How much government are you willing to pay for?

We’re not alone in our battle to be competitive on the global stage. Every other metropolitan area in the county is thinking about regionalization- and rethinking the last 50 years.

This article on Cleveland.com tells me one thing- we’re behind on the move toward functional organization- all from one indicator: they’ve actually put a price-tag on their current cost of local government, something we’ve not done yet. And from my QBA days (Quantitative Business Analysis)- I know that you can’t improve things that you can’t measure:

“The bottom line is the U.S. just got the biggest wake-up call it received in the past 50 years,” Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution said of the recession.

We have been growing in the wrong way, he said, and must change to survive. “The American economy is about to rebalance and restructure in a dramatic way,” Katz said…

Many believe the cost of local government — about $17 billion annually — is stifling growth because 4.1 million Northeast Ohioans pay more for their government than almost anyone else in the country.

via Welcome to the decade of the Super Region: Cleveland’s future entwined with Youngstown’s | Metro – cleveland.com – cleveland.com.

With all our talk of regionalization- we haven’t put the price tag for having all our fiefdoms and their lessor chiefs. Nor have we advanced any leaders willing to take the helm and demand reform.

Of course in Cleveland they were helped by the FBI, who went in and cleaned up some of the corruption and proved that the old ways, and the old-boy network weren’t good for anyone.

Don’t expect the FBI to do the job here, or the news media. I’ve been publishing the tips on where to look for almost five years now, and not one indictment, or investigation or exposé from the media. We’ve been handing out tax dollars like candy to private interests without any follow through accountability, we’ve watched people donate huge sums to politicians- without questioning why, and we’ve watched political parties manipulate elections and gerrymand voting districts without question.

We’ve had the best leadership money can buy for years- and look where it’s got us.

Let’s start taking a hard look at what we’re willing to pay for in the new year. Let’s see hard numbers on how much all the mayors, managers and chiefs are costing us. Let’s look at how much money we’ve spent on “economic development” that hasn’t worked, and let’s start having a real debate about a vision- and a visionary to lead us. We could start by doing a survey of registered voters- asking them to name their local city leaders, their county leaders, their state rep and senator and start seeing how many they know. If they only get 25% right- we should look to reduce elected officials by 75% to match for a starting goal.

At least if we’re going to be serious about being a contender.

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