Author Archives: Fred Zimmerman

Getting to No

Politicians love to say “yes” to their constituents, but sometimes social justice requires that we give policy-makers a little help in getting to No.   In 2006 Californians voters passed Proposition 84, a $5 billion bond measure to pay for water quality improvements and improved park access. As part of the language of the proposition […]

Fast Tax Facts

Total tax rates for all levels of government in developed countries.

Here is a visual blog post that largely speaks for itself.  The light gray lines represent other OECD countries. Some talking points, if you like: Taxation now is slightly below the level it was in the Nixon administration. Taxation in the US has always been below average among developed countries.  Now it’s the absolute lowest […]

Super Rosa

Visual representation is a big deal in public health. How we show what we know shapes how public health is known.   Geoffrey Rose wrote an article about the difference between causes of cases and causes of incidence that is de rigeur in public health.   Rose’s article is often—and justifiably—remembered for its appeal to […]

Happy Birthday, Jane Jacobs!

Google Doodle for Jane Jacobs

Without Jane Jacobs, our cities wouldn’t be less diverse and public health would suffer.   In honor of Jane Jacobs’ 100th birthday today, there are many wonderful encomiums on the web, including at Vox, the Guardian, and a rich, multi-faceted post at Curbed.  And of course, more on Google.  All are well worth reading, but Jacobs is chiefly remembered […]

Life expectancy, suicide and wealth

As the life expectancy gap widens between the rich and poor and suicides increase at alarming rates, could financial stress be a contributor to both?   Life expectancy continues to improve for the wealthiest top 1 percent. They’ve gained three years in this century alone. However, the poorest are not seeing the same gains. The […]

Eviction Victims of the Impersonal Market

Arleen lost her 2 boys suddenly and by force. She had fallen behind on her rent and couldn’t pay the electricity bill. No electricity means no food in the refrigerator, no clock to get to school on time, no lights for evening homework. And for Arleen, no more kids. Child welfare determined that her sons […]

An Opportunity Development Bank

A child jumping a puddle

As inequality reaches unprecedented heights in America, there is growing—and increasingly realistic—concern for social and political stability.   Although inequality could be redressed by explicit redistribution, political gridlock in Washington and in many states makes this solution unlikely, and potentially economically disruptive. Yet many Americans, hostile to redistribution, are sympathetic to the need to create […]

Black White Displacement Disparities

Black-White differences in displacement for highway construction

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is getting serious about the damage done to African-American neighborhoods by highway construction.   As Angie Schmitt reports: Growing up in Charlotte, Foxx’s own street was walled in by highways, he recalled in a speech today at the Center for American Progress. Building big, grade-separated roads through thickly settled neighborhoods devastated communities, uprooted residents, and cut off […]