Winnipeg Looks at Indianapolis Model – July 27, 1998
On a sleepy summer day two weeks ago, Winnipeg's City Council quietly instructed its staff to prepare a report on the "Indianapolis Model" of managed competition. Can our elected officials break out of the box of old thinking?
Commanding Heights - The Problem With Central Planning – July 6, 1998
Not that long ago, centralized economies were all the rage. Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, said it best: "The idea of planning and a planned society is accepted now in varying degrees by everyone." He then led his country through a generation of economic stagnation
Sunny Lessons from Sunnyvale – June 29, 1998
From top to bottom, Sunnyvale's high-performance government has learned to evaluate every service its 750 employees perform. The results speak for themselves: high-quality services delivered at low cost to customers, financial stability and a satisfied electorate. All of this without cutting programs or eliminating staff.
Sweet And Sour Public Investments – June 15, 1998
Imaginative ideas often emerge from the messy system we call democracy, and it is sometimes politicians who provide the initial impulse for the creation of works of great public value. The problem is sustaining these projects after they take shape.
Making Cities Safe – June 8, 1998
The recent experience of some cities in reducing crime can reveal a lot about better ways to fight it. In New York, for instance, crime rates have fallen by half in just a few years. What accomplished this feat was aggressive community policing.
The Sky Is Not Falling – June 1, 1998
This spring, in New Delhi, a group called the Global Environment Facility, whose mandate is to "protect the earth", told a gathering of environmentalists from 161 member countries that its mission cannot be accomplished without more money. We don't take such issues seriously enough, they said.
A New Golden Age? – May 18, 1998
Are we in a Golden Age right now? A recent spate of "good news" statistics points to an affirmative answer.
Speeding Up The Rails – May 11, 1998
The railroads' poor performance in transporting Prairie farmers' grain to ocean terminals is chronic and well documented. Private ownership, as demonstrated in Britain, offers a light at the end of this tunnel.
Enlightened Unionism – April 27, 1998
Two years ago at a conference on local government reform, I met Stephan Fantauzzo, a union leader who represents municipal workers in the City of Indianapolis.
Creating Wealth Through Property Tax Cuts – April 13, 1998
When Michigan ended school property tax, house prices shot up.
Welfare Reform Works In Wisconsin – April 13, 1998
In Wisconsin, attaching the handouts to a work requirement has benefitted everyone.
Lessons From The Dismal Science – March 23, 1998
The world recently lost two great minds in the field: Julian Simon and Mancur Olson. These two men had profound knowledge of the field of economics.
Why Charter Schools Are Coming – March 23, 1998
A bright man with a vibrant message bounced through Winnipeg last week, and moved our community a few steps closer to breaking out of our public school malaise.
No Free Lunches – March 16, 1998
A famous economist once said: "There is no such thing as a free lunch". He was right. So beware of elected officials who skirt the sad results of excessive property taxation by offering high profile "freebies". It's another reason your house in Winnipeg suffers from the lowest property values in Canada.
Fixing Winnipeg's Urban Sprawl – March 2, 1998
People can escape paying their share by moving to lower-tax communities just outside the perimeter: they simply work and consume services in Winnipeg without paying for them. As the city's population falls, capital and operating costs are spread over fewer people. Taxes must then go up, but this stimulates even more flight to the exurbs. And so on.
Trash In, Trash Out - Saskatchewan Shows Better Way On Recycling – February 23, 1998
The environmental movement scores its biggest coups when it takes positions based on common sense.
Recycling: To Centralize Or Decentralize? – February 23, 1998
With all of the programs sprouting up that deal with recycling, the most obvious solution is to leave the means of recycling to the private sector.
Keeping Manitoba Hydro Small – February 23, 1998
What's up at Manitoba Hydro? Judging from recent changes in the legislation that governs this Crown jewel, not enough.
Unlocking the Job Market – February 16, 1998
The keys to reducing Canada's persistently high unemployment rate continue to evade our politicians, but 1997 job statistics for the United States point to some answers.
Don't Panic About Proposed Bank Mergers – February 9, 1998
Panic over the intended merger of the Bank of Montreal and the Royal Bank might have made sense a few decades ago. But times have changed.