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Local government can be responsive to people's needs

It is always fun to read good news like the news reported in the Jan. 25 Tribune concerning all the profit the Detroit Lakes Liquor Store and Public Utilities is making. The fact that this money is being used to bring down our property taxes and fund worthwhile charities makes the story even better.

What puzzles me is how the vast majority of our local political community seems to consider this a very good thing. When I listen to the election year rhetoric many pundits would consider this type of city involvement a horrible situation for the citizens of Detroit Lakes. You may ask why it is that bringing down our taxes, creating well paid jobs with good benefits, and contributing to those groups that improve our local culture is a bad thing. I don't necessarily agree with these reasons but this is how I interpret them.

1.) If the city owns a business that is a form of Socialism and everyone knows that Socialism is a bad thing.

2.) Even though the Liquor store has the 3rd highest profit in the state and the Public Utility costs are significantly lower than all the private companies around us, everyone knows that the Government can't provide service and products as well as privately run businesses.

3.) Everyone knows that if these businesses were run privately, the profits would be used to create more jobs. One person would take all the profits and would then trickle these profits down to create many minimum wage jobs and they would pay more taxes (unless, of course, they didn't make enough money to own property).

4.) All the people hired by the city are unionized and everyone knows that union labor makes everything more expensive. Everyone knows that people who belong to unions are unreasonable people because they want things like a living wage and health and retirement benefits. This means there is no way to make a profit (even though they actually have for years) and someday we will all be sorry.

5.) Everyone knows that politicians that run our government are not to be trusted and will eventually become corrupt and take advantage of this public money.

A lot of people over the past few years have tended to take a narrow view of what government does and consider everything about government to be bad. This newspaper article not only shows that our government can be responsive to people's needs but can also make our lives easier and less expensive. It is important to remember that government employees are our neighbors and friends doing jobs that are every much as important as you view your own job. -- Donald Johnson, Detroit Lakes