Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Business Theory Sweeping New Albany

I have heard people in the past say "why can't we run the government like a business?" I have even whispered those words myself. Well the truth is that businesses get competitive bids on projects and follow budgets, and local governments do not. How about businesses being run like a geovernment? A grand idea I had while reading about Indiana's failure to properly address the property tax fiasco that has plagued Hoosiers for far too long. It works something like this - say you run a small business in New Albany and for argument's sake, we'll say it is a brew pub. You decide to try out this very modern and progressive new business style. You start by charging customers according to their income. Sounds fair so far. So the well off patron, you can tell he is well off by the little alligator on his shirt, gets charged ten bucks a pint. Hey, he can afford it you know. Now the middle income guy, the hard working Carhart jacket fellow, gets charged three dollars a pint. You still with me? Finally, the low income or no income person gets their pint for free. What a plan. Now after a week or two, the atmosphere of the place really starts to change. The well off fellow isn't coming around anymore. He is at home brewing his own or maybe thinking of starting his own pub. The middle income guy still stops by for his usual one or two. But, the place is crawling with lower income folks. Hey, nothing wrong with that. Everyone deserves a great pint now and then, right? You might think this place would be going under in a hurry with no income from the majority of the patrons. AHA - you didn't consider that the government pays the establishment four bucks for every pint that is consumed by the lower income segment and even pays these people another fifty cents a pint to drink it. Now who pays actual tab? You guessed it, the well off guy who sit at home with a Milwaukee's Best wondering what went wrong.

Man I love this country.