Commentary

Observations

By John Patrick Ford

Another multibillion-dollar slap on the wrist

The blockbuster fine levied by the Securities and Exchange Commission against JPMorgan Chase has rankled many financial conservatives, as well as ordinary folk, who believe those Wall Street hotshots should be accountable for dragging down the U.S. economy.

Housing needs will stimulate market

Housing in the growing city of San Diego and in communities north and east has been an economic and political hot potato for decades. Providing sufficient affordable shelter was tossed from one planning group and city council to another without resolution. Residents seeking entry-level housing or upgrading their homes for more space or a better location in the last decade were pushed beyond their financial resources.

City pension deficit remains unresolved

A ruling by a federal bankruptcy judge in Detroit has changed the game plans for government employee pensions across the nation. Several municipalities declaring bankruptcy, or considering creditor protection to reorganize, found that the principal cause of their fiscal crisis was not subject to alteration. Pensions were sacrosanct, a fancy word for untouchable.

Will the next mayor support a new look for Centre City?

When the recession of 2008 began to crank down new development in San Diego, a comprehensive plan to redevelop Centre City Plaza was practically in the contract bidding phase. The centerpiece for revamping the central plaza was a new city hall. Although the design was controversial, the structure was an impressive icon that served the need to consolidate city government and abandon the expensive leases in Centre City about to expire.

The state of the arts in San Diego

Are the arts in San Diego doing well? That’s what a panel of leaders in the city’s cultural domain discussed in a program at the University Club in October.

Millennials face lifetime of crushing debt

The largest generation, now called Millennials, born in the 1980s and 1990s, face a personal and federal debt level that can’t possibly be paid off in their lifetime. Their parents, the next-largest generation known as baby boomers, created this debt impasse to pass on to future generations.

Will Obamacare really ruin the economy?

When I began a series of commentaries in 2009 about national health care issues, I left the pending Affordable Care Act for later examination. Now it's time to consider what it will do for Americans.

Tourism vs. shipyards: We must have both

Tourism and the military are two of the three primary economic engines for San Diego. Two recent programs focused on the current and future prospects of these industries as the recession slowly winds down.

State budget locked in the grip of unions

Governments can’t lay off employees in a bad economy as private companies do when business drops off. In government, the demand for more services accelerates in a slow business cycle and requires more staff support for public services such as unemployment and welfare.

Apologies can't cure Mayor Filner's denial

Sexual drive has several functions in a male’s life. The most obvious is procreation. Another common force is the fight-or-flight impulse that empowers a person to achieve superhuman strength for defense or escape from threatening danger.

Identifying future customers

It’s no surprise that consumer marketers focus their sights on the children of baby boomers. Identified as millennials, this young-adult generation is the marketplace of the future.

How do we explain Mayor Filner’s defects?

As the firestorm over Mayor Bob Filner’s transgressions cools down, some clues of what happened can be sifted from the ashes of conflicting opinions. Probably the most perplexing question is why did local Democratic Party leaders choose to overlook their prime candidate’s apparent penchant for alleged sexual harassment of his female staffers and others who came to him on congressional business?

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John Patrick Ford

John Patrick Ford is a free-lance writer based in San Diego....

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