links for 2009-10-09

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

12 replies on “links for 2009-10-09”

  1. Jon,

    I can’t speak for Waldo, but to me, it’s a lot like if a candidate said that if they win, every day will be double-coupon Wednesday.

    The thing that strikes me is that, as a conservative, isn’t this precisely the sort of thing that the government should stay the hell away from, and let the private sector take care of? The plan is entirely opt-in for businesses anyway, so why do they need the state to create the card if it’s a viable business decision? And if it’s not, then why the heck is the state asking businesses to do something against their best interest?

    All that having been said, it’s an incredibly minor initiative, and as a liberal, I personally don’t really care if the state does it or not, but it does come off as pandering to announce it at this point, when as far as I can tell, he’s got no major retailers on board.

  2. What Ben said. :) It’s incredibly slight, pandering, and bad business (overall purchase demand among seniors is presumably not so elastic that charging them all less makes any sense).

  3. I grew up in Ohio and we had a similar program called Golden Buckeye. I don’t remember hearing any criticism of it, but then again I wasn’t around during election time when it was first proposed.

  4. Perhaps the state should just establish seniors-only haggling classes.

    (Unrelated: having a blast shopping in Beijing this week!)

  5. I don’t remember hearing any criticism of it,

    …and there wouldn’t be any criticism of it here (or any other liberal’s blog) if Creigh Deeds had proposed it.

  6. I. Publius,

    As I said previously, this is an empty promise (it’s opt-in and no one’s opted in yet) that doesn’t seem to be in line with traditional conservative values (keeping the government small and out of business when possible, allowing the private sector to take care of things in cases where that’s feasible). Maybe, if elected, McDonnell would make it happen and I wouldn’t really have a problem with its existence, though even my economically moderate self wonders why the government needs to get involved here.

    As far as “…and there wouldn’t be any criticism of it here (or any other liberal’s blog) if Creigh Deeds had proposed it,” I’d just like to point out that this is about as useful as me suggesting “if Bob McDonnell had been caught murdering a family, there wouldn’t be any criticism of it on Republican blogs.”

  7. This is completely stupid. Discounts for people over a certain age are already everywhere.

    This is not unlike promising to create a special government program to allow people to use a plastic card with a magnetic strip in order to purchase goods without the need for carrying large amounts of cash with them.

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