Walsh, Jackson clash on range of issues - but agree on space saving after snowstorms

In their second, and final, debate, Mayor Marty Walsh and Councilor Tito Jackson highlighted their differences in a debate moderated by WGBH's Margery Eagan and Jim Braude:

Affordable housing

Walsh said this was one of the first topics his new administration tackled, coming up with a plan to build 53,000 units of new housing - with 9,000 of those "affordable." He said 22,000 have gotten permits to proceed over the past three years, plus voters approved the Community Preservation Act which will mean more money for affordable housing and he has increased the percentage of units developers have to build as affordable from 13 to 18 percent. He said the city is spending $57 million on affordable housing out of funds from developers. The city has seen "a bit of stabilization in rents" in some areas, but more work is needed to ensure Boston remains "a city for all people."

"We need to increase the supply" especially as more people move to Boston, he said, adding the city is also looking at ways to improve the BHA's large holdings because the federal government no longer invests in public housing.

Jackson said the city is building way more luxury than affordable housing and said the first thing he would do as mayor is dismantle the BRA and create a city planing department. He said he would up the minimum requirement for affordable units in new projects to 25% - but would require any buildings erected on land purchased from the city to have at least two thirds of their units for low- and moderate income residents.

He said he would set aside $5 million for housing vouchers because, he said, a lot of the "affordable" housing is only affordable to people making more than $70,000 a year.

Walsh said he'd rather spend that $5 million building new units.

Walsh opposes rent control, says he's not sure it would work here. Jackson said the city should at least look at it.


Braude asked Jackson if he really meant it when he said earlier that "Marty Walsh doesn't think black lives matter."

Jackson did not answer yes or no, but said Walsh delays doing anything until a problem becomes a crisis. He pointed to the 2016 Boston Latin School protests, which ultimately brought in the federal Department of Justice. He added it's not right that barely any city contracts go to people of color or women in a city where white families have far higher net worth - and life expectancy - than black families. He said And he said Walsh's recent dismissal of an NAACP report criticizing his tenure shows Walsh just doesn't believe in dialog.

"He's making the wrong decisions," Jackson said.

Walsh said that's nonsense. He said he's held the first citywide meeting on race in Boston history. He acknowledged that while city contracts to people of color had been low, he moved last year to bring the number up. And the number of teachers, police and firefighters of color is on the increase, he said.

He said it was unfair of the NAACP to criticize him for "generational issues" that were happening for decades before he became mayor and that "nobody's ever tackled."

Increasing minority numbers in BPD

Jackson said the mayor needs to work more with the local minority police union to increase recruiting among minority communities and stop defending a drug test BPD uses for applicants that has a high rate of false positives with short, curly hair. And police need to start wearing body cameras and elevate the arrest rates for non-fatal shootings.

Walsh said that he has ade sure BPD has the most diverse command staff in city history. And he said that when he asked Jackson to give him names of black potential academy candidates, Jackson supplied just a single name.

And yet, Jim Braude said, 66% of Boston cops are white. Anything more?

Walsh said the simplest answer would be to eliminate civil service testing and veteran preference, but he said he's not willing to do that. Instead, he wants to try to recruit more veterans of color to apply.

Jackson repeated his charge Walsh doesn't want to deal with the minority-officer union. Walsh said he had breakfast with its president on Thursday and has met with him repeatedly in his time in office.

Body cameras

Walsh said he is hoping ot get findings from a recently concluded study of the cameras before December. But he said the real issue is not body cameras but building trust in the community. And that involves a host of issues.

Jackson said Walsh's decision to wait for the results of a study show his "paralysis by analysis" and proof of his "timid, tepid leadership" and that if he were mayor, he would simply get police to don the cameras - and to install dashcams in their cruisers, because both are proven technologies. He pointed to $38 million in lawsuit settlements involving BPD - all stemming from cases before Walsh's tenure - as proof of the need. "Those dollars are taken away from the Boston Public Schools" and other programs, he said.

Walsh replie that crime is down in his time in office and that he has spearheaded programs to keep young people from getting involved in crime, such as mentoring and job programs.

Amazon and corporate incentives

Jackson says he would welcome Amazon - but would give them no incentives to move here. As an economic-development officer in the Patrick administration, he said he helped convince Google and Microsoft to open offices here because Boston is such a desirable place to be, without having to offer them a $12-million helipad. And he said the city should not have given GE a $25-million tax break.

"We didn't write a check to General Electric," Walsh said. He said the tax break was in recognition of the company's work in fixing up a dilapidated part of Fort Point Channel and its value in attracting other talent here. He said the break has already paid for itself in the $25 million GE committed to local educational efforts, along with $15 million for job training and $10 million for health care. And he charged that while Jackson was with Patrick, "they gave plenty of tax credits away."

Walsh said the Amazon bid contains no specific economic incentives, although he noted it does call for certain transportation improvements, such as connecting the Red and Blue lines, which the state said in 2011 would cost $750 million.

Lessons from the Olympics?

Walsh said the city learned a lot from the failed Olympics bid, which he said helped the city launch various planning programs for building a better Boston. He said. He said he was the one who canceled the Olympics bid when he realized it could mean mortgaging the city's future.

"He is misremembeing what actually happened there," Jackson said. Jackson said he was the only councilor to demand the Olympic documents the city was keeping secret. "We wasted a whole year on this issue," and Walsh kept dismissing opponenents, whom he referred to as "ten people on Twitter."

"He expedited the Olympic, he expedited the Grand Prix, he expedited GE" and yet only recently came up with a capital plan to improve Boston schools, he said.

Walsh said the proof is in the pudding: Boston has 60,000 more jobs than four years ago, the most number of Level 1 and 2 schools in city history and an excellent bond rating. And the Indycar debacle cost the city nothing, he said. He then added that two city officials who face federal indictments remain on the payroll at $250,000 total each year, even as BPS keeps getting cut.

Walsh denounced Jackson's charges as "all false," but acknowledged the two city officials remain on the payroll. "In the United States of America, you're innocent until proven guilty," he said.


Jackson said 49 schools are losing $11 million in funding this year. He said he would put more money into the school budget for nurses, art and music programs and computer-science classes at all schools. And he said qualified teachers now unassigned would get jobs teaching. He said he would bring back an elected school committee.

Walsh said he has increased school funding each year he's been in office and this year increased funding specifically for special education and for schools at risk of being downgraded to Level 4. He said that "the money follows the child," so schools that lose students lose the funding that otherwise would have come with those students.

He said voters have twice chosen an appointed school committee - and that his appointed school committee has more minority and parent members. And he said he is trying to convince the state legislature to let the city divert funds from the South Boston convention center for universal pre-K.


Walsh said the T needs to do more - such as connecting the Blue and Red Lines. He said the city is looking at ways to reduce congestion, even self-driving cars, but said he remains especially committed to bikes, despite Margery Eagan's assertion that some Boston roads are just too narrow for them.

Jackson also supported bikes. He said Boston needs to spend more on bike paths. "No one should die riding a bike." And he said the city should use the $87 million it pays into the T as leverage to get it do more. Also, the city should be devoting more effort to the impact of new development projects on transportation. "We develop, but we don't plan," he said.

Late-night T service

Both agreed the T blew it giving it up.

Space savers

Braude asked about people putting out items, which he said included refrigerators, to save spaces after snow storms. Both candidates agreed residents who shovel out a space should get 48 hours to keep them.

Public restrooms in the Public Garden

Walsh said he plans to put $20 million into the Common and Franklin Park and that part of that will included permanent staff. He did not dismiss the idea of restrooms.

Jackson said, yeah, well, that money comes from "a shady deal" - the sale of the Winthrop Square garage - and said the city should be concentration more on solving homelessness. He said 4,000 BPS students are homeless. And he said the city needs to rebuild the Long Island bridge and restore the homeless and drug programs that were there. "We can pull together a plan for Amazon in a month and a half" and yet Long Island remains shut, he said.

Walsh pointed to city programs to house the homeless. And he said that while the Long Island bridge will get rebuilt someday, he no longer supports restoring Long Island as a home for shelters and treatment beds. He said the city has recreated its programs on the mainland and that it's wrong to hide the less fortunate and programs to serve them on a remote island in Boston Harbor.

Jackson said the $20 million spent to tear the bridge down could have gone a long way to improving services.

"The bridge was crumbling into the Atlantic Ocean," Walsh retorted.



Free tagging: 


Maybe not in Chelsea, my friend

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Let's both of us get a good night's sleep, and come tomorrow there will be 30 comments here on space savers. And heck, perhaps a few on housing and diversity, too. That, and Anonymous will post a bunch of things about the Olympics, but hey, they will include graphics.

video and a fact check

During the third segment Tito said "He has not worked w/MAMLEO.." in a discussion about recruiting people of color for the police force. Marty responded "I have a breakfast with Larry Ellison MAMLEO Thursday..I have been talking to him over last 4 years"

We can have a veterans

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We can have a veterans preference (and absolutely should) but it shouldn't be such an advantage that no non-veterans can score high enough to get into the Fire or Police Dept. There has to be a balance.

Preference a problem with police

The problem with veterans' preference for police departments is that, due to our misadventures in the middle east, we end up hiring a large number of 25 year olds whose only job since high school has been to be part of an occupying army..... and then we scratch our heads wondering why, once they get on the job, some of them start acting like they're members of an occupying army.....


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That's usually not too much of an issue around here, but we do have our bad apples like everywhere.

Big fan of Vets - so not saying to take away their preference - but it might be nice to add in a preference for BPS grads that is equal to that - gives the kids in HS something to shoot for.

I knew I could depend on you

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Still kind of disappointed that we have yet to have the regulars get into a war about space savers, but perhaps the fact that the water falling today is rain rather than snow dampened feelings on the issue.

There shouldn’t be a need to

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There shouldn’t be a need to strip veterans preference. The U. S. Military is one of the most diverse organizations out there. The problem is either Boston minorities not enlisting to serve their country, or, they just don’t want all the media’s “the police are murderers” negative attention thrust upon them.

The housing being built isn't being used as intended

The mayor is also lying to us. The massive luxury developments are setting aside numerous units for short term rentals. This is being seen in buildings coming up all over the city. Developers and landlords don't want lower rents. They want to suck every dollar that they can from all of us who are renters. The idea that the Walsh approved developments will bring down rents all over the city is laughable.

I'm putting a vote next to Tito's name.

Can we have a Uhub voter survey?

They want to suck every dollar they can from all of us renters

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Umm - it's a business. They are in business to make money, not run a charity.

That said, most of the landlords that I know are not exactly slumlords - in fact, most tell me they have their rents slightly below market in order to reward and keep good, long term tenants. The extra $100 or $200 a month is never worth the aggravation of a troublesome tenant.

And Marty's biggest success is the amount of housing getting built in the outer neighborhoods. It won't happen overnight, but it's already showing up in the rents - and soon probably in purchase prices too. By Spring 2018 there will be a huge amount of new inventory flooding the market.

I may also vote Tito - but that's just to keep Walsh from getting too big for his britches. Marty will win in a landslide unless he gets indicted in the next two weeks. He'll still win, just not by as much. :-)

Housing as a business

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The people who run 'a business' by selling drinking water for $20 a gallon in disaster zones aren't running charities either, so why are they arrested instead of lauded like you laud the profiteering of property owners?

Or perhaps look at it this

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Or perhaps look at it this way:
In a disaster area, most of the locally available bottled water is going to sell out right away. If a bottle of water can be sold for $20, it might motivate a huge number of people in neighboring states to buy bottled water at *their* local grocery store and drive several hours to deliver it to said disaster area. It wouldn't be anywhere close to worth the added fuel cost and time for $1-2/bottle, but it definitely would be for $20/bottle. What's more, when people are not allowed to raise the price of a commodity even though its real value has increased dramatically (as is the case for water in a disaster area), people tend to hoard it because a) they can buy a lot of it for very little money and b) they can be reasonably certain that it will sell out, so hoarding it is actually smart on their part. Now this means that the first few people that show up at the grocery store tend to buy way more water/fuel/bread than they're ever going to possibly use, and anyone who shows up after gets NOTHING. So, yeah, $20 for a bottle of water seems ridiculous until you compare it to the prospect of getting no water at all.

If that were really true,

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If that were really true, there would be no market for a $20 bottle of water because all of the needed water would already be available for free to anyone who needed it. And consider that in some cases if this were not so frowned upon "random profiteers" might include major bottled water distributors (Nestle, Poland Springs, etc) choosing to re-route their trucks to parts of the country where they could sell them for 3-5x the normal price.

Kind of like how it's easy to complain about Uber's "surge pricing" during a snow storm until you're a driver, and then the idea of going out when driving is half as fast and 10x as dangerous seems pretty stupid when you're still making exactly the same amount of money as you would on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Surge pricing?

You can stay home. If its an emergency, you call 911. Unlike water, which you must have or die. Think of it another way. You have already paid for safe tap water through your taxes. Or in your crazy world, all water is free market and unless you have a well you pay "surge" pricing.

I'm not sure what we're

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I'm not sure what we're debating here exactly. Purveyors of bottled water selling their product at $20/bottle does not prevent me from getting it out of my tap (and indeed I am totally in favor of taxes being used to build water mains). It's just that if people are willing to pay $20 for a bottle of water, clearly there has been a breakdown in the normal system for distributing water, why not let people have the financial incentive to bring water to a place where it is clearly needed?

Re, 911...
Interesting comparison. In the US an ambulance ride might cost you upwards of $500 to travel two miles (speaking of "surge pricing"). The Uber ride, even at 4x the normal cost, is almost certainly cheaper.

Again, when the alternative

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Again, when the alternative is shortages and hoarding, charging more and avoiding both of those problems seems like a pretty smart thing to do. No one is suggesting that it should function as an alternative to real disaster relief efforts but it shouldn’t be frowned upon either.

Not price gouging

Encouraging sensible demand and limiting volume of use for a limited resource.

BTW - your taxes don't pay for your water. Your building owner pays for water and sewer - either from a water supplier or by maintaining a private well/septic system. In most cases, the cost of maintenance of those systems is paid for in either fees for metered water usage or by spending money on well and septic maintenance.

You might want to take a class if you are ever planning to buy a home.

Water and Electricity have been surge priced

Not sure how old you are, but surge pricing of electricity was very common in the Northeast after the oil shocks and in response to . During the 1970s and much of the 1980s, my husband's home had a meter that recorded the time of use - using electricity during peak hours was more expensive, using it during times of lower demand was cheaper.

Similarly, water was priced according to demand on the west coast, but in different ways. If you used relatively little water, it was inexpensive. If you started getting into higher water consumption, it got more expensive the more you used in a stepwise fashion (gallons 1-1000 cost x, gallons 1001 - 2000 cost 2x, etc.) This was during a severe drought in the late 70s and it encouraged conservation while allowing for basic needs. I remember my grandparents had us shower in a garbage can in the tub so they could water the garden with it afterwards.

Now, these were both in response to managing shortages of generating capacity and water, but the idea of encouraging thoughtful consumption is not new.

Not (quite) old enough to

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Not (quite) old enough to remember it, but I did read about it. And I know that President Carter's efforts to insulate people from those price spikes by putting price controls on gasoline resulted (famously) in long lines and shortages at gas stations.

Space Savers

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...another embarrassment to our city. the fact that this was even brought up during the debate is an embarrassment to every Bostonian. Enough of these life long townies, we need new blood in this city to make Boston a world class city again. at least the sportsball team that plays with a bat is not playing anymore. and hopefully the sportsball team that plays with a oval-shaped ball gets eliminated.

Does anyone know if you can write in a vote for mayor?


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Does anyone know if you can write in a vote for mayor?

I thought you were a citizen of Boston. If so, shouldn't you know the answer to this already?

oh no..

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here to stay.

Going to sit back and enjoy the transition of Boston into a World Class city!

Go LA Chargers Sportsball Team!

So then why aren't space

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So then why aren't space-savers being enshrined in ordinance, instead of being an imaginary policy with rules you make up as you go along? At least there ought to be a web site where space savers get "registered" so that the city and neighbors can keep track of them.

Space savers

Are an embarrassment... As are the dbags who leave threatening notes when moving their saver after the 48 hr window

Sell Official City of Boston

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Sell Official City of Boston Space Savers, like the plastic slippery floor A-frame things, with serial numbers to identify them to BTD workers.
Other space savers for unregistered fans of free public storage of personal property containing hazardous and toxic substances should be tossed as trash.

Gotta pay for the inspectors.

so Marty is finally admitting

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so Marty is finally admitting what we all suspected --- he has a plan for Long Island, and it doesn't include the homeless.That "we need to fix the bridge" story was just a placeholder, until people moved on to other things. Disgraceful.

What Station Is Upton On Now?

Upton has been on radio stations with such low frequencies that 1/3 of his audience was humpback whales off Cape Cod getting messed up by the station's broadcast while trying to talk to each other.

The thing about an NAACP report is that it is their job to put out scathing reports. Just like it is the job of the Club For Growth to put out scathing reports to say taxes are too high. You protect your own is the mantra.


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What happens in the future when everything is 100% equal between all races (utopia?)? The NAACP ceases to exist. Job protection is sometimes a greater driver than doing what's right (Look to the state house and DC for further proof of this).

Look at Tito

Jackson said the mayor needs to work more with the local minority police union to increase recruiting among minority communities and stop defending a drug test BPD uses for applicants that has a high rate of false positives with short, curly hair.

That might be the most insightful thing I've ever heard a candidate say in a debate. No joke.

All I know

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Is that it's 11:30 pm and Adam has had a detailed summary of the debate up for 90 minutes. The Globe and its army of journalists has 4 articles on the GOP schism that they skimmed from reading CNN, the Times and the Journal and no coverage of the debate.

Hey old gray lady wannabe Globe, people don't read your crap in Atlanta and Denver. Eyes back here where they belong.

Tito did a decent job, but Marty demonstrated he's got an excellent command of the details and has morphed into a decent C level exec. Not perfect (Olympics, Indy car, Winthrop Square and a few other issues), but he hasn't broken anything yet which kept Menino in office for 20 years.


What is the issue between Marty Walsh and the town of Winthrop?


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Yes - Winthrop Square - plus a typo. Sorry that wasn't clear to those not familiar with that "shady" deal.

take your supporters as they come

In All Fairness

You may think the guy holding the Walsh sign is a clown. He probably is. A lot of people think Tito is a clown too. He has demonstrated that he will say anything under the sun to gain coverage.

Tito says affordable housing allotments should be 25% of all new construction - Sure, hell, make it 40%. It makes absolutely no sense financially at all from a development perspective. If implemented, it would further stratify the income groups in the city.

Race in the city - Tito is the one who exploited the BLS situation for his own political gain. Remember, the kid who drew the noose wasn't white, but it was made into a black / white issue. The issue had been handled by school administrators, but Tito saw an opening and destroyed the careers of a lot of very good people.

4,000 homeless kids are attending the BPS? Last year it was 3,000. - Such even numbers whiff of pulling things out of the sky.

Hate to say it, but a lot of people hate Walsh because he is Irish and from Dorchester, and talks like it. If Walsh was say educated at a Little Ivy or an Ivy League school and blew into Boston from say after growing up on the Main Line in Philly or somewhere on the west side of LA, but still espoused and executed the same policies he has until this point, many people would see him as a "visionary leader", but no, since he has an accent and didn't attend a drum circle in JP back in 2003 or attend a basement party with some band in Allston all the time while only riding a bike, he has to go.

I cannot wait to see the voting patterns after the election.

So, you saying...

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that if we have more "affordable" housing in the city it would "further stratify the income groups". Huh? Honey, the groups are already stratified. At least more truly affordable housing would help those who are becoming the gentrification loser class. It might not make sense to developers but how about to humans?

I'm not going to cite the articles for you (use Professor Google) but, yes, 4,000 in 2016 and 3,000 in 2017 are numbers cited in those articles (some say the latter number is actually much higher). The more important point is that we have thousands of homeless kids in the Boston Public School system. That is not cool. (Helpful hint, before calling someone false by "pulling numbers out of the sky", do your homework, ok?)

Hate to say it, but I dislike Walsh not because he is from Darchester and talks like it, as you say. I dislike him because I think he stinks as a leader and has a tin ear. Oh, BTW, thank you for pandering to stereotypes, but not all liberals get hot and bothered over Ivy League schools and/of think JP is all hunky dory (I lived in JP in the 80s and I can assure you drum circles were few and far between).

You don't understand

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that if we have more "affordable" housing in the city it would "further stratify the income groups". Huh? Honey, the groups are already stratified. At least more truly affordable housing would help those who are becoming the gentrification loser class. It might not make sense to developers but how about to humans?

You don't understand how housing gets built and what it costs. If you make the required percentage of affordable housing set aside in new development too high, you will stifle any new development period. That's because it becomes too costly to build overall with high land costs, high labor costs, and the significant profit loss a developer takes on with affordable units as a result. So the net effect of what Tito is calling for would be a de facto end to ALL new housing except the very high end luxury - the very thing he is decrying!

You don't understand

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Developers would make plenty of profits by pricing units low. They just want more profit by pricing units high. We need to mandate how much profit is acceptable [not just for housing but for all businesses]. Otherwise, soon if not already, nobody will be able to afford anything.

Just not true

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Developers would make plenty of profits by pricing units low.

The 'affordable' units that developers are required to build are constructed at a significant loss. That loss can only be made up either by government subsidies that pretty much don't exist anymore or by building market-rate units to offset that loss and still provide a profit. The easiest way around this predicament is to allow dense and high buildings but too many NIMBYs around here fight that.


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What do you do for work? Would you like the government to "limit how much profit is acceptable" for your company??


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Why should the CEO make over 100 times what I make in a year?

It's very simple, if I make say $100,000 a year [I wish] then the next level above me should make say $125,000, then $150,000, then $175,000, then $200,000 and the CEO can make say $225,000. Instead the amount curves sharply upwards so it's more like: $150,000, $250,000, $500,000, $1,000,000, $3,000,000.

With those lower wages at the very top levels of companies they can set prices for products lower and still be profitable.

And that is why you aren't CEO

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In most companies if you set the CEO's salary to zero, the sales and profits of the companies are so big, it won't even register. I'm not saying it's fair, but there's a market out there looking all over the world for just a few thousand super smart people that have a long list of very specific skills and resources - from industry knowledge to personal contacts to management skills to financial skills. It's rarefied air usually selected from a very narrow group of Ivy league biz school grads - not saying that's good - just often the price of entry.

And their product prices have nothing to do with costs (except maybe for commodities - but that's a market cost - not a company cost) - companies sell their products at the price the market will bear - if they can't make money on it - they discontinue the product. Do that often enough and they go out of biz.

This is extremely idealized

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And their product prices have nothing to do with costs (except maybe for commodities - but that's a market cost - not a company cost) - companies sell their products at the price the market will bear - if they can't make money on it - they discontinue the product. Do that often enough and they go out of biz.

Oh come on. You don't actually believe that's how the world actually works, do you?

Try searching for "loss leader", "monopoly pricing", or "inelasticity" for starters.

Simplified perhaps, but mot idealized

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I sold consumer products long ago. Some were used as loss leaders with low margins (you usually don't really take a gross loss at least in my industry) and within reason some of our high end products had fairly inelastic demand. These were exceptions to the nuts and bolts of a broad product mix in a complex market, but what I said is how it works most of the time. Your exceptions don't make the rule.

Thought experiment

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If the amount of raw profit a company could claim in a year were capped at a certain percentage, then imagine how many people would have better paying jobs (profit sharing/wages is an easy place to dump extra profit), imagine how many companies would invest heavier in R&D and how many new products and beneficial initiatives there would be (electric cars anyone?), imagine how many prices might be lowered to reduce problems of overaccumulation of profit (probably least likely scenario but at least prices wouldn't rise due to gouging just for profit), imagine all the benefits of capitalism with fewer of the negatives.

Imagine if at the same time, big market players couldn't just easily swallow all the competitors. You'd have more initiatives where R&D was spent in order to share the results with the industry, like Tesla's charging designs. Competition would be healthier with lottery winners like during the dot-com bubble looking out for those they begin to overshadow while still being able to turn their golden ticket into bigger rewards further ahead.

Your argument against capping profits is what? "Muh freedom!"? Really? Because you were just about to launch a company that was going to get all the profits? Really? And you were going to be a good corporate neighbor unlike other companies that suddenly win it big and immediately use that new found weight to squash opponents to keep winning big rather than improve their product/offerings?

I'm not saying profit caps are necessary or even the right end goal...but your disgust of them seems knee-jerky rather than well-considered.

A more likely outcome of

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A more likely outcome of "capping profits": Companies build just enough product to meet the cap and then stop building. With enough practice eventually they are able to predict just how many units they need to make before hitting the cap, and then they design their whole production process around making products at just that rate. This leads to shortages in the market because the company is now building fewer units of the product than they would have been able to sell. These shortages cause prices to rise, which further increases profits, which further reduces the number of units the company is able to make. Because the number of employees required to build each unit does not increase, workers would be laid off as fewer products were being produced.

What's more, with profit being limited, it's not quite clear what the incentive would be to invest in R&D, given that the whole point of that is to invent new, more profitable products.

I feel like when you're complaining about "profits" what you really mean is "executive compensation" or perhaps you are complaining about Wall Street's obsession with *short term* profits (at the expense of long-term investment), but often these are completely different things.

I feel like you don't know what I feel like

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If a company shorts its production to match its profit cap, then that means there's room in the market for a competitor to eat their lunch...and the company just let the competitor in without even having to do much of anything fancy to the product/service in order to meet market demand which means their overhead is essentially just the product cost and labor...and since you're saying the other company has begun laying off trained workers who know how to make this product, their labor costs are lowered by not having to train these individuals either.

In other words, your scenario has no basis in reality because any company that chooses to short its staff and production rather than make too much and thus have to reinvest in its workers or its products instead is basically begging for competition to take over for it when demand isn't met and it won't likely be around long anyways.

And when I say "profits" I mean "profits". When a company is storing cash away like a squirrel stuffing it's 1000th tree full of nuts, that doesn't help anyone. When a company is paying high dividends to parcel out its profits, that helps only those that can afford to invest in that company...the essence of the trickle-down spirit we know is a failed policy. When a company is buying its most dangerous competitors and absorbing/dissolving them as a way to spend its huge profits as protectionism, that only helps the company be anti-competitive and helps the company but not its patrons.

And when it's gaining bigger and bigger profits but its workers' wages are stagnant, its product lines aren't new and improving, its pricing isn't coming down...then it's a sponge. No one is helped by this except the people at the top who get to claim greater and greater results at the expense of everything and everyone else. It may be by compensation packages that are oversized. It may be by all the other things listed above like reduced risk that they will fail at their job because no competitor comes close to them (see: Comcast), or they can go buying other profitable companies to run (see: Bezos), or they have a cushion of rainy-day funding in cash deposits removed from the economy so large they'll never use it all (see: Apple).

Here's an example. If MLB was run like the corporate world, then the Milwaukee Brewers would either be a farm team for the Yankees or they'd have closed up shop. They spent half the league average this year on payroll and a quarter of what the Dodgers spent this year. But MLB has a soft spending cap and if you spend (read: make) so much money that you outspend the soft cap, then you also have to account for a penalty that gets redistributed to the lowest paying teams. This keeps more competition alive and more teams alive. This is seen as good for baseball. This doesn't prevent the Dodgers/Red Sox/Yankees from huge profits that they sink into huge payroll AND huge penalties, but it does prevent the league from shrinking down to only the 14 teams that can afford to pay over $150M/yr for a talented team.

If WalMart were run like the MLB, then imagine if WalMart had to give a large profit penalty to keeping local Ma & Pa's up and running instead of crushing them out of existence.

If the Yankees quit baseball tomorrow (oh god, that'd be a national holiday), there's still 31 other teams in baseball to keep watching...hell, even NY would still have the Mets. If WalMart closes tomorrow (sadly, a national tragedy), there's probably 31 states whose low income workers wouldn't have easy access to consumer goods and even food in some cases now.

probably not

I think it is a mistake to expect private industry to build affordable housing. We need a nonprofit development to make the housing that boston needs not just what makes the most money.

My neighborhood has 4 vacant buildings that can't get anything built. Of course all private developers want is high end condos. I think it will be sustainable if it pays for itself, but any profits can go back into further development.

Developers would rather have fewer units

Especially given all the whining from the local extortion consortia about how all those 1br and studio apartment dwellers will bring fifteen cars with them because that's what people in the neighborhood already have street permits for (and they can't imagine living without those 15 cars for three people, therefore ...).

Much easier to build fewer units than risk apoplectic reactions to OMG TOO MANY PEOPLE and demands for excessive trinkets from the extortion rackets.

Oh, please

Do you actually believe Walsh's reelection is under threat by "a lot of" imaginary Brahmin snobs? Boston voters elected and reelected Tom Menino, the very epitome of accented, white working class Boston (assuming one can overlook his non-Irish heritage). Given the poll numbers two weeks before election day I see no reason for Walsh's largest demographic to feel threatened or marginalized.

Under Threat?

Ha, Ha, Ha.

I should have said a lot of people, especially here do not like him because of his origins.

The people of Boston will vote for him overwhelmingly.

2 things

1) "The people"? Isn't it more accurate to say that the voters of Boston who bother to show up on election day will give Walsh the majority?

2) Since his reelection virtually certain, perhaps the supporters like those in the photograph could find something better to do than insult those who have concerns about the " other" people of Boston.

"The People"

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In a democracy, those who bother to show up on election day are the ones that count.

But sure, there is this "silent majority" who would prefer Tito Jackson yet have already decided that they have something better to do 13 days from now.


I wholeheartedly agree with your first statement. Regarding your second, I don't think I have said anything to suggest I believe there is majority (silent or otherwise) support for Tito Jackson among the electorate. But there are many, many voters who have legitimate concerns about Walsh's tenure based on his job performance, not the fact that he's Irish and isn't Ivy League.

I assumed

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based on

1) "The people"? Isn't it more accurate to say that the voters of Boston who bother to show up on election day will give Walsh the majority?

I assumed you were noting that amongst those who will not be voting, there is a huge groundswell of people who would vote for Jackson but won't show up.

And you know what they say about when one makes an assumption.

There might be a silent majority

But it's doubtful that it's pro-Tito. I consider myself a "never Walsh" guy primarily because he signed off on the Olympics which was a huge giveaway to developers because it would provide construction jobs (in the current boom they are not needed) for his base. In the end I would have been inconvenienced for a few weeks but rewarded with higher taxes for the rest of my life to pay for it. So he was more than willing to sign off on something that would hurt most residents to reward his pals (most of those beneficiaries are probably not city residents too) and to me that is unforgivable.

That being said I'm not a Tito backer by any stretch and wish there was a decent candidate as a choice to the current mayor. Walsh as the incumbent has a much easier path but he's stumbled enough times that he isn't completely invulnerable, he just didn't face anybody who could both hurt him on those stumbles and provide a better message.

The people

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Most of whom are one of three categories:

People that work for city government
Trade union members
Friends and family of the above


Guarantee a 2-4% raise every year to city workers and don't touch their bennies. Layoffs only when absolutely necessary. Approve every construction project that comes down the pipeline

You'll be elected for life. Wanna NOT get elected? Say you are going to address either of those two issues and the inherent problems with budgeting, zoning, the BPDA etc.

"Because of his origins"

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You make a lot of unfounded generalizations about people who disagree with you, Is it possible you're projecting your own tendency to pre-judge others based on their background onto everybody else?


I don't like him because his 'leadership' on the Olympics and Indy show that he's incurious at best about anything below the superficial level regarding major developments.

I don't like Walsh because is very quick to hide behind the past when it comes to questions of why he isn't doing a better job of improving the city.

I don't like Walsh because I don't think he has any real plan to deal with the looming retirement/pension/healthcare funding crisis facing the city.

Stop hiding behind parochialism to deflect valid criticism of the guy. How about this - for every person who wouldn't vote for Walsh due to his ethnicity there are least two people who wouldn't vote for Tito due to his. Just a guesstimate. Or are you for real claiming black people have had an easier time of it in Boston than Irish-Americans? The mind boggles.

Go Back Through UHub

I was calling for him to be one term owing to the Olympics idiocy, but then things changed. He got smart, dumped the lunacy of the idea. Which was a stupid beyond belief idea, though Boston could have easily pulled it off, I didn't want tax money going for Visa and Coke marketing vehciles.

People change and have shown leadership. That has happened here with Walsh. Tito has shown showmanship, not realistic substance. Is Walsh perfect?, no way, but he is still a better candidate than Tito by far.

In no way I am saying Irish Americans have it harder in the city. Not at all, but if you look at 2013, John Connolly, from West Roxbury, was seen as the "smarter"(that's code by the way) candidate by the more liberal parts of this city, and the voting patterns of those who have traditionally looked down on Dot (Back Bay, South End, JP, and Beacon Hill) bore that out.

I guess you need to have endured the snide comments from people about "Dirty Dot" capping on where you grew up to understand the chip that we have to prove ourselves capable to be not just a bunch of two bit hoods or ditch diggers to understand.

Still not buying

First, I don't disagree that he's winning in a walk or that Tito is a bad option but I just don't see what Walsh has done that merits much praise other than a caretaker. There's not much real vision or action - just incrementalism.

Second, Connolly was seen as smarter at least in part because he was marginally more eloquent than Walsh, who you have to agree is a crap public speaker. It's a real convolution to detect bias in voting patterns based on neighborhoods which can easily be explained by policies though. Marty was the union guy - he won the heaviest union neighborhoods. I don't look down on Dorchester, I just didn't vote for your guy. The end.

Third, typically Hinghamite move to get overly worked up about where people are from.

Mistaken identity

I thought you were the poster from Dorchester who now lives in Hingham. My bad I guess.

A small part

Connolly was seen as smarter at least in part because he was marginally more eloquent than Walsh

Connolly graduated cum laude from Harvard and then got a BC Law degree compared to just a bachelor's at BC for Walsh. You can say it is in part due to perception based on how they speak but their backgrounds seem to back the perception up quite a bit.

The guy holding the Walsh sign

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is likely a union crony, probably trucked in from Albany. Seriously, no one mentions how much $$ Mahty gets from out of state. The DNC political machine is alive and well, pulling endorsements from Liz Warren was a major victory in moneyed politics. Mahty will be sure to be at the polling locations pulling for her illegally, like he did with Bill Clinton during last years elections. Everyone will look the other way. Liz Warren didn't claw her way into politics, she was chosen by the Democratic establishment, and although I support her personally, the fact that she now "owes" them and will make these endorsements on request sickens me.
The people you see holding signs for Tito live here. At least he has that goin for him.

Speaking of supporters

Whatever happened to the 33 people arrested for assult at the free Speech" rally in Boston? What were the charges? Who bailed them out?

Neither appealing

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I don't like Walsh and I appreciate that Tito seems to genuinely and seriously care about those left behind in Boston, but the dude just doesn't seem to have a great grasp of the facts which makes me wonder how many of these social improvement programs will actually come to fruition. When you're going to waste time and money looking into Rent Control, which was made illegal at the state level, or allow a bridge to just... wash away into the bay (like the EPA would just be cool with that), it makes me seriously question your judgement.


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Plus he’s just been a bit of an ambulance chaser on these hot-button issues. He never seemed to give a hoot about JP/Rox for example until it came to grandstanding with protestors at City Hall (reminder: check to see if those folks have created any new affordable housing or kept housing prices from continuing to soar in the area). Same with BLS—not a lot of prep, not much follow through. He’s all for progressive rah-rah issues like bike lanes until the rubber actually attempts to hit the road somewhere like Seaver St and then he backs off. And he bemoans gentrification and evil developers until one wants to build 25 stories up in Dudley (and put the affordable housing offsite) and then he goes silent. I think his heart is in the right place but his positions don’t seem practically grounded to me at all. For the first time I can remember, I’m not voting in the mayor’s race and tbh I’m not happy about it.


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The Mayor's claim during the debate that IndyCar did not cost taxpayers anything is false and misleading:

1. The race cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of dollars for city and state employee salaries--over 150 employees who spent substantial time on the race over the course of a year.

2. The race vendors, sponsors, investors, and ticket buyers have lost over 10 million dollarrs, according to claims filed in bankruptcy court. All of these creditors are taxpayers.

3. Walsh originally agreed to pay several million dollars in taxpayer monies for street improvements for the race each year. He reneged on this agreement, which caused the race to fail. He now admits that his original agreement to pay for street improvements with taxpayer funds was ILLEGAL.

4. Walsh continues to pay salaries of Brisette and Sullivan - employees Indicted for on the job misconduct--both of whom worked on the IndyCar race. This will end up costing taxpayers more than one half million dollars. The Mayor failed to explain how their treatment is consistent with that of police officers, firefighters EMTs and others whose pay is stopped when indicted and suspended for on the job misconduct.

5. The Mayor failed to explain why the committee he appointed a year and a half ago to review the operations of the City's Special Events Office--including with respect to IndyCar-- has not issued any report, regarding use of taxpayers money or other issues.

#5- DUH

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Election. Once he's in we can all hear about what a effin crook he is. No sooner.

about that BRA

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[Jackson said] the first thing he would do as mayor is dismantle the BRA and create a city planing department

Walsh already did that. He renamed it.

Margery Eagan

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Margery Eagan actually spent time at the only televised mayoral debate asking why there aren't free public restrooms in the Public Garden. Good grief...

First of all, fantastic job

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First of all, fantastic job Adam.

Second of all, this Tito guy seems to be correct on more of the issues.

The current mayor citing 9,000 affordable units in 4 years is pretty embarrassing.

large middleground between obscene profits and financial loss

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You are proposing a false dichotomy - that the only two options are developers making their current super high profits, and leasing at a financial loss. How about developers make a medium profit instead? Should the ultimate goal of government be to help the rich get richer or to help everyone?

The government does help when it controls the property or

finance. What you suggest is overreach into restricting the free market. There is an over abundance of expensive rental units in Boston. When the economy slows down, and it will, the market will adjust. Under your theory we need to take half your home and move in someone that needs housing. That is a medium, reasonable solution to the crisis at hand.

developers making their

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developers making their current super high profits

I challenge you to dig up a piece of evidence showing that this is typical in Boston. My experience has been the opposite: That the profits from developing in Boston often do not justify the risk, which is one reason why a lot of national builders do not do much business here.

Hey I'm just a regular Joe

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Hey I'm just a regular Joe working for a living. All I can say is, when Tito speaks I can understand him and he's straight to the point. When Marty speaks, I can understand one fucking word because he speak too fast. Which I think is his intention. If you can't convince them, confuse them.

Sorry, Uhubbers, meant to say

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Sorry, Uhubbers, meant to say "...can't understand one ....", and not "...can understand one..."

Hey I'm just a regular Joe working for a living. All I can say is, when Tito speaks I can understand him and he's straight to the point. When Marty speaks, I can't understand one fucking word because he speak too fast. Which I think is his intention. If you can't convince them, confuse them.

Great synopsis -- thanks!

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I didn't watch the debate and am undecided who to vote for (leaning towards Tito) -- this synopsis of the debate was super helpful. Still leaning towards Tito, but feel better about Marty whom I was very opposed to during the last election. Thanks!