Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Another Fox Guarding the Hen House in Indianapolis

Last night Monroe Gray was elected president of the Indianapolis City County Council. Gray is also a division chief with the Indianapolis Fire Department.

In other words, he's a government employee who is supposedly the people's watch dog over government employees. This is the proverbial fox guarding the hen house.

This is happening at an alarming rate in Indiana. A large number of elected officials in Indiana are employed by government - as teachers, administrators, fire fighters, police officers, etc. The number is even larger when you add their spouses to the mix. Obviously, they have every incentive in the world to preserve their government jobs and expand their departments. They have every reason in the world to think government is the answer, when government is their personal answer to a livelihood.

You should all find the following disturbing - Robert Garton, the President Pro Tempore of the Indiana Senate, and arguably one of the top three most politically powerful men in Indiana, is employed by Ivy Tech State College. Pat Bauer, the Indiana House minority leader and arguably the most powerful Democrat in Indiana, is also employed by Ivy Tech State College. Ivy Tech is a government school, like Indiana University and Ball State University.

As you can expect, government makes it much easier for their employees to serve in government than businesses do. Government doesn't wince when their employees take off all day to go to hearings. Businesses can't afford to have that happen - they can't survive if they don't make money to pay their employees. Of course, government just raises the tax rate to pay for the teachers, fire fighters, etc. who take off to go to their governmental hearings.

As Libertarians, we must do a better job of pointing this out to the voters. I think if the numbers of times this is happening finally gets out to the voters, they will revolt at the polls and vote many of these government employees out of their second governmental job.


Mike Kole said...

It's not too late, Mark. We can insist that Gray recuse himself from all votes that affect the Fire Department in Indianapolis.

It would be the ethical thing to do, and as we can see from the Democrats nationally, being ethical is verrrry important to them, so we know he'll do the right thing.

Marti said...

Recuse himself? Did Sherron Franklin or Lincoln Plowman recuse themselves from the police consolidation vote?

Your rant reminds me of how many people complain about "the kids today," like they somehow got here without help. The schools shouldn't be accountable for a child's behavior. In the same vein, if you don't like government employees being involved in political positions... then don't vote for them! Obviously the problem lies in the electorate. Government officials are only as good as the voters who put them in office.