Tanked

By AL DIAMON  |  March 17, 2010

To make certain his report contains the latest innovations in government-correcting devices, Caron — the owner of a think tank that's been hired by another think tank to update the work of a third think tank — has called in a Minnesota-based think tank, Public Strategies Group, to help him come up with some offbeat ideas. Of which Public Strategies probably has plenty, since its senior partner, David Osborne, was instrumental in helping Al Gore reinvent government.

Among the possibilities Caron and Osborne are throwing at the tank walls to see if they stick are these gems:

CHARTER STATE REGULATORY AGENCIES They're like charter schools, operating under fewer rules and regulations, which means they can arbitrarily reject applications from citizens and businesses in far less time. I think this is what Envision Maine is talking about on its Web site, when it mentions a "Post-Bureacratic (sic) Model of Government," but that could just be one where spelling doesn't count.

UNICAMERAL LEGISLATURE With only one chamber to contend with, stupid bills (let's regulate wine tastings) can be turned into inane laws (stores must hire armed guards empowered to shoot any child who observes an adult drinking alcohol) much more efficiently.

SETTING LONG-TERM BUDGET PRIORITIES If by long-term, Caron means longer than it takes the latest revenue projections to become outdated (usually measured in nanoseconds), who can argue with that? It would be great to have budgets that lasted a couple of weeks or even a month.

If you believe think-tank ideas like these will solve Maine's problems, you're a candidate for a tank of your own.

The drunk tank.

Spout off, guppy breath, by e-mailing me at aldiamon@herniahill.net.

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