Two pieces by Quin Hillyer at Yellowhammer News;

Alabama needs ‘local option’ government

In my opening column for the new and improved Yellowhammer News, one of my paragraphs made this assertion:

Alabama’s government is far too centralized rather than open to local innovations, which makes it both ossified and much more easily corruptible. It also allows a small number of groups – often known as the “Big Mules” – to wield inordinate power. Now, sometimes they happen to wield it for good purposes. But if they don’t, they should be taken down a peg or two hundred.

Here’s a thumbnail version of what I mean:

A primary foundation of American political theory and, in a parallel fashion, of Christian (especially but far from exclusively Catholic) social thought, is the principle that most matters of public import ought to be handled at the most local practicable level. In political theory, that’s the assumption underlying the principle of “federalism,” and the parallel religious principle is known as “subsidiarity.”

Yet in Alabama, we turn that principle on its head. Here, we concentrate power at the state level while denying small jurisdictions much of the authority of local decision-making….

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Alabama’s government needs more money

Unless and until shown otherwise with actual facts and details, this column will make the case that much of Alabama government is underfunded.

Even to type that sentence above is to subject myself to an extreme fingernails-across-chalkboard sensation, because I’m a hardline fiscal conservative and, personally, a proud skinflint in many situations. Still, facts always must trump ideology. The very abbreviated version of an overflowing bushel of facts goes like this:

First, new reports show that Alabama actually spends less (inflation-adjusted) per child on education now than it did in 2006, and particularly less on actual teaching expenses rather than on transportation or “other” expenses. ….

 

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