What about the current stand-off in North Dakota over an oil pipeline? According to an Associated Press report, "the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile project would carry nearly a half-million barrels of crude oil daily from North Dakota's oil fields through South Dakota and Iowa to an existing pipeline in Patoka, Illinois, where shippers can access Midwest and Gulf Coast markets.
Announced in 2014, supporters said the pipeline would create more markets and reduce truck and oil train traffic — the latter of which has been a growing concern after a spate of fiery derailments of ...
Huge factory farm operations called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are growing in number. The advocates for CAFOs claim they are a necessary, more efficient way to produce cheap food. But is this true? Are there economical alternatives to industrial agriculture?
Opponents to CAFOs, backed up by a growing body of research, say there are better ways to economically raise meat. CAFOs are not the inevitable result of market forces. Alternative production methods can be economically efficient and technologically sophisticated, and can deliver abundant animal ...
Did outsourcing the custodians and groundskeepers at University of Wisconsin-Superior save the university money? Are the taxpayers better off?
As discussed in a prior article, say savings most likely came from the contractor paying less in wages and benefits. Cost reduction came on the backs of the workers and the local Superior economy. Was it worth it?
Does contracting-out save money?
Critics of outsourcing government activities say often there are no actual cost savings to taxpayers. Many studies have shown that contracting-out ultimately costs more.
In May of 2014, the University of Wisconsin at Superior announced plans to outsource the campus custodians and grounds keepers as part of budget cutting plans. Throughout 2014 controversy raged about the necessity and wisdom of this action. In the end 27 people were laid off and their jobs were contracted out to a private, out-of-state company. What has been the impact of this action one year later? What happened to the laid off workers? What kind of jobs does the contractor offer? Did taxpayers save money? What has been the impact on Superior and the local ...
Three Cheers for Public Services
When people woke up this morning our guess is that they paid little attention to their tax dollars hard at work. Every morning, we shower, brush our teeth and make our coffee with clean drinking water provided by our local government with public employees.
Then hard working public workers leave their families early in the morning to plow our streets and highways so that we can get to work. Our tax dollars are hard at work. Public services work for our communities at a fair and reasonable cost.
However, if our public services were ...