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Transparency Forecast Is Overcast And Gloomy

Category: Legislation
Posted: 05/14/15 09:57

by Dave Mindeman

Whatever happened to transparency?

For all the political rhetoric that goes on about the public's right to know, we sure have the seeming necessity for a lot of secrets.

We have a legislative session that starts in January. We have several months of partisan barbs and a lot of posturing and then when the session is about to expire, we put three guys in a room to decide the budget for all of us.

And how can the two sides be this far apart, this late? What was the point of holding all those hearings and all those sessions, only to end up with stances that could have been predicted 2 years ago?

All of this secrecy extends to the press. It always happens. As they start the "behind closed doors" sessions, they tell us that dueling press conferences are not productive. We just can't talk to the press anymore. Well, here's a suggestion - talk substance and not political talking points. Decide that your purpose for coming in front of a microphone is for information, not bashing the other side.

Divided government? Its a joke. Republicans and Democrats use each other to delay and divide....to use government for political purposes. They say that we, the people, are involved...but its a lie. They use polling data only when it fits their current agenda. They ignore us when we don't agree with them. They cloud the question to get the result they really want.

And don't forget special interests. For all of that closed door secrecy, it is amazing how the groups that matter get the first trial balloons that move toward agreements.

I know I should be used to all of this by now. It hasn't changed in years and gets worse after each election. But it is irritating to watch government working behind locked doors - in the hands of fewer and fewer people as government workings grind on.

The sun doesn't shine on these proceedings....and the forecast is overcast and gloomy for the foreseeable future.
comments (2) permalink
05/14/15 21:06
Monopsony!

For those that never bothered with basic economic theory, here is a quick read to get you started...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopsony

The formulas fully fund urban competitive employers and deny funding to rural monopsony employers because they can. The legislature has the power to abuse the formulas and they do abuse it. Employees are helpless to provide a parity wage for a professional service in a monopsony market.

Rural markets are characterized by monopoly suppliers of services for nursing homes, school districts, law enforcement, etc. These are more often than not the major employer in a rural market. Only one employer in the neighborhood dictates the terms and drives wages down using their monopsony powers. Metro nurse gets $36/hour and rural nurse gets $15--and gets fired if they complain. The formulas fund the disparity through government hubris.

The urban employers pay extra to bring rural employees into the sprawl. End the subsidy!
 
05/14/15 20:19
Where's Dave?

What have you done with Dave?

"Divided government? Its a joke. Republicans and Democrats use each other to delay and divide....to use government for political purposes. They say that we, the people, are involved...but its a lie. They use polling data only when it fits their current agenda. They ignore us when we don't agree with them. They cloud the question to get the result they really want."

Did Dave write this? It seems, well, out-of-character. Using political rhetoric instead of sound engineering and management best-practice is routine. I have been pushing back for years! It's good to hear this coming from Dave. There may be hope for progressives!

The 4th estate has failed us--completely! Instead of forming the basis of good public debate and dialog, you see polarity and advocacy take the stage. I cannot stomach the strib or fox news. Give me the facts and let me decide instead of spoon feeding spin and caustic jabs designed to influence elections by persuading the uniformed. This is no way to run a country!

Far too many want the freebie benefits of socialism and retain the notion of freedom and liberty. These are polar opposite philosophy. We need to have a debate. It may just take a shut-down to do it.

The last time we were at this cross-road was when Wendy Anderson ran on a platform that he was going to reform the way we fund government. I think that session lasted until October! And we have been using that antiquated formula ever since.

http://www.parentsunited.org/to-be-filed/equalization-the-minnesota-miracle/

Ask yourself, and be fair with your answer:

Why is there a 2:1 disparity in urban vs rural prevailing wage?

Why is the value of an urban nursing home bed a fraction of the daily reimbursement for a rural bed?

Why does a rural elementary teacher receive half of that of its urban counterpart?

Why does the urban commuter get subsidy and the rural commuter pays full fare plus a fuel premium?

Why does an urban cop get more than a rural cop?

The more the formulas favor urban voters, the more rural voters move to suburbia. Is this a benefit? Is society better when we stack more people into urban sprawl? And strip the prairies of valuable human resources in the process?

We, as a state, need to have this debate. And those urban dwellers with their lips wrapped firmly around the nipples of government may well need to rethink their path.


 

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