Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Plan B

Mayor John Dickert has released his ten year plan for the city of Racine. You can read it here. Clearly Mayor Dickert has confidence that he and our local government can dramatically transform Racine for the better. I don't share his confidence that government will lead Racine's transformation.

So I got to thinking what my plan for Racine would be. It would not be anything like Mayor Dickerts.

For starters, my plan would reflect my pessimism about centralized planning by elites and my optimism in free people acting in accordance with their own interests. In other words, Racine government should do the basics, namely police, fire, courts and little else. The role of government is not to create a wonderful city but rather to ensure the conditions that make the spontaneous creation of a wonderful city possible.

So the city government must be small and focussed. Canceling whole departments like the development department, UNIT, and the Fair Housing Department would be a good place to start. Put all non-essential city owned properties for sale and vow to get out and stay out of the housing/real estate business. Use the money to lower property taxes.

Don't pay too much for labor. Privatize trash, snow plowing, parks and as many other operations as possible. This will result in private sector jobs and will decrease the looming and crippling health care and retirement obligations. Yes, the unions will fight this with everything they have. Explain to voters that ensuring lifetime labor for union members is not part of the city's mission.

To spur investment, place a tax increase moratorium on investment in Racine. Presently, there is almost zero investment in Racine because investors know they will get slammed with tax increases. If the city would wait 5 or 10 years before they cash in on someone else's efforts, we will get more entrepreneurialism and hence more jobs. This might require law changes at the state level, so lobby the state loudly and often.

These are just a few examples of what needs to be done in Racine. It will never happen if we keep electing people with an unshakeable faith in government. Feel free to offer your own ideas and or your reaction to mine.


Anonymous said...

Sell the city owned cemeteries and radio tower.

Anonymous said...

This is not really a "10 Year Plan", more like a list of unattainable goals with no explaination on how he is going to reach them, nor any benchmarks so we can find out if it is working or not.

It is almost like he turned in notes or an outline of a 10 year plan.

Sean Cranley said...

Denis said; "Privatize trash, snow plowing, parks and as many other operations as possible."

This will result in private sector jobs with low pay and no benefits for residents of Racine who will be crippled by lack of a family supporting wage, access to health care and destitution in retirement while costs will be reduced only slightly to provide for the requisite profit which will be siphoned out of the community and into non-local corporate coffers.

We've seen this snake oil recipe fail too many times already.

Denis Navratil said...

Sean, in case you haven't noticed, Racine has very high unemployment. You want to continue a practice wherein a few people get good pay and exceptional beni's while huge numbers have no job at all. If you put these jobs out for competitive bidding they would pay less and the taxpayers of Racine would get a better deal.

Denis Navratil said...

Sean, in a struggling community with high unemployment, why spend more than the market rate for labor? Why continue a policy wherein a few politically connected people have really good jobs and benefits for life while a huge percentage have no jobs at all but must pay the additional price for the few with the great jobs? At the very least we ought to, uh, spread the wealth around and rotate other people into these jobs from time to time. Term limits for government workers? Hmm, good idea I must say. That one should be added to my city plan.

Anonymous said...

...siphoned out of the community and into non-local corporate coffers....

And increased returns on my 401(k).

Sean Cranley said...

Sounds like the politics of envy to me Denis. It's prefereable to tear a few down rather work to build everyone up?

Privatization is a scam. It's intent is to redirect public funds to the coffers of the Privateers and to further enrich those at the very top of the ealth and income scale. Some people can just never get enough.

Privateering has cost our military $BILLIONS and those companies like Haliburton and Bilgewater then move out of America to avoid paying any taxes on their spoils.

The move to privatize Social Security was huge scam to hand over to the Banksters on Wall Street a pile of money that they're salivating over so they can "manage" it in their inimitable fashion.

Whenever you hear a politician (or a blogger) say privatization run as fast you can cuz you're about to get scammed and pilferred by the Con and his cronies.

Denis Navratil said...

Sean, I agree that there are dangers with privatization or the dreaded, by me, concept of public/private partnerships. The only thing worse than government colluding with the private sector is government colluding amongst themselves. So privatization, warts and all, is a step in the right direction. Far better would be smaller government.

Urban Pioneer said...

Haliburton moved off shore after years of being the whipping boy of the American Left. If your not appreciated and treated like a tax "IV DRIP", for bleeding heart bloodsuckers eventually it makes sense to move your business out of State or the Country. BTW Kohl's HQ is moving out Wisconsin....I see a pattern here. and Harley jobs in Kansas City, Unions, joint reporting and higher taxes all are reason to move Move "Big Motorcycle" to greener pastures. "Greener" like in Greenbacks, left in the Company Till so it can reinvest it's profits.