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 Response Page - Gillaspy  Interview -      


These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Tom Gillaspy Interview of
01-28-2011.
 

 
Overview:

State Demographer Tom Gillaspy shares insights on the state budget situation based on his three decades of government work and his perspective as an economic demographer. The state needs structural reform, he argues, in order to adjust to structural deficits that persist under the present framework.  Even as we work our way out of the recession, Minnesota will continue to lose its capacity to provide services at present levels. He argues that Minnesota leaders should first develop a common vision for the state's future, a common understanding of our goals which lawmakers and the governor could then use in assessing proposed strategies for reform.

Complete interview summary will soon be on Civic Caucus website: http://civiccaucus.org.

Response Summary:  Readers have been asked to rate, on a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, the following points discussed by Gillaspy. Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll. 

1. The problem.  (8.6 average response)  The population of retirees will soon increase sharply, long-run economic and income growth will slow, government revenue growth will slow even more, but pressures on spending, especially for health care, will increase.

2. Outlook.  (9.2 average response)  These are long term problems that will only get worse unless we change the way things are done.

3. Economic growth.  (7.5 average response)  If the state cuts back on investment for economic growth to fund moral obligations, its future capacity for economic output is diminished.

4. Productivity.  (7.9 average response)  Increased productivity will result when the state improves outcomes at a lower cost.

5. Too smug?  (8.0 average response)  Minnesotans have been too smug, failing to realize they're in the middle of a big storm, that people need to work together or the ship will be lost.

6. Vision.    (9.2 average response)  Minnesota needs leadership to develop a common idea for what the state should become and what needs to change to get there.

Response Distribution:

Disagree Strongly

Disagree Moderately

Neutral

Agree Moderately

Agree Strongly

Total Responses

1. The problem.

6%

2%

2%

30%

60%

50

2. Outlook.

2%

0%

4%

22%

72%

50

3. Economic growth.

8%

10%

8%

24%

50%

50

4. Productivity.

8%

4%

2%

43%

43%

49

5. Too smug?

6%

8%

4%

32%

50%

50

6. Vision.  

2%

2%

0%

24%

72%

50

Individual Responses:

Deanna Steckman  (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10)

4. Productivity. Redesigning needs to be the whole system - not just the organizational structure. Rules and statutes need to relieve the mandates, requirements, etc.

6. Vision.   This is an extremely important idea - the vision could be swayed depending on who personally is involved - that is scary if it is politicians rather than policy/analysts/researchers (need people with facts rather than rhetoric).

Ray Schmitz  (7.5) (7.5) (7.5) (0) (2.5) (10)

1.The problem. I am not sure that these are functions of each other, that is, more retirees does not have to translate to slow growth.

2. Outlook. Same linkage concerns, and also just changing the way things are done is awfully simplistic.

3. Economic growth. I have never been convinced that the state is the driver of economic growth; facilitating growth, yes, but not driving it.  For example, the regulation issue is credible, so is education, but bonding, tax cuts etc. may not be.

4. Productivity. State productivity?  The key is efficiency and economy. Why did I have to change addresses in several locations when I moved? The exchange of information today should not let that happen.  And business is faced with those inefficiencies all the time, but business is not necessarily a good model, that is, not in all cases.

6. Vision. Politics as usual needs to end.  But again the state is a provider of services to support the economy not the changer of it. For example, providing for disclosure of costs of medical care and overhead is a state function worth doing, and if private enterprise does not do the cleaning up needed, then the question is how to force them to happen.

Al Kokesch  (10) (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (10)

Scott Halstead  (10) (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (10)

1.The problem. The State of Minnesota should negotiate several health care plans that are mandatory use by all state and local government employees.  All the contracts will contain premium structures that are based upon health of those covered.

2. Outlook. Transit management in the metropolitan area is out of control.   70% of the metro population and jobs are in the suburbs yet there isn't suburb-to-suburb transit system.  Vehicles are needed from nearly everywhere in the metro area to get to the suburban jobs.   We do not have a comprehensive transit system serving the area.  We are making very large capital expenditures on a few projects with minimal transit outcomes, small increases in revenue, and much higher operating and maintenance costs.  Our transit vehicles have very little occupancy on the outbound in the morning and the inbound in the afternoon.  Very inefficient!  Metropolitan Council needs to plan transit and remove itself from operations.  Eliminate the Opt-Out transit systems.  All Metro Counties pay the additional sales tax.  Contract out transit services.  Get our businesses, communities, developers and Metropolitan Government managing growth, roads, infrastructure and transit so our taxes and fees are used wisely and with vision.  Eliminate County Transit boards and their fund control.  Provide a comprehensive transit system throughout the metro area.  Change the method of Metropolitan Council appointments to ensure a more effective, fair organization with long- and short-term plans and implementation.

3. Economic growth. All local government pension plans should be transferred to State Control.  If they are underfunded, the employers/employee contributions should be increased and pensions decreased until they are properly funded and a reasonable reserve established and set-aside for pensions only.  Employers whose pensions are underfunded shall develop and implement business plans to reduce their spending, increase taxes … until their pensions are properly funded.  Pensions should be indexed based upon a cost of living index for seniors with upper and lower limits to ensure all civil servant retirees are fair and increase with reasonable controls.

5. Too smug? I would rephrase - "Many of our elected and appointed leaders" have been too smug.

6. Vision.   I have little trust in our elected leaders achieving this goal, implementing the plan, keeping it on course, regularly measuring performance and updating.  We can't be significantly changing plans based the results of each election.  We have many excellent policy groups that should cooperatively meet this endeavor.

Steve  (10) (10) (2.5) (0) (7.5) (10)

2. Outlook. If everyone shares in the hurt - increase gas tax, 5% pay cuts for occupations funded by taxes, then long term, more folks will be able to continue working.

3. Economic growth. If "investment" means "spending" or "increasing taxes".

4. Productivity. What … does this mean?  What does "improves outcomes" mean?  If you want considered responses, you need to ask direct, understandable questions, that can be answered because they were understood.

5. Too smug? If we were - because we were, part of the reason we are no longer head and shoulders above rest of the nation is our years of prosperity attracted émigrés from other parts of the country.  This may have resulted in becoming more homogeneous and no longer a bastion of the well educated, disciplined and stoic Minnesotan.  We are sinking to the lowest common denominator rather than trying to bring up the émigrés.

6. Vision.   Both sides of the political spectrum take too much time crafting political solutions that appeal to their constituents..  We need real compromise.  We need more taxes and less spending.  That means everyone pays taxes not just 40% of people.  That means everyone gets only 90 to 95% of their pet programs funded; welfare, the Honey Inspection Board, etc.  That means we need to fundamentally redesign government to take it out of direct competition with private enterprise, and provide only basic infrastructure and not provide a lush livelihood to some, to be funded by the many.  We can no longer be setting aside public lands that consume resources and produce no revenue and pay no taxes to the government.  We need to start divesting ourselves of these holdings to promote business growth and gather property taxes.  We need "gaming" to be extended to already regulated locations like the two racetracks.  Those taxes derived from those venues become voluntary since folks can choose to participate by making "contributions" to state coffers.  

Ted Risdall  (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

Ken Smart  (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

1.The problem. We have had a failure in Minnesota state government during the past 25 years to prepare for the changes happening today.   Today's demographics are not unexpected and were clearly forecasted.  We have had a failure of leadership in this state.   Unfortunately, I see little from Governor Dayton to suggest any change in core state government philosophy.

2. Outlook. We not only need to change how things are done, but also what is done.  The state can no longer fund every program.  Furthermore, compensation costs to government employees are on unsustainable trends.  Either there has to be a way to rein in salary/benefit increases or there must be a reduction in the number of government employees.

3. Economic growth. There is a real risk that if Minnesota does not make the right choices, it will become a tier two state in the country.

4. Productivity. Unfortunately, the state does not have many productivity measures.  And you tend to improve what is measured.  So I suggest step one is coming up with true productivity measures.   For instance, in education, you could measure standardized test scores per dollar spent.   At some point, you spend more than any increase in test scores and that becomes nonproductive spending.

5. Too smug? I really think most Minnesotans think they live in their own eco system and are unaffected by world events.  This is so incorrect that one hardly knows where to start educating the state's residents.

6. Vision.   I think the only vision for the state of Minnesota is to be the "entitlement" state where we constantly support and reward the weakest and least productive covered by the term "moral obligation."  Unfortunately, this is the least moral course of action because in the long run the state will not be able to afford any "moral obligations" and the state will be composed only of the weak and nonproductive.  That does a disservice to the state and to the citizens of the state.

Peter Hennessey  (2.5) (7.5) (0) (2.5) (2.5) (7.5)

1.The problem. Assertions and hypotheses need to be verified or explained, not just stated or accepted as fact.  1. Yes, but only as long as the current childbearing generation continues to "buy into" the ZPG propaganda that gripped the previous one.  2. Not necessarily; definitely yes if socialist policies are put in place. But a return to free enterprise and the free market will spark growth.  3. Ditto. The government benefits or suffers along with all other participants in the economy. Therefore it should be their moral imperative to keep their costs and expenditures at the absolute minimum at all times.  4. Ditto. Pressures on spending come from misguided ideas about the government's functions and responsibilities.

2. Outlook. Well, yes, if you continue down the path outlined in “Obamacare”.  Let us hope that by "we change the way things are done" the presenter means returning to a competitive free market, low taxes, and reduced regulatory burden; allowing the inventiveness and entrepreneurialship sparked by the profit motive to create solutions that we have not even thought of yet.

3. Economic growth. (From the tone and context of this discussion it is obvious that "state" is intended to mean "state government," not the aggregate sum of all producers and consumers in a State.)  The state does not "invest," it can only tax and spend. "Investment" has a very specific meaning that cannot be applied to any expenditure by the State, because the State does not produce anything. Somebody must produce something of value in order to generate the revenue, which will be greater than the initial expenditure; if that is true, then, and only then can you call it an "investment."  Economic growth comes only from private enterprise, to the extent that the State does not stifle it with taxes and regulations, and distortions caused by misallocation of State funds.  The State does not have any "moral" obligations to anyone; individual human members of society do, which they are free to fulfill personally or via participation in a charity.  The State does not have any capacity for economic output, past, present or future, because the State does not produce anything; all it does is tax and spend. Only a private enterprise has any capacity for economic output, by offering products and services that customers willingly pay for.

4. Productivity. Productivity is a concept applicable only to entities that actually produce something of value, that is, a private enterprise that offers products and services that customers willingly pay for. At best the government is a necessary evil that appropriates its revenue by force, and offers no products or services of any market value. You cannot even measure the value of a government's services because there is no free market for its services, no competing governments offering those services to the same client base, no customers free to choose between competing services.  Government is set up to provide services -- such as national and civil defense, law enforcement, and justice -- with which no private enterprise could or should ever be entrusted.  The State, as an entity that lives like a parasite on the productive segment of society, can improve "outcomes" -- that is, perform whatever function is assigned to it -- by doing it with the greatest efficiency and at the least cost possible. As a parasite, it has the responsibility of not killing or even sickening its host; that is hardly an indication or measure of "productivity." If at a time of serious belt-tightening a government entity has to reduce its pay scales and its head count, and we find that it is still able to provide its services after the cuts, then we must raise the very serious question of why they were running so fat and bloated before.  This is no different from how a private enterprise would react to hard times and therefore must operate at all times. The only way the organization survives is if it contains its costs and maximizes its revenues. A private enterprise can maximize its revenues by offering a product or service that customers actually want and are willing to pay for; competition sets the actual price level. A government can increase its revenues only by extorting more taxes using the threat of force and punishment; therefore in a just society it has the moral obligation to keep its costs and revenues to the absolute bare minimum at all times.

5. Too smug? I don't know about Minnesotans. Certainly some outstanding citizens of the State, such as Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty, give a totally different and very encouraging impression, definitely not smugness. I am sure there are others, like them, who do realize that the liberals have indeed taken us into the middle of a disastrous storm.   If by "people need to work together" the presenter means we must return to free market principles, then the ship will not be lost.

6. Vision.   Yes, such leadership exists and has existed, if anyone would only listen. I already mentioned former governor Pawlenty and current Congresswoman Bachmann. I am sure they have their counterparts at the State level. And I am sure there is a Tea Party even in the MN People's Republic.   America is not a planned economy; it is the country where the free market had at one time been the freest and therefore the most successful in the world. People do not need "to develop a common idea for what the state should become." The sum of the actions of its free citizens each with their individual visions and aspirations will determine what we will become.   And we already do know what "needs to change to get there:" we need to re-embrace the values of our Founders, and to reject all the incompatible foreign ideologies that a certain segment of our society, such as a Ruling Class of academic and media elites thoroughly steeped in Marxist "progressivism," has been trying to force down our throats for the past 150 years.

Dave Broden  (0) (10) (10) (10) (2.5) (10)

1.The problem. The statement is well stated but without some statement that there must be initiatives to keep the baby boomer workforce in the workforce for additional years in some way to keep them as revenue generators we are missing a potentially key point. The statement as expressed is correct but only in that if these people do not remain as contributors we have a worse issue. Someone needs to carry the ball to change to mindset that all people will retire at a age 65--Lets hope the thought to use this valuable resource will be realized.

2. Outlook. See comments above. We need incentives from a) government; b) employers; c) the public; and d) the media. Even keeping 30% of the workforce engaged to age 70+ would be a winner.

3. Economic growth. Economic growth must be a key component of funding for moral obligations. Too often we focus on the cost and negative side without thinking that if we can grow some of the issues get easier. I am not stating that we can grow out of all (these) issues but it certainly needs to be a bigger emphasis.

4. Productivity. Productivity must be a key parameter in any economic assessment.

5. Too smug? Minnesotans are not smug---it is not appropriate to mix the overall population with the political and media folks. Give citizens from across the state a chance and they will show that MN is a positive and quality of life state.  Statements as above may be the perception but not the fact.

6. Vision.   A vision or a purpose for Minnesota is definitely a timely and needed topic. Whatever the statement is and whoever develops the slogan or thought must show that this statement applies across all of MN and has input from all corners and area and demographic of the state not just another think tank group pull(ing) word(s) together. The big challenge is what is the best way to form the vision --if there should be (one).

Bob White  (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

Judith Martin  (7.5) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10)

1.The problem. It may not be totally accurate to assume that baby-boomers will retire at the same age as their parents. Many professionals are very engaged with their work, still very healthy, and wanting to be productive. If industry, government and business could find a way toward more part-time employment for older workers, it would help with the "brain drain" about to occur.

2. Outlook. See above....

3. Economic growth. There are choices to be made here -- it doesn't have to be just cut or shrivel.

4. Productivity. It (would) be good to see some evidence on this point

Don Anderson  (10) (10) (0) (7.5) (10) (10)

1.The problem. This is the obvious, yet we have politicians who refuse to look at the obvious and still live in their partisan world.

6. Vision.   Leadership has to come from all parties, equally and without bias, in order to develop a common idea. Can it come from our present political environment? That is the main challenge.

John Sievert  (7.5) (10) (10) (7.5) (10) (10)

Pat Barnum  (7.5) (10) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (7.5)

4. Productivity. Governmental services productivity will increase when the state improves outcomes at a lower cost. Real productivity comes from the private sector. Their productivity will result when the State (and Feds) get off their back.

Jennifer Armstrong  (10) (10) (7.5) (10) (0) (10)

3. Economic growth. I think it depends on what investments for economic growth.  TIF? No. JOBZ? No. Education? Yes. Also, we need to develop a new dashboard of economic indicators relevant to a 21st century knowledge economy; c.f.: http://www.itif.org/publications/2010-state-new-economy-index

5. Too smug? I agree with your chair:  "'I've never seen in 30 years the level of activity and interest in this issue by leaders of so many different organizations as there is now.' There is real opportunity for a collaborative effort." These groups emerged because there's a disconnect and are collaborating in many, various ways.

6. Vision.   My favorite is "Minnesota, a place where children and families thrive." Why? Because if children and families are thriving everything else is in place. People are employed; businesses are busy. Streets are safe. Parks are clean. Innovators can start new businesses because they can afford health insurance for their families. College is affordable. Better yet, how about adopting my vision for the "end-game" in Closing the Achievement Gap? "We'll know the Achievement Gap is closed when the diversity of our community is reflected in the full spectrum of employment occupations."

Lonn M. Kiel  (10) (10) (2.5) (7.5) (10) (2.5)

3. Economic growth. We need to attract their children back to Minnesota.  Maybe some monetary incentive if your folks are in a nursing home.

5. Too smug? In a storm you need a strong rudder in order to keep facing the waves head-on.  This storm is persistent and we will never reach the other side until the wave of boomers wane.  Are many building their retirement nests here because of our second to none medical care?  Maybe we should expound on that.

6. Vision.   Every board and panel needs to have a microscope and a telescope.  It seems that Minnesota has been peering through the microscope for too long.  If we incorporate the telescope into the answers we must make sure that we constantly move it to different locations otherwise we may miss "stars" of ideas and opportunities.

W. D. (Bill) Hamm  (10) (10) (10) (10) (0) (7.5)

1.The problem. The challenge to do what is best for the people over what is best for the parties has never been greater, while the political parties self-importance has undermined any real change.

2. Outlook. If the socialist progressive crowd does not come to the realization that government alone can not tackle this immense problem without private sector support and new community based efforts they will drag us all in the sewer.

3. Economic growth. Real Quality education coupled with maintaining the strongest possible job creation climate must happen or we will slide steadily into third world poverty.

4. Productivity. This can only be obtained by moving as much decision making back to local control and away from the centralization of control and power model we have been following for years.

5. Too smug? I think you’re mistaken, it isn't Minnesota’s people who have become too smug, it is Minnesota’s political party leadership who have become too smug and locked in unsustainable rhetoric.

6. Vision.   If this is statement is a push for more socialist centralization of control and power I stand against it. If on the other hand this is about invigorating and empowering our citizen base while pushing as much decision making as possible back into the hands of local decision makers, then it has my support

Tom Neuville  (9) (9) (5) (8) (8) (8)

I didn't understand Question 3. Government doesn't "invest" and I don't know what "moral obligations" are intended in the question.

Joseph Mansky  (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

6. Vision.   I agree totally with Tom on this and his view that incrementalism is a major problem for us to confront. The question is this: assuming we survive the storm and make it to port, do we re-rig the ship? Or build a new and better vessel?

Edward Dirkswager  (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

The question is who are the leaders that should sit down to create the vision. I'd argue that it must include, but not be limited to, the Governor and legislative leaders otherwise it will go nowhere. This needs to be a hands-on discussion--no sending others to stand in. I'd do it over the summer. This also will not work unless there is a very good "marketing" plan to lay out the ideas to the general public. The problem is much more complicated that just saying that the leaders don't have a central vision. The public is influenced by leaders, but the public also has great influence on the leaders. Minnesotans do not see themselves as a common community as they once did. In my opinion this is the most fundamental problem.

Brent Olson  (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) http://www.independentlyspeaking.com/article.html

William Kuisle  (8) (10) (8) (8) (8) (9)

Ray Cox  (10) (10) (7) (10) (10) (10)

We need to step back, look hard at many of our programs, and have thoughtful discussions about them to see if they are things government should be doing, and if so, is there a better way to deliver the service. A good example is long term care insurance…the silly little tax incentive does not do anything to encourage people to secure long term care insurance---so the result is everyone thinks the state will take care of them in old age. Couldn’t we work with private insurers to develop a life insurance plan that converts to long-term care insurance at a set age? Or figure out some workable way to get more people with insurance or the means to care for themselves in old age.
We need a sunset commission to examine programs that have been put in place to see at what point they can be eliminated. It makes no sense to create programs that go on forever, essentially unchecked. Every program in Minnesota should have a goal of putting itself out of business at some point.

Norman Carpenter  (10) (10) (0) (8) (5) (10) Legislation is not "moral." The use of "moral" in that context debases the word. We as individuals may have moral responsibilities, but the state as such does not. Politicians use "moral" to support their partisan arguments -- as do preachers and social scientists. And searching for "vision statements" is another excuse for inaction. The numbers are unassailable ...let's get to work.

Wayne Jennings  (7) (8) (3) (7) (7) (8)

Shari Prest  (10) (10) (10) (9) (3) (10)

Who would serve on this visioning team? I hope there will be representation from experts as well as just plain people with insights, experiences and wisdom. It cannot be a partisan group, and that is very difficult to avoid.

Al Quie  (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

Facing the 25-year impact of demographic change, we ought to begin now in organizing seniors, especially in working with children so all can be reading proficiently when they start 4th grade. Seniors will cost less and young people will be more productive, a great help to the economy and fulfilling our moral obligations.
Yesterday produced a sorry omen. The Governor and legislature acted like my brother and I as small children, pointing our fingers at each other in a spat to get an advantage over the other. The problem is that the citizens are the only ones who can act as parents and we are not unified. Thank you to the Civic Caucus for assuming a parental role. Thank you also to Tom Gillaspy for his clear headed and fact filled analysis.

Ralph Brauer  (10) (10) (2) (8) (10) (10)

The comment about the difference between spending and investment should be required reading for all legislators.

Bert Press  (0) (5) (10) (0) (5) (10)

Lyle Hovland  (8) (7) (8) (9) (10) (10)

Partisan political positions seem to be so rigid, at the expense of finding solutions to the existing problems by working together. Real leadership is needed and compromise is imperative.

Will Shapira  (10) (10) (10) (na) (10) (10)

How is any of the above and more going to get done when politics trumps the commonweal with both parties guilty?

Vici Oshiro  (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na)

Should Gov. Dayton want a candidate for SWOT analysis I suggest Elizabeth Kautz.  She led such a process when she became mayor of Burnsville and I believe her term as President of League of Cities has recently expired.  I have not cleared this suggestion with Elizabeth.

Robert J. Brown  (10) (10) (5) (10) (10) (10)

Terry Stone  (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

George Pillsbury  (10) (10) (5) (10) (10) (10)

Question: Can the largest State Senate in the US and a bicameral Legislature do the task?

Mina Harrigan  (10) (10) (10) (8) (8) (10)

Arvonne Fraser  (9) (10) (10) (7) (10) (9)

I worry if the leadership group is a bunch of "wise men."  One test will be the gender makeup, but also you want people of courage who aren't promoting just their interests.  Make sure there are people from within government--and I don't mean just elected officials.  Find people with new ideas, who like innovation but also respect and understand government.  Gamble on a few who aren't already "respected leaders in the community."

Tom Spitznagle  (7) (9) (7) (8) (8) (9)

Chuck Lutz  (9) (9) (10) (10) (8) (10)

Alan Miller  (5) (8) (3) (3) (8) (8)

Paul and Ruth Hauge  (8) (9) (10) (9) (9) (10)

Fred Senn  (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

Great discussion! How do we make this a more public debate? How do we create a sense of urgency around these issues?

Lyall Schwarzkopf  (8) (10) (10) (9) (8) (9)

This is a very insightful presentation.  Every person in Minnesota needs to understand what Gillaspy said.  We need to get the political leadership in the House, Senate and Governor to work together to carry out the ideas of Gillaspy.

Roy Thompson  (8) (8) (6) (7) (9) (8)

Bright Dornblaser  (10) (10) (8) (10) (10) (10)

3. Economic growth. Statement should be, “MN high productivity needs to be joined with a culture of some concern for the disadvantaged to be the most attractive state in which to grow economic capacity.”

Don Fraser  (9) (8) (9) (8) (9) (9)

A first rate presentation.  Thanks.

John James  (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

6. Vision. (This) is in no small part the Governor's job.  We will know in a few days how Governor Dayton sees it.  I think you should see what he proposes, make a judgment as to whether it is adequate to the situation, and then decide what to propose.  It would, for example, be a very good thing to get the Governor to lead the call for a group doing a SWOT analysis.

Carolyn Ring  (10) (10) (8) (8) (10) (10)

For far too long the state has functioned the same way with the same departments, the same budgets, adding dollars every year, and no long-range vision.  Especially, with all the new technologies and communication innovations, there is no reason for "business as usual." Adversity sometimes makes for prosperity.  Minnesota has the opportunity to do this.  We need leadership, leadership, leadership with the ability to get the job done!

Tom Triplett  (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na)

My response doesn't apply directly to the "Tom's" on their critically important statements.  But the following WSJ article from today suggests some growing support for the ideas I expressed a few months ago at CC:  MN state government should in fact reduce state aids to local governments as part of the overall budget solution.  The reduction should be down to a true "equalized" level (and nothing more).  Then, the state should expand the ability of local governments to broaden their revenue bases so that raising property taxes would no longer be their only option.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704081604576144490469694126.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5
Keep up the great work!

Tom Swain  (10) (10) (8) (10) (10) (10)

RIght on 

RogerA Wacek  (10) (5) (5) (5) (10) (10)

Politicians & most people are in a state of denial. In 2008 there was an energy led collapse of the global economy from which there will be no recovery!  Carl Jung, one of the fathers of psychology, famously remarked that "people cannot stand too much reality".  For ideas on how to deal with the unprecedented problems we're facing read "The Party's Over: Oil War & the Fate of Industrial Society"

    

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political persuasions, reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

   Verne C. Johnson, chair;  David Broden, Charles Clay, Marianne Curry, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  Marina Lyon, Joe Mansky, John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  and Wayne Popham 


©
The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
8301 Creekside Circle #920,   Bloomington, MN 55437.  civiccaucus@comcast.net
Verne C. Johnson, chair, 952-835-4549,       Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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