Opinion: Technology is not reducing government excess  

During the recent State of the City address by Mayor Milo, it was stated that technology and life are moving at an ever increasing pace. This is very true. I honestly believe that the Mayor and the City Council are doing a good job of helping the City move forward. That statement about technology, in my opinion, has a flaw. This flaw should and must be addressed by all levels of government. That flaw is that with technology also comes efficiency in how things are done. The use of technology has shown private business that through its use, things can be done cheaper, better and with less human contact.

With this being said, why do the taxpayers continually buy technology to increase the efficiency of our government, yet the numbers of government workers continue to grow? If this technology is so desperately needed, then why has it not helped save the taxpayer money? That should be the goal of every elected official from local to state all the way up to the federal level. Now, no one wants to throw people into the streets, so to speak, but every year someone retires, quits or is fired (and no, there is no such thing as wrongful discharge; you serve at the whim of your boss, period), they always seem to hire more. Why is it so hard to try getting by with less?

If these changes cannot be done in a way to save the taxpayer money, then possibly we should look into privatization of some of our government services. Private business always looks at ways to improve its profits through better efficiency and structuring of its staff and services or products. They have discovered that if a job that used to require 4 people can be done efficiently with 2 through the use of technology, then they do it. We as taxpayers should demand this from all of our elected public servants. There is a prime example of how this can be done in the Kernan-Shepperd Report. This was a bipartisan study done during  Governor Daniels’ administration. Our local government has not been updated since the days preceding the Civil War. That is over 150 years ago. I urge all taxpayers to obtain a copy of this report. It is only about 40 pages and written in very understandable terms. Then contact your state reps and senators to demand that this be put on the ballot at the next available time. Study this on your own. The elected powers have every reason to call it foolish.  It would drastically reduce the number of government workers, which in return would substantially reduce the power and control  these few people have on all taxpayers’ wallets.

One more item to address concerning private business: The  hospital in LaPorte is now a private, for-profit business. The former Mayor and former county attorney, nor any private citizens, have the right to tell any private business how to operate. That is up to the board of directors. Now, as citizens, they have the right to voice their opinions, but to demand things from any business is wrong. This attitude towards business, in my opinion, is what is holding our county back. If you want businesses to come here and provide jobs, then they must be allowed to  conduct their business. The local community must also be able to supply a drug-free, motivated and work ethic-driven workforce to take the jobs.

Steve Holifield, overtaxed taxpayer and local businessman

One Response to “Opinion: Technology is not reducing government excess  ”

  1. Tom

    Mar 29. 2017

    A couple of things:

    1: “yet the numbers of government workers continue to grow” – I’m going to need a citation to support this conclusion. Just because you believe so, doesn’t mean its necessarily true. The last numbers I was able to find show local government employment flat.
    2:”there is no such thing as wrongful discharge; you serve at the whim of your boss, period” – Tell a person they are fired because they are black or a female and let me know how your above statement works out.
    3:”Private business always looks at ways to improve its profits” – There is a huge difference between providing a service because its needed versus making a profit from it. Government is a monopoly business – you don’t get your own personal police or fire department. And when a business is a monopoly they don’t tend to be efficient or responsible (see our own local Comcast). That’s why government cannot be run like a business. Do you really want to have to schedule an appointment and pay up front before the Fire Department comes to put out your fire? Or before the Police show up to investigate a crime?
    4:”…nor any private citizens, have the right to tell any private business how to operate” – Yes we do. That’s why we pass ordinances and have laws regulating business all the time. Would you like it and just accept it if a CAFO got set up on your front doorstep? How about a landfill instead?

    I understand what opinions you are trying to voice here, but I’m unconvinced that’s its a fault of government as much as it is a general dissatisfaction that seems to be permeating America in general. Wages are stagnant except for the top few percent of incomes, our legislators don’t appear to listen to us except when they mouth their platitudes during the elections and infrastructure continues to deteriorate with no concerted effort to fix it. We get the government we deserve. As the old adage goes – you can have it fast or cheap or good – pick two. This applies to government as well and it appears that we have selected fast and cheap. Thanks for taking the effort and time commenting here Steve!

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