Good morning, everyone.
Below, we recap last night's Metro Council meeting, run through where infrastructure funds in Tennessee will go, and meditate on inflationary concerns. You can follow us on Twitter (@realpamphleteer), LinkedIn (@realpamphleteer), or Instagram (@realpamphleteer) for additional content.
Thanks for reading.
✠ Four Takeaways from Last Night's Council Meeting
- RS2021-1204: The request for funds to be appropriated to tackle the homeless encampments in Brookmeade Park was amended and deferred. Why? The council agrees that something must be done, but at this point, the only solution on the table is to just throw money at it
- RS2021-1251: Getting rid of emissions testing in Davidson County, amended and deferred. The deferment came with frustration expressed by multiple council members.
- RS2021-1248: Grant from the Friends of Metro Animal Care & Control to the Metropolitan Government, acting by and through the Metropolitan Board of Health, to provide funding for emergency medical care for shelter animals. Approved by both the Budget and Finance Committee & Public Health and Safety Committee. The Metro Animal Care & Control has been overwhelmed since taking in animals after the Waverly flooding.
- BL2021-1018: An ordinance approving an agreement between Lights On! and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County where the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department provides bulb repair vouchers that officers may distribute to a targeted area in lieu of traffic tickets. Referred to committee.
☸︎ TENNESSEE'S INFRASTRUCTURE BOUNTY
- 🚧 $5.8 billion for highway construction projects.
- 🚰 $697 million to improve water infrastructure, including removing lead pipes that carry drinking water.
- 🚌 $630 million for public transportation improvements.
- 🌉 $302 million to replace and repair bridges.
- ✈️ $300 million to Tennessee airports.
- 💻 At least $100 million to improve access to broadband.
- Help rename the new high school on Highway 70 set to replace Hillwood High School (Survey Hero) With construction underway and the school scheduled to open in less than two years, Hillwood cluster parents are asking for your input on what the school should be called.
- See if your district still has a school mask mandate amid mask confusion in Tennessee (Chalkbeat) Knox County, Metro Nashville, and Shelby County still require masks for students.
- Printer’s Alley surface parking lot sells for $3.35M (Post)
- SoBro buildings near hotels offered for sale (Post)
- SomeraRoad announces Two Hands cafe as tenant in Paseo South Gulch project (Biz Journal)
- 1,789 Units Now Planned For Marathon Village With Rangewater Announcement (Now Next)
- Edley’s targets Q3 opening for Nolensville Pike location (Post)
- MDHA OKs plan for project at radio tower site (Post)
- Rubicon Equities closes on final slice of Printers Alley site, architect shares vision for mixed-use project (Biz Journal)
♚ NICE SUPPLY CHAIN YOU GOT THERE. WOULD BE A SHAME IF SOMEONE RUINED IT.
Many leaders and administrations across the globe have broken against the rocks of inflation. The oft-trotted example of hyperinflation in Weimar Germany which presaged the rise of the Nazis is perhaps the most famous example, but America has witnessed its fair share of leaders crashing against inflationary conditions to no avail.
- In the 1960s, LBJ was a fan of "jawboning" which meant strongly suggesting that unions keep wages and prices down in the face of inflationary conditions following the Vietnam War.
- In 1971, Richard Nixon implemented his infamous wage and price controls which did nothing but exacerbate inflationary concerns culminating in double-digit inflation in the Summer of 1974.
- Following Watergate, Gerald Ford tried his own strategy which involved packaging up a bunch of feel-good platitudes and urging Americans to "produce" more to drive prices down.
- And finally, in 1980, as Jimmy Carter oversaw sustained inflation of around 13%, he appointed Paul Volker to Chair the Federal Reserve who tightened the money supply and raised interest rates so aggressively that his decisions lead to the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Biden, in other words, has his work cut out for him. If history is our judge, it seems highly likely that inflation will be the undoing of Biden's administration and the iceberg that sinks his Presidency. Whether or not it is his fault—a question of burning partisan importance—is an entirely different matter. It would be more accurate to say that, generally, American policy decisions over the course of the pandemic exacerbated an already fragile supply chain leading to a spike in demand that overwhelmed the shipping lanes. The only thing that Biden can do to stop inflation is to tighten the money supply as Volker did in the 80s and usher in a recession that would not serve Democrats' 2022 midterm election ambitions well.
There has been much weeping and gnashing of teeth to fight this position ranging from "inflation is not happening" to "it's only transitory" to "yeah, but it's a good thing." Recently, as the dust has begun to settle a bit and the reality of sustained inflation becomes reality, we're beginning to see what conditions have exacerbated it. Ports on the West Coast have been dealing with levels of demand never seen before. Undoubtedly exacerbated to a great extent by labor issues and the simple fact that US ports are among the least efficient in the world (Los Angeles and San Diego rank 328 and 333 respectively out of 351 ports surveyed), it's become clear that from a high level, we've witnessed the demand for goods spike over the past year.
Given that we have come to a general consensus that supply chain issues and inflation have arisen due to an increase in demand, what can the Biden administration do to alleviate the demand spike? The answer is very little. But, that doesn't stop the Biden administration from parroting the impotent rejoinder that the Build Back Better Act will somehow, magically solve inflation and supply chain issues. A report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will purportedly show that the Act does not cost "zero" (big surprise there) as both Biden, Pelosi, and a whole host of Democrats have dishonestly stated for the past few months.
The truth is that the Biden administration can do nothing to offset American's concerns about inflation and supply chain unease. These problems have emerged after years of aggressive fiscal activity (yes, even under Donald Trump), the persistent offshoring of jobs and goods to nations like China, and an overall cultural emphasis on consumption over production. Biden simply got caught holding the bag.
- In New Delhi, air pollution is so bad that officials are calling for a lockdown vindicating online internet personalities who have been warning of climate lockdowns since the first Covid-19 lockdown.
- Steve Bannon turned himself in after being held in contempt of Congress for not blowing off the Jan. 6th committee. He gave a fiery speech outside the courthouse saying, "This is going to be the misdemeanor from hell."
- House Republicans have obtained whistleblower documents showing that the FBI is using its counterterrorism division to investigate and add "threat tags" to parents—contradicting Attorney General Garland's sworn testimony.
♨︎ TODAY IN: "YOU DO YOU, MAN."
Scottie Pippen Ramps Up His One-Sided Feud With Michael Jordan: ‘Mike Ruined Basketball’ Pippen is promoting his new book Unguarded which he got the idea for after feeling "butt hurt" following his portrayal in ESPN’s The Last Dance.
THINGS TO DO
View our full event calendar here.
🖼 Medieval Bologna: Art for a Universal City at the Frist is running until Jan 30. It's the first museum exhibition in the United States to focus on medieval art made in the northern Italian city of Bologna. Home to the oldest university in Europe, Bologna fostered a unique artistic culture at the end of the Middle Ages (Info)
🌕 Full Moon Night Hike @ Harpeth River State Park, 5p, $20, Link
🎹 Regi Wooten and Friends @ Rudy’s Jazz Room, 9p, $15, Link
Around the Web
☁︎ The Charity-Industrial Complex Let’s Be Uncharitable: How Charity Foundations Damage Western Societies
♀ Bring Back the Whole Woman How old wisdom about menstruation unlocks higher performance.
▼ The Lab Leak Fiasco For over a year the media enforced falsehoods about the pandemic’s origins, never evaluated the evidence, never apologized, and was never held accountable
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- Alok Sharma fights back tears as watered-down Cop26 deal agreed
- Alan Dershowitz lashes out at media coverage of Rittenhouse trial: ‘It’s the New Yorker and CNN that are the vigilantes.’
- Wyoming Republican Party votes 31-29 to stop recognizing Liz Cheney as a member of the GOP.
Words of Wisdom
"He who relies least on luck has the best prospect of success."
Machiavelli, The Prince