September 4, 2011

WHICH IS WHY THE US WILL DEVOLVE INTO MULTIPLE AMERICAS:

When Civic Mergers Don't Save Money (CONOR DOUGHERTY, 8/29/11, WSJ)

Governors and lawmakers across the U.S., looking to trim the costs of local government, are prodding school districts, townships and other entities to combine into bigger jurisdictions. But a number of studies--and evidence from past consolidations--suggest such mergers rarely save money, and in many cases, they end up raising costs.

Economists who have studied the issue say there are a number of reasons why several small governments can end up costing less than a single larger government. For starters, small governments tend to have fewer professional--and higher-paid--employees, such as lawyers. Studies show small governments generally rely more on part-time workers, who receive fewer long-term benefits such as pensions and health-care coverage.

Another reason: When small governments merge, they often "harmonize" services and employee benefits to the highest level among the combining units. In other words, the consolidated city finds it politically expedient to take on the more-expensive version of everything. Employees at the city with lower wages get raises and residents of the city with fewer services get more.


Our successful liberal democratic peers tend to have fewer than 40 million citizens. We're not going to have 500 million in one governmental unit.


Posted by at September 4, 2011 8:49 AM
  

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