Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Profiles in Courage?

Profiles in Courage was one of the first political books I ever read.  It still sticks with me.  It's author was John F. Kennedy and allegedly a ghostwriter.  It is about lawmakers in the Senate who did the right thing for the country even though it was not a popular thing and they were willing to take the consequences.


I am thinking of this book as the New Mexico State Legislature begins to think about plummeting revenues and ways to quick fix the budget.  I believe they can not effectively deal with budget problems unless they are willing to endure sacrifice on their own part.  It is easy for them to say there should be an across the board cut of 2% on state salaries.  However the real issues of efficiencies are left on the cutting room floor.  Case in point (and I know I will take flack for this) is the bloated and unnecessary system of numerous branch colleges, institutions of higher learning, and duplicative administrations caused by this wasteful system.  Fewer branch colleges would mean better education in this day and age of the internet and modern transportation.  Legislators will never go down this road, or others like it, because it means losing patronage jobs in their own districts.  So they opt for other easy ways out like across the board salary cuts.  Meanwhile, tens of millions of dollars are wasted on these programs.  This is a perfect time for the heavy lifting to be done.  Just don't count on it from our wimpy legislators.

2 comments:

Charlie from Taos said...

Jim,

The UNM Taos Campus has been a great boon to this community. What started out as a certificate and two year program now offers post graduate degree programs. As a pilot program for the first 5 years this program offered access to UNM at greatly reduced rates; thus enabling people to enroll who (1) could not afford to otherwise and (2) could still live in Taos with their families and not incur the cost of a home away from home. I gotta disagree with you on this one. I don't believe ABQ is the center of the universe for NM.

Your Friend,

Charlie

Jim Baca said...

Who said any thing about ABQ being center of the universe Charlie? But you are proving my point about sacred cows.