A few days ago we posted a blog here in which we presented a reference to public spending by the mayor. The important words in the quote are as follows: "...Indianapolis has simply not had the resources to properly invest in the infrastructure our residents deserve." (Our emphasis.)
The "infrastructure" being referenced here happens to be street surfaces, a vital part of public facilities which are the responsibility of government. We think the mayor is being something less than accurate with these words. In an effort to clarify the situation, we propose a new word.
The word is "extrastructure."
We use the substitution of "extra" with its full meaning - more than is needed. And we’ll use an example we think demonstrates that concept. We play golf and buy golf balls whenever possible on sale. (The loss rate is pretty high!) We won’t pay $4 per ball when we can get them for less then $2. The $4 ball may well be a "better" ball but it comes no where near being a requirement for the average player. Nor do we believe that our neighbor should help pay for it, at any price!
Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been invested in "extrastructure" in Indianapolis, specifically including the outrageous numbers of tax dollars committed to subsidy of professional sports franchises. How about a movable stadium roof as a super extrastructure? We seem to remember the figure of $50 million being tossed about as the additional cost of that item.
We believe the funding of hundreds (thousands?) of new automobile parking spaces while simultaneously predicting thousands of riders on a very expensive transit system constitutes an exercise in the extrastructure approach to deplorable financial management.
Mr. Mayor, the resources were always here. The fact is that the leadership of the city - the overtly political and the less political but immensely influential parts of the business community - made the determination that "extrastructure" was the best way to spend those resources. And, of course, it was always justified by predicted fantastic "economic activity."
While particular types of business have undoubtedly prospered, the mayor is correct when he says, "...the financial condition of our city from the past few decades has been deplorable..."
Deplorable? Yes. Necessary? No. Current policies should be continued?
Do we really have to answer that one???