You get what you pay for
|By Kyle Melinn|
You get what you pay for
I guess I figured I’d save a couple of cents. I don’t know what I was thinking.
A few months ago, I bought that paper-thin, sandpaper-soft, public restroom-quality generic toilet paper. Never again.
There’s a list inside my head of those things I’ll spend a little more for. T.P. was added to that list. Here are a few other annoyances.
The state Department of Natural Resources has been shutting down campgrounds in the middle of the summer. I’m still seeing water bottles thrown in the trash while carbonated water bottles are picked up for the 10-cent deposit.
Somewhere in Lansing, there are plans to address this short list of annoyances. A stable road funding formula. Free college tuition. Open campgrounds. A bottle bill expansion. A proper number of case workers for wards of the state.
These aren’t wild ideas. There’s solid support for each proposal. Put them all on the ballot, and they all could pass. But getting any of them through the House, Senate and governor’s office?
You’d have a better chance floating a dinghy through the Bermuda Triangle.
Throw a tax increase into the room and shutting down government becomes a realistic option.
Last year, 23 Michigan counties turned paved roads into gravel because they didn’t have the money to repave them. The news lured in a Hollywood-productioncompany to use our third-word roads as an example of the country’s crumbling infrastructure. That’s not acceptable.
A bipartisan gubernatorial work group reported last year that changing the state’s 19-centa-gallon gas tax to a percentagebased system will keep Michigan from losing its federal road money in 2011. Let’s do it.
A study by the nonpartisan organization Michigan Future recently showed that Michigan will become among the nation’s 10 poorest states because it doesn’t have a young, educated workforce to make up for the manufacturing jobs that are drip, drip, dripping away. That’s not acceptable.
Better parks could come from a proposal to create an optional $10 fee on annual vehicle tag renewals, something Warren and Sen. Patty Birkholz is pushing. Sign me up
An expanded bottle bill means paying 10 cents today with the promise of getting 10 cents tomorrow if you pick up after yourself. The Michigan United Conservation Clubs is on it. It’s an idea that’s about a decade overdue.
(Kyle Melinn is the editor at the MIRS newsletter. His column runs weekly. Write firstname.lastname@example.org.)