During its recently completed session, the Missouri General Assembly passed a measure that would let voters decide whether to increase the state sales tax to pay for improvements to highways and for other transportation needs. This action is interesting for a couple of reasons.
First is the underlying assumption that voters are in fact capable of making an informed decision about how to generate revenue for the state.
In Missouri, as in most states, public schools are administered by local school boards. The boundaries of school districts are drawn in accordance with state law. Schools are funded primarily through local property taxes. Districts with higher per capita incomes tend to have better schools. The districts most in danger of losing their accreditation tend to be those with lower per capita incomes.
St. Louis has always had a love-hate relationship with the Mississippi River. The city depends on the river for its very existence. Yet we cursed the river for giving us too little water last fall and we now curse it for giving us too much. As is the case with so many of life’s mysteries, we need to look to poetry for insights into our complicated relationship with our river.
Seventy years ago, St. Louis native T. S. Eliot wroteThe Dry Salvages, which opens with the lines:
I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river