ABQ Journal’s Insightful Editorial

Today’s Albuquerque Journal contains a very insightful editorial (subscription needed) about the way government operates.
The article discusses the US Conference of Mayors’ request for more federal spending on local police which the Journal points out is a core function of government. The editorial contrasted police, something cities should fund, with projects like Mayor Marty’s proposed streetcar, Tricentennial Towers, the car wash Bernalillo County wanted to buy for $500,000, or the Hiland Theater commissioners voted to purchase and spend $1.3 million on renovating.
Justifiably, the piece argued that this was a case of “municipal leaders ordering dessert first while expecting someone else to pay for the meat and potatoes later.”
The problems is not only a local one. Rather, it is exactly how governments at all levels tend to function. Politicians and bureaucrats like power, not necessarily because they are malicious although that is sometimes the case, but because they think they are the most competent stewards of resources (see the El Vado case). Unfortunately, this is not the case and instead, governments accrue power while the “boring” core areas of government like policing and road and bridge construction are left to rot while trolleys and Rail Runners flourish.
The only solution is a vigilant, well-informed population that constantly pushes back against empire-building government officials.