Three out of the past five Camden mayors have been sent to prison for corruption...


Stacy ProebstleAn analysis by Moody's examines the nine towns with the worst credit ratings, and three are from New Jersey. Camden, Harrison and Salem are on the brink of going broke.

Coming in at No. 9 on the list is Camden. The city has been beset with money issues for quite a while, highlighted by a mass layoff of its police officers and firefighters earlier this year. 

Moody's notes that "more than half of Camden's real estate is tax-exempt, hampering already weak tax collections." The city has had a speculative grade credit rating since 1998. And it doesn't help that three out of the past five Camden mayors have been sent to prison for corruption, the most recent in 2001.

Camden isn't the sole Jersey city on the list. It is joined by Salem and Harrison, coming in at Nos. 6 and 4, respectively. Both towns have stumbled financially in part because of bad investments.

Scott Rothbort, Professor of Finance at Seton Hall University, says its not hard to figure out why Camden is on the list. "That town has not done much in terms of attracting industry or business in the last decade or more."

If there's one problem, Rothbort says, its that New Jersey is made up of too many small towns. "There are too many individual political units within the state and I think that is something that will probably come back to haunt New Jersey."

Rothbort says a good way for towns to get out of the red would be to merge. "A lot of these smal towns should seriously consider about merging, a lot of them have tried to share services but I think you have to go beyond that."


On the rise and fall of superpowers

Much has been written about how complicated the downfall of Rome was, but the recipe was actually pretty simple, and has since been replicated countless times: A great civilization arises. The state encroaches on freedom and demands more power. People take less responsibility for themselves and want more handouts from the government. Taxes go up to pay for the handouts. The size of government explodes and economic growth slows. The government seeks to divert the public's attention from what is really going on to "bread and circuses." Collapse, economic or otherwise, ensues.

- Glenn Beck in Broke

Obama Turns 50 Despite Republican Opposition

Gotta love The Onion.

Obama Turns 50 Despite Republican Opposition

AUGUST 4, 2011 | ISSUE 47•31

WASHINGTON—After months of heated negotiations and failed attempts to achieve any kind of consensus, President Obama turned 50 years old Thursday, drawing strong criticism from Republicans in Congress. "With the host of problems this country is currently facing, the fact that our president is devoting time to the human process of aging is an affront to Americans everywhere," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who advocated a provision to keep Obama 49 at least through the fall of 2013. "To move forward unilaterally and simply begin the next year of his life without bipartisan support—is that any way to lead a country?" According to White House officials, Obama attempted to work with Republicans right up until the Aug. 4 deadline, but was ultimately left with no choice except to turn a year older.


What happens when the government runs things like Amtrak

Attorney Lee Doren tells a story of the mismanagement and operation of the Amtrak train he tried to take (where, among other things, the train he and other passengers board actually didn't have an engine). The segment ends around 4:05 when he changes topics.

He explains how a frustrated woman on the train exclaimed, "If a government entity were in charge of this, this would never happen. It's all because it's a corporation." Unfortunately what this woman clearly doesn't realize is that the government DOES run - own and operate - Amtrak. Lee tried to set her straight, but she was convinced Amtrak was privately owned and operated and not run by the government.

Lee went on to say, "This is what we have to deal with, and these people vote."

But it's true. If a non-government entity ran Amtrak, do you think any of the people responsible for the misoperation of the train he was on would still have jobs? It's doubtful. Private corporations run operations much smoother because the performance of their employees can be directly tied to whether they keep or lose their job. But when the government funds and runs things? Well, there's less of a threat anyone involved is going to lose their jobs because when the government is funding your operation, you don't have to worry about pesky little things like actually having customers.