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Note to Nashville: Privatization is good, except when it’s idiotic

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Note to Nashville Privatization is good except when its idiotic

This will be the first and hopefully the last time I speak out against a government plan to privatize anything. But as much as I like a blanket approach to taking control away from government in the vast majority of situations, the plan to privatize public parking in Nashville is so loaded with problems, it shouldn’t move forward.

I first heard the details of the plan when I read about the rare occurrence of a Democratic mayor wanting to privatize an element of city government. Generally, Democrats push for more control over their territories, not less, which is why I was hoping to find an instance where the realities of limited-government federalism and capitalistic privatization was seeping into the psyche of a Democratic leader. What I found was appalling: a desperate mayor, David Briley, throwing anything he could against the fiscal walls in hopes of making it stick. His city faces a woeful budget shortfall, something that should not be happening in a city as vibrant and growing as Nashville.

But, they need money immediately to make up the shortfall before the end of the fiscal year and this seems to be their last resort following an atrocious set of attempts to sell off public land to make up the cash difference. The attempt was so botched, the city council passed a resolution preventing such an attempt from being used in the future to cover operating expenses. But now, they’re ready to push the parking privatization scheme through with a rubber stamp and hopes nobody will look closely at the details.

The latter is unlikely, as many are already speaking out. Mayoral candidate Carol M. Swain urged the city to halt the plans, clearly pointing out it’s a very bad deal:

Nashville must oppose Mayor David Briley’s public parking privatization plan

We the People of Davidson County and surrounding areas will be adversely impacted if Mayor Briley, who is up for re-election, can push through this deal that would entail a 30-year commitment.

No agreement of this magnitude should be for more than any one term of the mayor’s office.

Once they have the contract, there is nothing to prevent the bid-winning private company from also raising rates until they match rates common to larger cities such as Chicago and New York City.

As Swain noted, this is a 30-year deal that essentially turns a public revenue source into a for-profit scheme that will sacrifice the people’s control for decades in exchange for saving a single year’s budget. The loss of future revenues and control aren’t the only things at stake, though. The deal will include increases across the board for citizens of Nashville, including:

  • A rise in the number of parking spots designated as paid that will essentially double them over four years
  • Increased cost per hour by 25 cents
  • More than doubling fines from $11 to $25
  • Decreasing free parking times by four hours per weekday
  • Removing free parking on weekends
  • Removing free parking for green vehicles

The mayor is pushing the deal as a way to innovate and catch up with the rest of the nation, citing technological improvements. But any such improvements could be made by the city, as could the changes to the times, costs, and fines, so his points are moot. The reality is this: They need cash now and they don’t have any other schemes that can work this quickly.

There’s a solution to all this: cut budgets. Fiscal responsibility should not be obfuscated by get-cash-quick schemes that will harm Nashville’s citizens. Make cuts. Increase revenues long term. Make Nashville as business-friendly as possible. These are the ways that work in America. Corrupt land deals and desperate privatization schemes always hurt in the long run. This time, they’re hurting Nashville in the short term as well.

Nashville’s parking plan is the equivalent of taking an important part of many citizens’ daily lives and pawning it off to pay the city’s bills. They’re giving up 30 years of control to save a single year’s budget.

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Democrats

After ICE raids, Koch Foods has job fair, receives hundreds of applications

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After ICE raids Koch Foods has job fair receives hundreds of applications

The false narrative that illegal immigrants are the only people willing to do certain jobs was quickly debunked this week as Koch Foods held a job fair that garnered them hundreds of applications from people who are legally capable of working in the United States. Though they did not cite it as a reason, it’s clear the job fair was in response to over 200 of their employees apprehended during the ICE raid last week.

But even as they moved to get legal employees on board, they noted the strong economy has made it necessary to proactively seek qualified applicants.

Koch spokesman Jim Gilliand told the Associated Press, “In this environment of relative full employment, most businesses are looking for qualified applicants; Koch is no different.”

The company is requiring two forms of valid IDs for all prospective job seekers and is trying to eliminate loopholes in their E-Verify system.

After ICE Raids, US Citizens Flock To Jobs

The fair raked in 200 applications before noon, according to local media. The company says it will require applicants to present two forms of identification before being hired, according to CNN. MDES will also vet all Mississippi workers for legality using the state’s E-Verify system, according to USA Today.

Democrats like to point to racism as a motivation for deporting properly adjudicated illegal aliens set for removal, but the real racism is in denying American citizens, many of whom are minorities, the opportunity to support their families.

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Economy

AP: Trump’s stance on Hong Kong shows his focus on China trade

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AP Trumps stance on Hong Kong shows his focus on China trade

Editor’s Note: This wire story does not necessarily reflect the opinions of NOQ Report or staff. It’s intended to relay news that is best relayed through the resources of the Associated Press, and while their tendency to editorialize news often taints their content, we are confident our readers can see through the deceptive techniques and garner insight into what’s actually happening in the world.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rather than speak up strongly for the Hong Kong protesters, President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested the answer to their complaints of Chinese oppression is simply for Beijing’s “great leader,” Xi Jinping, to meet with them and peacefully sort out the unrest that has been decades in the making.

Trump’s comments were a far cry from the tougher stances taken by some fellow Republicans — and his predecessors in office — to stand with pro-democracy protesters during moments of unrest. His words are emblematic of a foreign policy approach that focuses narrowly on a trade deal with China, putting it above promoting American values.

Trump has fixated on the state of trade negotiations and at times has ignored the counsel of some of his most senior advisers to lower the temperature of the trade dispute with Beijing. Amid stock market volatility this week and talk of a looming recession, worries have grown within the West Wing that escalating trade tensions and tariffs could undermine Trump’s best argument for reelection — a strong U.S. economy.

In June, Trump indicated to Chinese President Xi on the sidelines of an international summit in Japan that he would not overtly criticize the Chinese government’s efforts to silence the protests in Hong Kong, according to two administration officials not authorized to speak publicly about private discussions. As the demonstrations ratcheted up this week, Trump stayed mostly quiet, referring to the moment as “the Hong Kong thing.”

As he has in the past, Trump retreated to the role of observer to an international crisis, chiming in on Twitter with reactions to what he saw on cable TV but not injecting the United States into the moment.

National Security Adviser John Bolton and economic and diplomatic aides have urged the White House to back the protesters.

The State Department on Wednesday expressed deep concern about reports of Chinese paramilitary movement near the Hong Kong border and offered a measure of support for the protests, saying they “reflect the sentiment of Hongkongers and their broad and legitimate concerns about the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy.”

The top Democrat and Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee jointly placed the blame squarely on Beijing and recalled the violent crackdown on Tiananmen Square demonstrators in 1989.

“We are concerned that China would consider again brutally putting down peaceful protests,” said the statement Wednesday by Reps Eliot Engel of New York, the committee chairman, and Michael McCaul of Texas, the ranking Republican. “We urge China to avoid making such a mistake, which would be met with universal condemnation and swift consequences.”

Other Republicans have spoken out, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, hitting the notes usually associated with a president:

“To the thousands of young people in Hong Kong who are speaking UP for human rights and speaking OUT against the Communist Party of China: we see you waving the American flag, and we hear you singing our national anthem,” McCarthy tweeted this week. “America stands for freedom. America stands with Hong Kong.”

Trump took a more active role Thursday — but in an appeal to Xi, whom he has repeatedly flattered and was careful not to criticize. In a tweet, he urged Xi to meet with the protesters to deliver “a happy and enlightened ending to the Hong Kong problem.”

Meanwhile, the United States and China appear no closer to a trade deal. Despite Trump’s claims to the contrary, the pain of the tariffs is being felt by American consumers and businesses, and forcing companies, when possible, to reconfigure their global supply chains.

And the talk of recession, perhaps arriving just months before Americans decide if Trump will get a second term, is worrying his advisers. They’re concerned that a slowing economy could cause the campaign to shed voters who were willing to give him a pass on some his incendiary policies and rhetoric because the economy has been doing well.

Trump, in an interview Thursday with a New Hampshire radio station ahead of a rally in the state, blamed, as usual, any economic sluggishness on his predecessors and on the Federal Reserve for keeping interest rates too high. But he also defended his approach to handling China and dismissed the recent stock market tumble.

“We had a couple of bad days, but we’re going to have some very good days ’cause we had to take on China,” the president said. “It should have been done by Obama and Bush and everybody else. It should have been done long before I came along. But I’m the one that gets stuck with it and I’m the one that’s going to do it.”

“China, frankly, would love to make a deal,” he continued. “And it’s got to be a deal on proper terms. It’s got to be a deal, frankly, on our terms.”

Trump’s quiet approach on Hong Kong should not be a surprise. He has repeatedly deprioritized human rights in American diplomacy, from talks with North Korea and Saudi Arabia to China. And he has publicly refused to weigh in on the heavy-handed actions of other nations as he espouses a foreign policy more focused on a narrow view of sovereignty and national interest.

The president has repeatedly praised strongmen like leaders in Russia and Turkey for their control over their people and has turned authoritarian tendencies into a punch line.

___

AP Diplomatic writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report.

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Democrats

Democrats hope recession cries will become a self-fulfilling prophecy

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Democrats hope recession cries will become a self-fulfilling prophecy

There’s a little-known secret about the economy that Wall Street knows all too well. Perceptions become reality even when reality runs contrary to perceptions. Fear of a crash prompted by rumors and speculation can cause a crash even if no other outside forces intervene. Valuation fluctuations are as influenced by media reports as they are by P&L statements. A Tweet by a powerful person can send the economy soaring or plummeting, depending on the direction of the Tweet.

Controlling the flow of information and keeping investors as accurately informed as possible has been a staple of our strongest economies for decades. But in today’s news-on-demand world, it doesn’t take much to muddy the waters with false reports and poor analyses, whether intentionally poor or not. In other words, how we feel about the economy has as much effect over it as the key indicators attached to it.

This isn’t just known by Hollywood. Washington DC knows it very well, which is why the push has started to predict a coming recession. It’s easy to find signs of on impending recession at literally any given moment; if you want to find something to latch onto that says the economy is on the verge of slowing or even collapsing, look hard enough and there will be indicators that point in that direction. But it requires a biased disregard of other factors in order to make the case that the economy is looking poorly, especially in today’s fiscal atmosphere in which most signs are pointing to an uptick.

President Trump’s delay of additional Chinese tariffs was not a reaction to the economy. It was a reaction to the current reactions about the economy. Things are wobbly right now because progressive economists, Democratic lawmakers, and leftist journalists have been saying things are wobbly. As a result, the President was forced to delay tariffs, thereby weakening his hand against the Chinese government in negotiations.

Thankfully, China is feeling real pressure. Instead of a political party trying to convince people things are worse than they really are, China has a unified government trying to convince their people things are better than they appear. Now, we’re faced with a race to the prevailing falsehood. Will the left convince the American people the economy is bad before the people of China realize their economy truly is bad?

To the economic layman, this story from CNN reads like a dire warning of an inevitable collapse that’s going to come before the election. They want this out there and will join the chorus of other leftist “warnings” until they can convince enough people to believe it’s going to happen, thereby creating the self-fulfilling prophecy they need for 2020.

Bad economic news raises political risks for Trump

Both China and Germany — the world’s second- and fourth-largest economies — delivered disappointing economic data overnight. Germany, which relies heavily on exports to China and the US, reported a slight contraction in the second quarter, opening up the possibility that it might tip into full-blown recession.

That news came after three central banks last week — in India, New Zealand and Thailand — all aggressively cut rates more than expected over trade fears and growing economic uncertainty.

The US has continued to see positive economic growth and a hot job market, thanks in part to Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, but that’s been largely driven by consumer demand that could be dashed by a slowdown abroad.

Analysts say Trump’s decision to delay some tariffs may have been too little too late — and that he risks losing his most powerful argument for reelection: the economy.

This story is not the standard full-blown fake news we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from CNN. It’s a lie by omission; they highlight the negatives that point to a recession while ignoring the positives that are clearly pointing to continued economic growth. It’s important to them that they plant the seed that interest rate cuts will not have a lasting effect and that tariff delays are not going to act as long-term fixes to Wall Street’s skepticism.

As patriots, we need to keep the people informed. That’s what NOQ Report is all about, and conveying the truth about deceptive tactics progressives are utilizing to harm the economy for political expediency is at the top of our to-do list. But we need help. We need continued donations so we’re able to push these truths out to the masses.

Progressives will continue to beat the drum about an upcoming economic crash until they can make it happen through the influence they have with their propaganda. We must fight these reports knowing we have the truth on our side.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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