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I got excited when I saw this line at the top of a Michigan government page

Public input also to be sought on what services state government should provide. 

Governor Granholm, in her 2009 State of the State address  charged Lt. Governor John D. Cherry with the task of determining how the state might improve its services and reduce its burden on taxpayers.  In response, Cherry and a workgroup convened for the streamlining task have returned the following seven core functions of state government.

–  Public safety. Protecting people’s personal safety is paramount.  People should feel safe in their homes, workplaces and communities.
–  Education. From early childhood through all stages of adulthood, Michigan citizens expect a public education system to provide them the skills and abilities necessary for good jobs.
–  Public systems. State government, in partnership with federal and local government, should build and maintain a physical infrastructure that supports public transportation, water and waste management systems, public utilities, information technology, public recreation and other public facilities.
–  Well-being. People should be free from hunger and have access to medical care and safe shelter.
–  Sustainability. State government should steward Michigan’s land, air, ecosystems and water resources in a sustainable manner.
–  Economic opportunity and prosperity. The state should encourage job creation, stimulate entrepreneurship and promote the state’s existing and emerging industries.
–  Efficiency and effectiveness. State government should be efficient, deliver services effectively, and be transparent in decision-making and spending.

You started off well Mr. Lt. Governor.  Government oversight of law, education, and transport systems such as roads goes far toward promoting well-being and economic growth.  Look to privatization to help you economize in regards to education.

 Sustainability, economic opportunity and prosperity are better left to the free market.  It is not the government’s job to create jobs or combat scarcity, that is the role of the market.  The best thing the government can do in respect to the market is to refrain.  Reduce taxes, refuse to subsidize, fight involuntary unionism, and promote the first three items on your list.  As for well-being and government efficiency and effectiveness, those will follow from a healthy market and a government focused on a few critical tasks.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has a wonderful article specifically detailing how the government should promote economic growth.

Adam Rule – MCPP Intern


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