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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, January 31, 2016 10:57 pm


Daniels doing for IPFW as he did for public schools

The doctors diagnosing the growing pains of IPFW should note that emergency surgery is not needed as former Gov. Mitch Daniels would prescribe. Daniels has already damaged our public college system beyond the conflicted way he became president of Purdue. He deftly has used his high positions to undermine the public or common good in Indiana education.

During Daniels’ tenure, labor education at the university level was targeted as he slammed the political brakes on anything to do with unions. Recall that the first action he took as governor was the rescinding of long-standing executive orders that enabled state employees to have negotiated workplace protections. At IPFW, a national leading community union education program was targeted for retirement rather than being expanded across the state public education system.

IPFW is being set up for failure, just like high school education was set up to favor private education with an "A" grade while struggling public schools and their teachers were bashed with low ratings. Daniels has the Midas touch of chaos, and he is injecting IPFW with a sickening dose of corporatism that will kill public school spirit.



Ignoring people’s voice resulted in Flint crisis

The appalling lack of action taken in Flint, Michigan, regarding the toxic water supply is an egregious example of how lawmakers in the United States simply don’t care about the safety and health of poor people.

The mayor of Flint, Karen Weaver, has stated that Flint is "a minority community" and a "poor community"; the town consists of a population with many black citizens and many who are in poverty. In other words, the community isn’t very affluent and isn’t a high priority for the Michigan government. That is, until their outcry for clean water gained them the national spotlight.

Citizens have been subject to unsafe water for two years, when the Flint water supply was redirected from Lake Huron to the Flint River in a cheap effort to be more financially resourceful. Instead, it only supplied inhabitants with water containing high levels of lead, which is especially detrimental to the developing brains of children and adolescents. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality received numerous calls and pleas to protect the city’s health (which could easily have been done), but instead let the problem grow worse by their neglect.

Now, instead of treating the river for $100 a day, solving the crisis will take $1.5 billion – minimum. Now, an issue that could have been bypassed altogether has caused the area to deteriorate into a state of emergency. The governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, addressed the crisis in a large portion of his State of the State address, but apologizing just isn’t enough. Snyder’s pathetic refusal to address the disaster for two years has caused both a demolition of public faith in government and a major health struggle.

The lives and futures of thousands of children are at stake because of Snyder’s faulty leadership, children who aren’t seen as people because they come from disadvantaged homes. Once again, apology isn’t enough. Change is necessary – not only in Flint’s hazardous water supply but in government infrastructure itself. It’s the social contract upon which this country was founded; people must put their faith into figures they trust and, in return, their voices and rights will be protected. It’s not a one-way deal. It’s not enough for the people’s voice merely to exist. It must be heard.



Economic development best led by government

Economic development is driven in part by a strong business climate in a region that includes a competitive (low) tax climate. However, economic development in its various forms of association, organization and governance should not be the one with its foot on the tax and fiscal policy pedal. This delicate and deliberative balancing act should be left to our elected state and local officials who can collectively and representatively navigate us in a better direction.