Minority Opinions

Not everyone can be mainstream, after all.

City Elections

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Today’s elections were purely local. Mayor, council members, and two taxation propositions. Naturally, each of the candidates had an opinion on each of the taxes, even though neither was particularly oppressive.

I get far more benefit from the various levels of government than I pay in:

  • Education
  • Stable economy
  • Protection
  • Utilities
  • Roads
  • Dominant language

That’s part of what bugs me about those who complain about taxation and/or government involvement in our lives. I couldn’t live the way I do without all of that. These are the kinds of things that get cheaper when everyone pitches in, and that everyone benefits from whether they pitch in or not, so it makes sense to have a government take charge of them. Yes, I can understand complaints that the U.S. federal government should leave them up to the states, but I personally am content to homogenize the entire country.

Yes, there are inefficiencies. My city made a huge mistake by trusting an organization to provide a service that it couldn’t deliver, and is now stuck with a bill that, combined with decreased revenue due to the economic downturn, impacts its ability to provide other services. Mistakes are a part of life; we can’t entirely eliminate them, but we can mitigate their effects with sufficient information and creativity. Unfortunately, certain aspects of our current system encourage certain types of inefficiency.

One odd thing about this year is that there’s a tax devoted specifically to arts and recreation. Together. I fully support city parks, pools, and bike paths, because they’re essential for keeping my super-active children from driving us insane. Theater and opera, on the other hand, are a bit odd; it feels like there should be a way to have a few troupes roaming around, but with each city trying to keep the arts alive locally, they just get diluted and ignored. Nonetheless, I can afford to donate a bit of my wages to the cause, particularly if a part of that ends up making my cycle commute safer.

No, that’s not likely. But given that each of the new mayoral candidates claim to support open, transparent government with plenty of citizen involvement, I haven’t entirely given up hope.

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Written by eswald

5 Nov 2013 at 8:50 pm

Posted in Politics

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