Well, the news came out last week that the governor and legislature have compromised and reached a budget deal. Or have they?
Members on both sides do not appear happy with the outcome. Isn’t the objective of negotiations to reach a win-win outcome? So why, in this case, all the long faces on both sides?
This weekend I travelled a third of this great state, from the Twin Cities to Bemidji to Duluth and back to the SW metro. Signs of the shutdown are everywhere: Resort owners report business is down because people can’t buy licenses. Social workers are laid off and have been told they cannot have contact with those whom have become reliant upon their services. Truck drivers are stopped on the side of the road because the rest areas are closed. Traffic delays on 35 are being prolonged because the lanes are closed for construction, yet work is not progressing. The marquis sign at the Running Aces Casino near Forest Lake claims the shutdown has forced the layoff of 600 employees.
When this is all said and done, we’ll have learned there are no cost savings being realized in this shutdown. Government likely does need an overhaul, but this is not the solution.
What is the main purpose of government? We’ll save that for the book writers. Consider this: In this instance, we are clearly witnessing that our own government is a barrier to commerce.
So, the question I have regarding the necessary role of government is this: Should commerce be allowed to continue freely despite government? Or, does government demand that commerce occurs only with its blessing?
If that’s too deep for a Monday morning, try this instead: Why are the rest areas and weigh stations closed with the lights left on while the highway patrol is on duty?