North Dakota Should Vote No On Measures 1 And 2
I see today that the Bismarck Tribune has lent it’s endorsement to both ballot measures 1 and 2 which will be put before North Dakota voters in November. Allow me to take the opposing view. North Dakota should vote down both measures, as both are big-government policies that will result in a poorer, less-free North Dakota.
This measure would create a trust fund with taxes collected from the state’s oil industry. The balance in the fun would be allowed to accumulate, and eventually legislators would be able to spend it but only with a super-majority vote.
The proponents of this measure talk a great deal about fiscal responsibility and the need for the state to save for the future. Right or wrong, over the last decade we’ve seen the size of our state government double. Spending has gone up almost 100% over the last eight years alone, and unfortunately a lot of that growth in government hasn’t taken place in the areas most needed (western infrastructure, for instance, which is vitally needed to facilitate the on-going oil boom). Since we all know that eventually North Dakota’s oil boom will either plateau or begin a decline (nothing lasts forever) the idea here is that we’ll lock more money in government so that there is a funding reserve available to maintain the current size of government and future growth.
Basically, instead of using the state’s time of fiscal prosperity to facilitate future private sector growth by reducing the burden of government we’d be locking more money away in government to facilitate future growth in government. Which is exactly why groups like the NDEA, the state teachers union, are 100% behind it.
I’ve never known the NDEA to support anything that doesn’t result in bigger, more burdensome government.
I was actually a bit surprised to see the Tribune back this one. Having written about this measure int he past, and spoken about it on the radio, the reaction I’ve gotten has been overwhelmingly against this measure which would ban the practice of establishing private game preserves for deer and elk hunting (buffalo and pheasant preserves would be, oddly enough, unaffected). Most of the citizens and sportsmen/women I’ve spoken to feel that this would be an affront to property rights and a blow to sport hunting in general.
The Tribune notes that the state often takes action preserve certain ways of life. Case in point, the state’s ban on corporate farming which supposedly protects the family farm way of life.
This is arrogant and illogical. A “way of life” should be something people choose. Banning free decisions, be it corporate farming or establishing a game preserve on your property, is the antithesis allowing people to choose. These bans don’t promote a “way of life.” They mandate a “way of life.” If family farms were truly important to people (not to mention economically viable) then they would continue to exist. That we have to have a law mandating their existence by outlawing the alternative means that outside the nostalgia for family farms(mostly held by people who don’t, you know, farm nobody really cares about them.
The same goes with hunting preserves. If sportsmen and women weren’t interested in fenced hunting there would be no preserves in existence to service that demand.
I’m for free choices. The Tribune is, apparently, for government-mandated “ways of life.”Tags: bismarck tribune, election 2010, fenced hunting, legacy fund, North Dakota News