Build It And They Will…..Leave?

From metro suburbs to small rural school districts the dysfunctional Keynesian idea that the mere spending of taxpayer money will prompt growth and draw people to one's community, as taught by statist economics professors in Christian colleges and state universities alike, across America has wreaked financial havoc and oppression on small families, the elderly and often the most productive members of the community. 

Poory educated proponents also often promote the theme from the Hollywood movie "Field of Dreams", truly believing the mystical images of people from the past walking out of an Iowa cornfield and a young family financially risking everything, will result in miles and miles of cars filled with people wanting to fulfill their dreams, will do so in their community.  Those who saw the movie know this is where the irrational, emotive moniker "Build It and They Will Come" originated.

The bitter pill that many realize, well after their 'buyer's remorse' sets in, is that not only did "they" not come but more and more leave!

It usually starts with the Superintendent of the school, the county administrator or the city manager – whoever was the local change agent serving as the driving force behind the excessive spending proposal – is usually the first to go.   So often they want to pack their resume for a bigger job in a large jurisdiction and one of the premiere ways to do that – is to show they successfully conned the public in their previous job to issue the bonds and build.    For many of these bureaucrats it never was about the "kids" more than it was about their future salary increase and power over an unsuspecting public. 

It is so common, Copperhead has coined it the "Build It and He (or She) Will Leave!' syndrome.

But it rarely stops there. Often the dramatic increase in property taxes, tied to the new building(s), is the breaking point for many stretched thin household budgets – especially those with little children in them.  And they leave!  Routinely, Copperhead sees school districts that do pass massive spending proposals watch their enrollments drop even faster, placing their district into greater jeopardy. 

In May of 2005, Copperhead's client committee warned voters in the small town of Lyle, MN of this possible risk.  Further, we warned them of the risk of losing their school district.  With the help of many questionable voters who came down on Election Day from the Mower County seat, of Austin, MN, they ignored our client's warnings.  Proponents won that one, but now the community is losing – big time!  The leading school board member and school Superintendent who pushed the proposal moved out of state (to a lower property tax cost state) a few years after it passed.  As of April 2012, the recent  school Superintendent has informed them,  "If the [enrollment] trend continues downward, you will not exist in five years."  See here.

Oh, and if you wondered about those "questionable voters" from Austin and how they could have possibly been able to vote, watch this video and you  will see how corrupted same day voter registration has realy become in the state of Minnesota.