Consider this …
“(T)he machinery of state government” must come to the aid of a Pennsylvania dairy industry struggling to survive, a Post-Gazette editorial urged.
“The state should oversee efforts to find new buyers and keep the farms operating, making use of the incentives routinely offered to attract new companies to Pennsylvania,” the P-G opined.
But neither should be an acceptable function of the state.
Continued the editorial:
“The state should work to make dairy operations and other agricultural enterprises more stable and competitive so that they are able to embrace technology, operate more efficiently, diversify into new markets and weather market forces outside their control.”
But none of those things is a function of “The State,” either.
It is “The State” itself that has done so much to destabilize the dairy industry and make it uncompetitive. Think of “price floors” that, in actuality, subsidize the over-production of milk that begets a glut that beget depressed prices that beget continual calls for subsidies.
Another government intervention? The only purpose that would serve would be to cover up the lie of the last failed intervention. Such failure, of course, is pre-determined by basic economics. Sadly, government never seems to learn this lesson.
The far better thing for Pennsylvania milk producers would be to have “the machinery of government” (that some so pine for to help it) dismantled. For government “beneficence” truly is an oxymoron.
The marketplace is speaking, quite loudly. It’s long past time for Pennsylvania government – and dairy farmers — to listen to what it’s shouting.
A Tribune-Review editorial makes the excellent – but long forgotten point – regarding those ever-rising tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and a lawsuit by a group of truckers claiming the state’s Act 44 is patently illegal.
The 2007 law allows the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to shake down the Turnpike Commission for billions of dollars over 50 years to fund PennDOT projects, some of the highest dubiety.
To cover the shakedown payments, the Turnpike Commission is in the midst of a program of regular annual toll hikes.
But as the Trib reminds, federal law expressly prohibits such transfers. That point was made crystal clear in 2010 when the commonwealth sought to toll Interstate 80 across Pennsylvania’s northern tier.
Simply put, highway toll money can be spent only on the toll road from which it is collected.
If this same behavior were employed in non-government sectors, the state Attorney General’s Office, if not the U.S. Justice Department, would be charging such “actors” with a litany of crimes.
As Greater Pittsburgh’s population continues to slide, another P-G editorial urges “real outreach” to reverse the trend. But there’s an elephant in the editorial, so to speak.
While the editorial touts the efforts of The Pittsburgh Promise to attract Latino immigrants to the city, it neither dissects the many problems of a scholarship program that dumbs-down the concept of rigor – loosey-goosey academic standards are not a recipe for excellence –nor broaches the many manifest failings of Pittsburgh Public Schools.
“Pittsburgh should run recruitment campaigns in the 20 or 30 biggest U.S. metro areas,” the editorial concludes. “If the city has jobs, people should hear about them. It’s time to start renting more billboards.”
But consider this:
A far better, and long overdue step, would be for the city to look inward after looking in the mirror and stop putting new shades of lipstick on the pig – and that elephant.
Colin McNickle is a senior fellow and media specialist at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (firstname.lastname@example.org).