Tales From Normal, Mn.--FICTION

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Tales from Normal, Mn. Headline News---FICTION

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dateline Normal: "Why Debt Comes First"; Thinking Green:---FICTION

(Ed. note: This is one of a long series of tales from a land up in northern Minnesota.....a land of fiction.....but other than that.....it is a lot like our own. Enjoy. )

Recently, after watching just one too many videos of the Plunkett Raysich study, I took a long drive. It was spring. I needed a break in the schedule. To fish. To play a little tennis. So I headed up Hwy 10 north of the Twin Cities to Normal, Mn.

On the long drive, I kept thinking of all those charts of the consultants----the ones that showed that even though locals were not increasing their birth rate.....it was those folks from out of town that kept coming.....and coming....and coming....and they were the ones we were building the schools for. We needed to get ready and incur some debt for them. Why I wondered.

So, I just blurted it out to Herman: "Why would the debt come first Herman? I just do not understand.

Herman just let our a huge bellylaugh. "You are just too busy, Wolfman. (that's what he always called me. It is real simple. The debt always comes first when a revolution happens. Always."

"Whatever do you mean, " I asked.

Herman went on: " In a community where there is a broad section of ages, folks stay in their homes till they die. It is real stable. Real diverse. Real stable."

"Exactly." I said. That is what Evansville is all about. A diverse age range that makes life interesting."

Then Herman said; "The problem is that those old folks pay a small fee for property tax compared to what a young couple would pay with two kids. Two kids would be worth $16,000 of revenue to a school district. Thus, it motivates a sophisticated leader, to add debt, big time....and force seniors out of their homes with higher taxes so younger folks can move to town. It is called in planning documents "recycling the housing stock."

"It sounds pretty "green," but it is terrible news for seniors," I said.

Herman mused, " I guess debt is a form of security for a long career. Nothing is more threatening to a career than a stable community. And lots of seniors. They just got to move on to keep the enrollment up. "

"That's pretty cynical Herman, " I replied. "Do you mean to say that the reason to incur the debt is to keep the enconmy moving by moving the seniors out of their homes?

"Yup," Herman replied. That is what all that "Applied Population gismo" is all about.

It was a long trip back home. Thank goodness I am back in good old Wisconsin. Where we do not believe in any of that debt first and then enrollment growth. Where we believe in a diverse community of all age groups. Where we resist sophisticated plans to divide and conquer.

Alleluia.
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