A native-born Rhode Islander, educated in Providence Public Schools, went to college in North Carolina and a political junkie and pessimistic optimist.

5 responses to “Regionalization Difficulties”

  1. leftyrite

    We need to be better aware of recent history before we sign on to increased vertical integration for cities, towns, and counties.

    Central Falls was not just soft; it was pillaged by members of the professional class, so-called, and left in a heap to recover. Judges did it. Can you believe that?

    East Providence once had a tax base vital enough to support its schools. People there were encouraged by the same pillagers (many of the faces are the same) to sacrifice their property values and environmental oversight for lower sewer fees. (An oversimplification, but not by much–that’s the game.)

    West Warwick hasn’t been taken over by the state yet, but I’m sure it will be.

    Point being that it’s easy to take advantage right now. Little to nothing has been done in the way of reform.

    So, reward the pillagers with increased power and larger domains?

    Does ENGAGE RHODE ISLAND have a PRO-ACTIVE BLUEPRINT for all of this?

    I’m guessing that they might.

    In the nexus of colonization and behavior management, can there be any room for legitimate local control?

    Maybe not. 

  2. DogDiesel

    Good post Sam. I’ll admit not so much to being territorial but afraid of linking to another community that has a history of fiscal irresponsibility. The best approach is to provide incentive and allow the communities the freedom to pick their partner. I’m emailing a link for this post to my reps.

  3. jasonpbecker

    Why do we need to protect public jobs? The whole point of regionalization is consolidation which should eliminate duplicative efforts and underutilization.

    If not to decrease the expense of offering the same quality of services (or offer better services at the same cost) what’s the point?

    The primary goal of regionalization should be reducing the size and cost of government (given equivalent quality) or maintain size and cost and offer different, better services (which will necessitate the end of some positions and the start of new ones). 

  4. jasonpbecker

    “The led to government inefficiency, because a negatively stressed employee is not a top-performing employee.”

    That’s not really true. If they used to get A done, now they are charged with A+B, but can only do A+B at 80% they could do A, then it is not true that (A+B)*.8 < A. It depends on B. You’re erring on the side that people were already working at optimal productivity. As someone who has actually been employed in government, I would say this is a bad assumption.

    “We already have a high unemployment rate, and we shouldn’t look to increase that rate.”

    The question here is whether a government job is the best way to decrease unemployment. It can be, but many time’s it is not. Short term there is pain associated with job loss which makes a recession a tough time to make this kind of change. Ultimately, however, a government that spends less to accomplish the same goals is better for the economy. So decreasing duplicative jobs is a good thing, even if those folks on a micro-level lose their jobs. If they don’t eliminate the jobs but rethink and offer more services, this is can also be good– it depends on how valuable those additional services are to their communities.

    “What are the people going to do? It’s not like those people are going to be leisurely lying around.”

    You’re right, they won’t leisurely sit around. They will likely get other jobs and contribute to the GDP in that way. You’re almost arguing that losing a job results in being a massive perpetual burden to the State and that’s not really true at all, even in this economy.

    Nothing specific has to happen in the public sector to favor these people. They have long work histories, strong skills, are far more likely to be educated than the typical unemployed person, etc etc. Some may choose to leave RI to do state-work or government work in places with population growth that need more people with their skills and experience. This is a very good thing.

    It’s really hard for me to accept the arguing that job loss is always bad even when it results in equal services for fewer employees and fewer resources. If you wanted to argue that we don’t typically achieve one side of that coin, that’s a matter of thinking about better policy and implementation more likely to produce those outcomes. But the idea that using the government as a perpetual jobs program is a good thing is pretty far toward communist-socialism not even really democratic-socialism and requires some funky economics that I don’t think hold up.

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