This outstanding article by John Chapman offers a blueprint for NC municipalities. One primary culprit in stagnating economic growth for a city? A high ratio of public employees to citizens:
"the ratio of residents to city employees, a key measure of city government productivity, is 50:1 in Detroit, one of the worst in the United States, but is 203:1 in Indianapolis, one of the best."
Which city would you rather live in right now?
This flies in the face of the "progressive" chatter about the "essential services" that must be provided by an ever-expanding government bureaucracy to ensure an acceptable "quality of life."
Towns and counties concerned about balancing their budgets in light of current and future population growth? Privatize services:
"This is how Indianapolis cut 43% (1,200 workers) of its non–public safety workforce, and shaved $480 million from its budget in 8 years."
But what about all those public employees losing their jobs?
"In fact, during Goldsmith’s (Indy’s mayor) 8-year tenure, not one city employee became unemployed; the employer merely changed, … And happily, the public sector union, AFSCME, generally applauded Indianapolis’s public-private partnership excellence, especially when workers received incentive bonuses allowed by new ownership and governance."
Of course, we are also bombarded regularly about how citizens "demand" services from their local government. It must follow, naturally, that Indy’s citizen’s moved out of town because there’s no way a reduced public service sector could accommodate such "demands," right?
"During his (Goldsmith’s) eight-year tenure as mayor, the city’s population increased by nearly 50,000 residents, induced by a more business-friendly environment and its corollary, smaller government."
So the city added 50,000 residents and simultaneously cut nearly half a billion from their budget? Yes, folks, it can be done.
The article is not exclusively devoted to Indianapolis, and is well worth the read. If nothing else, you’ll get your money’s worth with this quote from Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt: "entrepreneurs know what they’re doing; the best thing we can do is get out of their way."