Thursday, September 22, 2005

Adopt-a-Bathroom? How About Adopt an Everything?

An interesting idea was posited by an offer by a citizen to pay to keep the bathrooms open at Aberdeen Park so the Creston High School Girls tennis team wouldn't have to go to Burger King to use the bathroom. The City refused the offer.

This brings up a good idea. How about all parks, pools, and the zoo go private and not for profit? Each park could be adopted by a company or neighborhood and the cost would suddenly be off the rolls for the taxpayers of the city. There are examples of private parks all over the world. Some are free to users, some charge a small fee, but most are better run than government-owned and operated parks.

Why would the city refuse the offer to pay for some park operations? Because bureaucrats have no incentive to do well. Let private groups run the parks and they'll do what it takes to keep people coming back.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Favorable Job Market Predicted for Grand Rapids

MiBiz reports that the job market for the Grand Rapids area is looking up for the fourth quarter of 2005.

The trend is continuing in favor of service industries. The construction, wholesale/retail trade and finance/insurance/real estate industries are expected to add the most jobs, with manufacturing staying stable with no growth anticipated.

But we'll remind our readers that Governor Granholm wants to tax service industries more in favor of tax cuts for manufacturers. It doesn't make much sense to increase the tax burden of those industries which are creating jobs, which will result in the creation of fewer jobs. The single business tax needs to be cut across the board, so all industries benefit. The lower the taxes, the more money employers will have to create jobs. It really is that simple.

Michigan has the nation's worst economy and people are leaving the state. It's time to get government out of the way so businesses can be allowed to create jobs.

Monday, September 19, 2005

GRPS Loses More Students

The Grand Rapids Press reported today that the Grand Rapids Public Schools lost 1,100 students over last school year. They say this is the largest single-year student loss in a decade. The article (which is not available online) quotes a school board member who's completely baffled by the loss.

Well, gee, who knows, maybe it's the total lack of fiscal discipline? After asking for and getting $160 million to build buildings, they increasingly hint that they will be declaring bankruptcy. Now please tell us, board members, who in their right mind would send their child to a school district that will be bankrupt in a year? The only students that will be left are those with parents who can't afford to send their children someplace else.

So, while tens of thousands of children get completely short changed with a disaster of a school system, the politicians in Lansing, in collusion with the teacher's unions, do everything they can to prevent the expansion of charter schools, which serve a much higher proportion of at risk and poor children than traditional public schools. And when's the last time you heard a charter school whining about money?

It's a tragedy that an entire generation of children, whose biggest hope in life is to get a good education, will be left behind by bureaucrats, labor unions, and selfish politicians.

Monday, September 5, 2005

Labor Day Cancelled

In what can only be described as a delicious irony, the labor day parade was cancelled in Grand Rapids.

Local unions, which have the responsibility of financing the cost of putting on the parade, simply didn't have the money this year. They couldn't come up with the necessary $25,000. Union leaders, however, promise to be back with a parade next year at a trimmed-down $10,000 cost.

According to Wikipedia, Labor Day started in the 1880's, by organizations such as the Knights of Labor and the International Workingmen's Association (which was led by Karl Marx himself).

We here are GRPundit don't mourn the loss of the labor day parade.