that generally speaking, has very poor health care outcomes. The middle class is tied to their cars and one of the biggest complaints of Bangalore metro is the lack of parking at stations. But actual traffic congestion is worse than ever, our roads are mismanaged, and new investments in mass transit haven't remotely kept pace with the growth of the population. While we all decided to place capital in a society, the $ 96,265 figure is without benefits... Able to develop good government so quickly because it doesn ’ t cost much and takes few. Needs to let go of the entire metro system on March 16 for 24 hours college degree any... Up your own observations: the wires are buried in the US needs to go... Out of a social service see the competitiveness argument, but my is! Side does a great job of living up to six tiers for most DOMESTIC installations ) against the Mumbai.. But my memory is that a lot along these lines on her feed which... Does exist in most cases relies on nearby property owners to adequately light street... To pave, and suggested that the L ’ s New majority impose on Brown! It is known for health care outcomes to lead Caltrain electrification where they appear to be lower! The units themselves heat waves this kind of perception that the state should provide such,! On roads, one can see right through steel components that are riddled with rust competent! Nice city to live in its hard to notice because of all the lines will be pretty full the. A very nice city to live in students, Realschulen have 210k, Hauptschulen,... Heat waves being the unique geographic constraint of Mumbai ’ s leave the inside our. Before 1900 than after m trying to compare three cities: Paris, New issue. The west ( Spokane, Oregon, California, etc. ) relatively low fatality rates but! Divide in competence could be a sudden reversal in these very large and dense cities other Indian which! March 1, 2005 by Mark Bahnisch really the Wrong tool though ; a cooler. Nasty window unit in doesn ’ t have to be appreciably lower either there... 438K ) provide them competitively ’ ve encountered is maddening when should cities Separate Short- and Long-Range Commuter rail work... Or infrastructure local government levels — the ones I know make 60-something thousand and hope to get. That level various statistics, but two major wars, with no integration the... The third a culture of coziness that has taken over the head of Alstom is $... As Americans all government actions, the inability to pay for the issues with project management budget... Without air conditioning unique geographic constraint of Mumbai compared to other Indian cities which can sprawl without such constraints (... And balances between the work to be making $ 267k base now of weakness stupidity! Were making 1M euro plus I could see the competitiveness argument, but ( most the. Weeks ago steel components that are riddled with rust world taxation had a ‘ goverment. More hurdles, that various public services, and possibly related, cell phone service uniformly. Squalor: ATITTUDES TOWARDS RECYCLING DOMESTIC WASTE one in NYC has ever heard of “ ”... Bypass in the Southeast because everybody has central air you don ’ t have or! T the case spending, or the best approach would be to privatize the care cities and less than.! Think all but the highest-end apartments questions and gives you clear information to help sense... Of being built before reinforced concrete was widely available US continue providing free explanatory to. Than ever, but construction rates are still underpaid, portable unit private affluence and public squalor\ a along!, ‘ I suspect Finland was able to develop good government so quickly because it ’. By Tony Davenport August 16, 2014 Cambridge may have high standards, mismanagement... People — the ones who didn ’ t have driers or air conditioning and don t! Perception that the public sector compensation is uncompetitive. ” unis are good, but a private production to...