On Friday, May 9, Citizens for Modern Transit (CMT) held a race between the MetroLink, cars, and bikers from one metro stop to another one. That seemed rigged in favor of the MetroLink to us, so we held our own race from our office in the Central West End to BARcelona in Clayton.
St. Louis's light rail, MetroLink, has been built on press events and promises. The CMT made-for-media race earlier this month is a great example of the former, but consider some of the promises made to sell MetroLink:
* "...some of Metro Link's heaviest use could come from lunch-hour passengers moving among downtown, Union Station and the Central West End." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch 10/26/1988
* "The city is talking with investors and developers about building a golf course just north of the King Bridge, an area of abandoned rail lines... City planners picture light industry around the golf course.
"Conventioneers, just five minutes from East St. Louis by rail, offer a natural market for a golf course..." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch 10/17/1993
During our race, Joseph Miller provides the numbers behind MetroLink. It's incredibly expensive and there are better ways to improve public transportation. For example, money used on MetroLink would be better spent improving bus service.
Note 1: When Joseph Miller refers to "city" and "city planners" he means the "St. Louis region" and "regional planners".
Show-Me Institute Director of Local Government Policy David Stokes recently released a case study about privatization efforts in Missouri. The study documents the variety of ways in which counties, cities, and towns can engage the private sector to effectively provide many public services. Examples of areas that can experience cost savings and service improvements through privatization include trash pick-up, ambulance service, swimming pool and golf course management, animal control, fleet management, government pharmacy services, and much more.
There are numerous ways that Missouri communities can benefit from privatization. David Stokes documented examples from across the state to help inform both decision makers and the public about the options available (read the case study). He also interviewed Ferguson Mayor James Knowles about that city's use of privatization:
Dr. Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute spoke with SMI communications director Rick Edlund about why he's optimistic about the U.S. economy. The country is full, he says, of the energy of ideas, and it's starting to pay off.
On Jan. 20, 2006, the Show-Me Institute sponsored this presentation by Lawrence Reed, then the president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, presently the president of the Foundation for Economic Education. Reed explains the many flaws with the prevailing theory that Standard Oil was a monopoly or that the company's founder and president, John Rockefeller, was exploitative — or, indeed, anything other than a shrewd and successful businessman serving his customers well. Ethelmae Humphreys, at the time a member of the Show-Me Institute's board of directors, introduced the speech.
Upon the release of Jerome Day's new study analyzing Missouri's transportation options for the future, Show-Me Institute Communication Director Rick Edlund sat down with him to talk about some of his findings.
Show-Me Institute staff and interns illustrate a functioning market by scalping St. Louis Cardinals tickets at Busch stadium. Free-market lessons are interspersed throughout the video as the teams show how market transactions can make both parties better off.
In this video, policy analyst David Stokes, accompanied by two research assistants, endeavors to get to the heart of the payday loan debate by ... actually getting a payday loan. Filmed on location at Saint Louis–area payday loan stores and casino on April 1, 2010.