Archived Story

Alabamians should demand better

Published 11:00pm Friday, February 1, 2013

A recent report came out that showed that Alabama’s economy was the worst in the Southeast and in the bottom five for the country. (http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2012/10/alabamas_economy_is_the_worst.html)

Nothing to be proud of if I might say so,. This deals with the years 1992-2012, so this report is very recent and covers the vast majority of my life. A few months before CNBC ranked Alabama as the 41st best state to do business in. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/100000994/Top_States_2011_Overall_Rankings) Another notch for our future I would call this. Forbes had a list in December that had Alabama as the 40th best state for business.

A trend should be emerging by now. Our state government is talking about wanting to grow the economy but for decades now which is all but sevven years of my life they have been doing a poor job at growing and improving the economic conditions in Alabama.

I agree it is important to stand up to overreach by the federal government and anyone who knows me knows I speak out and rant on this a lot and applaud those who help a long in this very important fight. But would it not be better to spearhead this fight and also to improve and grow our economy a long the way? After all a strong vibrant economy that is booming, that maintains freedoms granted by the Constitution, would be a much stronger bulwark against government overreach than just words and a few legislative actions. We could have all three and deserve all three.

If I could shape the actions of the state govenment I would do three things to attack and make Alabama a better place to invest and grow businesses.

First I would make a strong push to improve math and science educations through Alabama k-12. It would be an area of interest. At the college level and in the business world we always hear that not enough Americans are going into the STEM fields.

At the state level I would offer reduced tuition to student willing to go into STEM fields and at least maintain a 2.75 average. (The rate of reduction would have to be determined as to what the state budget can allow and maintain even during the bad years.) I would also push the trade and technical schools. This country is facing a lack of skilled workers. These jobs often provide a quick way into the middle class and companies follow to where they are located. Our technical schools are great and can be an even greater asset to our state than they are now.

Finally I would ask that all people hold their politicians feet to the fire but to be reasonable about it. Compromises have to be made and we live in a fallen world. We can create our ideal and any idea that assumes that man only acts one way and perfectly should be discarded. Government should realize that human nature is complex and varied and instead of seeking to shape human behavior to how they see fit they should allow humans to act as humans do, and let civic institutions regulate behavior and create better citizens, create place that rights are protected and infringements upon rights are punished and are illegal.

As a people we should and can do better for our state and we should expect that reprentatives perform with wisdom and far sight.

Here is a good website to check out your representatives state, federal, and local- http://votesmart.org/.

Bart Wallace

Troy

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