Fewer Things, Better

In the spirit of New Years’ Resolutions, Minnesota State Rep. Laura Brod (R-New Prague) had a nice op/ed in the St. Paul Pioneer Press this weekend.  Now, George Will doesn’t have anything to fear from the Twin Cities lawmaker who has been a favorite of the media’s gubernatorial ticket wish-lists.  She starts out a bit clunky, but the big finish is worth the wait.

“Minnesota has always been a high-tax, high-service state. However, for many employers, the price has become too high to grow or keep jobs here.  Manufacturing jobs as well as high-tech service jobs move to other states or countries because employers can no longer afford Minnesota.”

If you don’t know this, you ought to.  Joel Kotkin ripped apart the idea that jobs will seek high-tax, high-service locales in a Forbes.com piece last month.  Rep. Brod turns it around and focuses future-forward.

“I believe that when the State of Minnesota, or any level of government for that matter, takes more money away from people — parents, job providers, wage earners — it better have a darn good reason. Every dollar, every dime and every nickel spent wastefully in a way that does not produce expected outcomes is a dollar taken out of our economy and lost. This should not be a partisan concept.”

Can we write this in bright red letters and require every legislator to initial it before any vote to raise taxes (revenues, fees, etc.)?  This is important, but on this Hero’s Journey, it’s just the warm-up.

We have seen a mission creep in government over the years; the future will require government to do fewer things, but do them better than ever before. Demographics and simple economic facts demand that we change the way government operates. No longer can we do what we have always done.”

I often wonder why I ever wanted to work with the public sector.  Here it is.  We have do better.  We can do better.  And better is more than just doing MORE.  Better means more productive—doing more with less.

“We must allow ourselves to get back in touch with our record of innovation and creativity in not only our private sector, but our public sector as well. Infusing the ideas of value and return on investment into government spending decisions should not be scary — it should be expected.”

Sounds like something we all can work on in the new year.


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2 Responses to Fewer Things, Better

  1. Cat says:

    I’d be real curious to see where those manufacturers went. Do you have statistics for that? If they went to China, we need policy rather than tax breaks to fix it. If they went to Tennessee, then maybe you have something there.

  2. John says:

    The jobs move to North Dakota, of course. 🙂 Tax incentives aren’t the answer, IMHO, because any company I lure from, say, Illinois, will likely turn around and get lured away by South Dakota or Alabama when the break is used up. or China. And I’m probably stuck with a big empty building.

    What caught my eye was her emphasis on innovation, and productivity. Not just “taxes are too high” or the opposite “we have to spend more”. No, we have to do better with what we have.

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