Readers Write (April 30): Government, childcare unions, Hopkins protest

  • Updated: April 29, 2013 - 8:49 PM

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Just how much is it like an investment?

It is interesting that Scott Honour believes that being a venture capitalist is somehow comparable to running a state government (“Republican Honour enters governor’s race,” April 25). I have been handed a substantial check by a venture-capitalist group and never got the impression that these were people I wanted running anything.

Venture capitalists tend to be some very wealthy people looking for easy profits by buying into companies they believe will succeed. They’re looking to grab a share of the profits by doing nothing but being rich. This seems quite close to Mitt Romney’s philosophy, and I thought the nation pretty soundly rejected that. I just do not believe that venture capitalism is something that I want the government practicing.

Wayne Sather, Eagan

• • •

It amazes me, given the expanding size of the public sector, that we have never had a system to evaluate the effectiveness of government performance that is meaningful and understandable to the taxpayer. This reminds me of the CEO who once said half of his advertising was wasted but did not know which half.

Since then, better measurements for testing advertising effectiveness have been developed. We can develop a system of evaluating government performance. Though the federal government and many states and localities mandate performance evaluation, few if any of these assessments are meaningful or very good.

The reason is that most performance management is measured by the agencies themselves and has much political and bureaucratic interference. The best evaluation systems have reliable and valid measurements; operate in a nonpartisan, fair and objective manner, and report the results in a format that is easy to understand.

Even agencies that have much independence and do a good job of monitoring government performance such as the U.S. Government Accountability Office and Minnesota Legislative Auditor’s Office have limitations.

There are three players who don’t want an independent, meaningful and reliable system of government performance evaluation. Politicians and bureaucrats worry about job security. Special interests want to receive more than they give.

Lynn Bracegirdle, Eagan

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Workers mobilize because it helps

If licensed day-care providers don’t organize, they will continue in the rut they are in — not having an effective advocate (“A wrongheaded push to unionize day care,” editorial, April 28).

There is a reason why registered nurses, building trades craftsmen, teachers and others, including some employees of the Star Tribune, make more than double a licensed day-care provider with human life responsibilities no greater. They are organized. They have representation.

If there is some other way for them to create an effective democratic collective voice, I’m all ears.

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