The Power Brokers


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Friends call him a geek — one recalls going to the beach with Beli and listening to him give a solo recitation of the Latin names of all the plants in sight. About 20 percent of businesses and househoulds use generators for back-up power. Greece is short on electricity. Italy had to curb the electricity supply to industry last year. Only three countries in the Balkans have been net exporters: Romania , Bulgaria and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Even then, corruption, waste and a lack of investment in BiH threatens its status in this category, and when Bulgaria closes two suspect reactors at its nuclear power plant as planned in January, it will become a net importer.

Prices are going up across the region. According to Beli , Macedonia and Kosovo bought electricity at 50 and 60 euros per MWh, about double the typical price. Meanwhile, Beli has continued the work of his predecessors in trying to put the former socialist-style behemoth in order. Long overstaffed, the company is down from 12, employees three years ago to 8, Three years ago, one-third of the population was stealing electricity either because they did not have meters or had bypassed them by wiring themselves directly into the grid.

Currently , of , customers still are without meters and some 20 percent of the country's electricity disappears without being paid for. A bigger problem is that KESh, like power companies through the region, is a tool politicians use to subsidize state companies and poor populations.

Many state companies have not paid for electricity in years. Rather than close down the deadbeat companies and face social unrest, officials ignored the unpaid bills.


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The state still subsidizes electricity, charging 5. Still, Beli said that the costs of operations are now covered by energy bills and that the company is looking at investing in the network's infrastructure. The government hopes to sell its distribution system as nearly all former Communist Europe have done in hopes of securing better management, although Beli says might take two years.

The Art of Political Power, with Robert Caro and William Hague

The ownership of the power stations has yet to be decided. KESh's turnover is now about half a billion dollars. But, for example, in Kukes, a mountainous district in northeastern Albania with its two main power stations, only about 10 percent of the population typically pays. They argue that since the power stations are on the region's territory, they have free claim to its electricity. The book details Moses' slow rise to power as an idealistic Wilsonian Democrat fighting the entrenched power of corrupt Tammany Hall politics, his novel approach to parks planning he virtually invented the "parkway," for example , his massive public works among them the Triborough Bridge and all of New York City's expressways , and his inevitable decline and fall after he refused to relinquish power in old age.

As time wore on Moses became less and less the man of the people and more and more the man of the system of his own creation, and that system was the toll-gathering mechanism of New York's bridges and tunnels.

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He invented that peculiar institution, the "authority" as in Port "Authority" or Tennessee Valley "Authority" that is neither wholly governmental nor wholly private, and so lacks the restraints of either; Moses' cash cows kept him in power and gave him an antidemocratic arrogance that is truly breathtaking and, one hopes, will never be duplicated.

This book isn't just for New Yorkers or for those who wonder why New York's roadways are so confusingly laid out. America's other big cities are New York writ small--they went to New York at the height of Moses' power and emulated his methods! That helps us understand the mania for building our now hopelessly overcrowded expressways and devaluing public transportation, whose lack we are just now trying to address by building expensive light-rail and commuter-train systems that should have been in place for decades.

This is an extremely long book and extremely "wonky" in terms of policy discussion but gripping reading nonetheless. The depth of research in this book is simply amazing. Eine Person fand diese Informationen hilfreich.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe. This is the best book I have read in years. Caro has taken us through more than two generations of the history of the City and State of New York. Moses made an impact on the City in a way that almost cannot be overestimated. It is impossible for me to conceive of what the City would have been like bioth good and bad without his influence.

Unfortunately, like most persons of great power, he believed that his goals were sufficiently laudable to overcome his occasional deceit, strongarming, and other abuses. Don't let the daunting length and significant detail be off putting. It is worth the time, cost and effort.


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Robert Caro has a penchant for outstanding work, as evidenced more recently in the first two volumes of the history of L. This is certainly the equal. I first picked up The Power Broker when it was published 25 years ago. Since then I've re-read it three or four times over the years. It is a true monument to Caro that this book has remained in print in both hc and pb over these years. This massive work is at the same time a biography of Robert Moses and the metropolitan New York City area. Moses, originally a reformer and a true public servant, somehow became tainted by the power entrusted to him.

It was his way or no way -- and once he became firmly entrenched there was no "no way. A bargain sure to be approved and funded by the politicians! Then run out of money halfway through construction. The rest of the money will surely be forthcoming because no politician wants to be associated with a half-finished and very visibile "failure" -- it's much better to take credit for an "against the odds" success.

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In school, Moses' contribution was also taught always positively when we had units covering NYC history. If nothing else, Moses understood the power of good publicity, and used tactics later adopted by the current mayor King Rudy to control the press and public opinion. This book brings Moses back to human scale and deconstructs no pun intended his impact on the city. The book is long, detailed, and compelling. Great beach reading -- especially at Jones Beach! Now that it is celebrating its 25th anniversary, a new retrospective afterword from the author would be appreciated perhaps a reprint of the article he wrote for the New Yorker a few years ago on how he wrote the book.

This story of a great public works project is also a biography of the Roeblings, the family of engineers who designed and built it. They shared Moses' singlemindedness, but the methods and results had far less negative results.


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