Stop the renaissance, I want to get off

 In 1981 your editor wrote an article in the Washington Post about the alleged renaissance the city was enjoying. Little did he know that this alleged renaissance, driven by developers, media and gentrifiers, would reoccur almost regularly for the next three decades. Sam Smith, Washington Post, 1981 - Could you stop the renaissance of Washington … Continue reading Stop the renaissance, I want to get off

My two years as a politician

Sam Smith - In 1974, a liberal Minnesota congressmember, Donald Frazer, manged to sneak into DC’s home rule bill for elected advisory neighborhood councils. We became the second city in the country with them. Washington DC's advisory neighborhood commissions would represent a unique counter-trend in American politics, away from a century-long growth of political institutions … Continue reading My two years as a politician

What Washington cab drivers know about free markets that politicians, economists and journalists don’t

Sam Smith Whenever I hear some pompous, politically adulterous politician talk about “free markets” - or some puerile pressie cite them as the dominant economic force in America, I think of the taxicabs in which I rode during most of my many years in Washington. One thing I’ve learned about free markets in America is … Continue reading What Washington cab drivers know about free markets that politicians, economists and journalists don’t

The Attica that wasn’t

 Sam Smith Forty years ago this month, on September 13, 1971, 500 New York state troopers stormed Attica Correctional Facility on orders from Governor Nelson Rockefeller to end a four-day standoff following a prisoner revolt that included the taking of hostages. The police fired 2,200 bullets in nine minutes and before it was over 29 … Continue reading The Attica that wasn’t