"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Monday, December 28, 2009

Command and Control, or Empower and Liberate?

“Strive to create the most business-friendly economy in the
nation and jobs WILL follow!”

By Representative Mark Buesgens

I just spent four months on something created by DFL House
Speaker Margaret Kelliher called the Minnesota House Jobs
Task Force. During countless hours of hearings and
testimony from a dizzying array of political wonks,
(with a minimal number of business owners sprinkled in),
the goal of a more business-friendly economy rarely
came up. Instead, we heard a lot of talk about the need
for moregovernment intervention.

Democrats (who dominated the committee 28-8) are lining up
another mammoth round of borrowing, which creates only
short-term jobs in sectors dictated by the government.
They want to embark on new spending under the Orwellian
pretense of retraining workers for “new” jobs -dictated by
the government. Perhaps most amazing, they cling to the
fading hopes of re-orienting the nation’s economy based on
the discredited premise of preventing climate change.

Their type of “command-and-control” governing suffers from
two fatal flaws that make it incompatible with a business-
friendly economy: it is grounded in the notion that
government creates jobs and wealth, and it relies on
raising taxes – on everybody.

The DFL proposals necessitate government picking economic
winners & losers to create a sustainable business climate.
This model is challenged very simply by asking the
following questions: Who has created more jobs, Nancy Pelosi
and Harry Reid, or Bill Gates and Fred Smith? And another
critical question: When did government identify the next
Steve Jobs or Sam Walton? Politicians cannot create the same
high-quality jobs as entrepreneurs and business owners.
Government has not picked out the next innovator or success
story, and it never will. In short, government is worthless
at picking winners & losers—but that is what the DFL's
agenda is.

The DFL proposals must raise taxes today to cover new
spending, and raise taxes tomorrow to cover new borrowing.
We can’t even afford the government we already have. There
is no possible way we can afford the government Democrats
want without reaching even deeper into our already pilfered
pockets. This threat suffocates any discussion of new
job growth.

Thankfully, there exists another path. By liberating
individuals and businesses from the burdens of government
and empowering them to create new growth, we can turn a
future of high taxes and deep deficits into one of new
prosperity and common good. We know that catchy slogans
fail to get the job done (remember Hope and Change?). Here
are three concrete steps for making Minnesota more

Reduce the regulatory burdens that weigh on expansion.
Environmentalists (the Copenhagen types) have an iron
grip on the state’s environmental and energy policies that
are choking the life out of our economy. Permits and
reviews drag on for months while other states finish them in
days or weeks, making us a less attractive place to start a
business. In good economic times these regulations made job
growth difficult. In tough economic times they make job
growth impossible.

End the pandemic of uncertainty. The risks of new income
taxes, hugely expensive cap-and-trade energy schemes, or
expensive new health care mandates are making expansion an
uncertain endeavor in this time of already tight margins.
Resisting these damaging policies will send the clear message
that we prioritize job creation in Minnesota and will free up
capital currently forced to the sidelines.

Balance the employer-employee relationship. In order for the
employer-employee relationship to be of mutual benefit, both
sides have to be on a level playing field. Transitioning to
a right-to-work state and resisting the call of more mandated
benefits will send potential job creators the message that
Minnesota welcomes their entrepreneurial spirit.

Instead of relying on tax increases, these three steps to job
growth rely on the government exercising fiscal restraint and
responsibility. This will accomplish two things. First, it
will prevent the government sprawl we have seen with its
involvement in banking, the auto industry and now health care.
Second, it will force government to run more efficiently,
reforming the programs that need change and jettisoning those
that are unnecessary. A more efficient delivery of government
services means less demand for higher taxes and tells
potential job creators that we would love to have them relocate
to our state.

Four months of the Speaker’s Jobs Task Force has produced
nothing that would encourage potential private sector job
providers. Instead, it has only served to heighten uncertainty
and concerns and exacerbated our job loss condition. We can
no longer afford to sit on our hands while jobs, people and
economic capital leave for warmer and more affordable
pastures. The time for real leadership and action is now.


Anonymous said...

While no thinking person would suggest that in a free market economic system it would expect from government to choose the next successful enterprise, the now traditionally accepted role of publicly funded and organized (using government as the facilitator} citizen education program could arguably been a necessary party to the success of Bill Gates and Fred Smith! As a former educator, I would suspect that Representative Buesgens would be aware of the contribution that government has to the success of entrepreneurs and provide their just due. Were there no discussions by the committee of how the higher education system of Minnesota could help foster the entrepenurial spirit? If there were none, shouldn't Representative Buesgens as a senior committe member have requested delving into the role of education to foster success for our state?

Bill Jungbauer said...

"Innovators and creative geniuses cannot be reared in schools. They are precisely the men who defy what the school has taught them." Ludwig von Mises

"The pseudo-liberals monopolize the teaching jobs at many universities. Only men who agree with them are appointed as teachers and instructors of the social sciences, and only textbooks supporting their ideas are used." Ludwig von Mises

"Government schools can go for decades delivering low-quality services, and what's the result? The people who manage it earn higher pay. It's nearly impossible to fire the incompetents. And, taxpayers, who support the service, are given higher tax bills." Walter E. Williams

I believe several things have been assumed in your comment, oh brave Anonymous. The first being that we live in a free market society. Our government, Minnesota's as well as that of our country's, is heavy on both regulation and taxing of businesses. The second being that our public education system is up to snuff. Why are we not keeping up with other countries? The liberals say we are not spending enough when a major portion of our state budget goes toward education.
Have you seen the Ben Stein movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed? Check this little Youtube video out,


It makes several points worth mulling over.

The third item that may be assumed in your comment is that Bill Gates and Fred Smith went to public schools. Did they? I don't know. Do you?

Anonymous said...

Please accept my apology, I will not resort to quoting learned men who have awesome governing experience. (I am rereading "The Great Crash 1929" and reminded how academics substantially contributed to the Great Depression by their incantations of the stock market always going up!) Alow me to use my own experience in small business, government and as a middle manager of a Fortune 500 company in composing my thoughts.
Both Mr. Gates and Mr. Smith attended universities that were created by their respective governments prior to any thought of a United States of America. May I also suggest that one of the more successful Minnesotans is a gentlemen named Harvey MacKay. His education was all public school, including the University of Minnesota (which was created prior to Minnesota becoming a state.)
I would be among the last Minnesotan to defend the current education experience that an inordinate number of children in our state have available. In the mid-1980s, educational innovations like "School Choice" (or as I like to call it: Public Voucher System) and "Post Secondary Enrollment Option" were created. (At the time there was a DFL Governor and DFL controlled Senate with a Republican controlled House.) These two ground-breaking innovations have been diluted over the years to be almost useless for a parent to try and take advantage of for their children.
In the early 1990s Minnesota was first to offer "Charter School" options and while there have been some failures, it appears that the DFL controlled legislature will again try to weaken the initiative.
My point is that without a solid educational system to produce citizens with the confidence and courage to take a chance on an idea or start a business, the liklihood of success for the society as a whole is diminished. And I do not believe it is the "heavy on both regulation and taxing of businesses" that is of primary concern when starting a business.
I have not checked in a few years, but the best predictor of success for a start-up business, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is the level of education of the owner. I think an important part of the educational experience is the people you meet while in the institutions of higher learning, particularly like minded risk takers and/or mentors (though not the case with Bill Gates-it was Paul Allen he befriended in a private Junior High School, I believe). And of course Fred Smith developed his plan for FedEx as a paper for a class at Yale.
Thank you for suggestion for Ben stein's offering. Have you seen the 2009 documentary "The War on Kids"? This is a view of education from a libertarian point of view. If you get a chance, take a view.

Bill Jungbauer said...

I admit I have been on a quote kick lately. I post one daily on Facebook.

Despite the fact that those I quoted have never held elected office, I must point out that Ludwig von Mises is a world-renowned economist of the Austrian school of economics.

Dr. Walter E. Williams has served on the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics, since 1980; from 1995 to 2001, he served as department chairman. He has also served on the faculties of Los Angeles City College, California State University Los Angeles, and Temple University in Philadelphia, and Grove City College, Grove City, Pa.

Recently, I have been reading a biography on Ben Franklin titled "The First American." I found it amusing to learn that he had little respect for institutions of higher learning, stating that he thought they did little more than turn out snobs rather than men of any great intellect or distinction. Franklin was a man almost totally self educated.

I do agree with you that a good education is important for success and I believe that our government has a history of screwing up everything they touch. No longer are our independent school districts independent, but rather controlled through mandates both at the state and federal levels.

We can take pride in the fact that students in Minnesota have higher test scores than most of the other fifty states. Despite this fact, we lag behind when compared to many other nations. We are not producing enough engineers for example, and the majority working in the US will soon be people from Asian nations.

Do we let the dems continue to squeeze every cent of taxes from us only to cater to the teachers union, Education Minnesota, when a large portion of our state budget, as well as that of our local property taxes and federal budget already goes to fund education? At present, over 40 of our 201 state legislators are teachers, only 5 of those 40 are Republicans. 20% of our legislators are employed in the field of education, yet it once was pointed out to me that none of them abstain from voting on education related bills. Why? Because the majority of those legislators owe their elected positions to the help and backing, given to them by the teachers union, Education Minnesota.

Representative Mark Buesgens, Republican, is a teacher with a BS in math and is a specialist in educational administration. I am sure he is aware of the importance of an education.

Did you watch the Youtube video I suggested featuring Sonja Schmidt?


The Dunbar School in Washington DC is a fine example of why our education system does not need more of our tax dollars. I think we need more accountability as parents. The socialist democrats want to pour more money down the drain funding more and more social programs, causing the majority of our society to rely on big government, rather than encouraging personal responsibility.

Bill Jungbauer said...

The message conveyed in Rep. Buesgens article is that of an unfriendly, repressive, anti business, atmosphere within our state. The overwhelmingly democrat majority of the "bipartisan" Minnesota House Jobs Task Force, where there was very little input from the business community, is proposing to continue down the same path they have been going for many years. That of higher taxes and "class warfare" propaganda. How often do we hear, "tax the rich?"

Between July 2008 and July 2009 Minnesota lost 17,200 jobs in the construction industries alone. Wisconsin 13,400 and Iowa 8,400. Take a look at North Dakota, only 900 lost and they have one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the nation. South Dakota added 600 construction jobs. There is no state income tax in SD.

It is easy for me to see that the more educated our business owners, the more likely they are to see that the grass really is greener across the border. Whether that border is a state border or that of our nation.

With the loss of businesses goes the loss of jobs. The same goes for jobs on an international basis. Have you followed the bidding process of oil contracts in Iraq? Very few are being awarded to American companies and high labor costs are one of the reasons stated.

I believe that Rep. Buesgens understands the business climate is in need of an overhaul in Minnesota. Lower taxes and less regulation, as well as a smaller, more limited government would do great wonders to encourage job growth in our state.

Thank you for suggesting "The War on Kids." I will keep an eye out for it.

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Great job demonstrating conclusively that high taxes and government regulation have caused the loss of so many Minnesota construction jobs! Let's suppose that you have been elected to serve with Representative Mark Buesgens in the Minnesota legislature. And your colleagues recognizing your expertise and experience appoint you to Chair two committees: the committee to oversee Iraqi oil contracts and the committee to spur construction employment in Minnesota. While the former committee is probably more specialized, your responsibility to spur job growth in the construction sector is of great importance. May I suggest three initiatives you could immediately push for?
1. When I built my house and some years later built an addition nearly the size of the original house I served as my own general contractor; abolish all requirments for general contractors to be licensed or bonded.
2. When I built my house there was no stinkin' building code; repeal the Minnesota Building Code and get rid of all the associated bureaucracy at the state and local levels.
3. Repeal the Prevailing Wage Act that applies to public buildings which would save at least tens of miillions in taxpayer construction costs and create many new jobs.
These new policies would reduce taxes and eliminate regulations thereby spurring investment and jobs in Minnesota.
Do you agree?