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A bill was proposed in the 1993 North Dakota legislature to do exactly what Brokaw proposes — consolidate the state’s 53 counties into 15 “super counties.” The state studied the proposal and found that there would be savings in some areas, but the cost of public safety would increase by 25 percent.You win some and you lose some, with no clear overall benefit.Government would be both cheaper and more efficient.“Iowa proudly maintains its grid of 99 counties, each with its own distinctive courthouse, many on the National Register of Historic Places — and some as little as 40 miles away from one another,” Brokaw wrote.The demands of the recession required that businesses AND states get more efficient.Rural states and communities would do better if they consolidated councils, fire stations, police and counties.People (like Brokaw) assume a larger government would provide better services to a more satisfied citizenry, but when the results of consolidation are measured, Hardy discovered, “the opposite was found….” There is little evidence that government gets more efficient as it grows larger.
Brokaw never tells us, presumably because he never looked for an answer.
There are fewer schools now, but the number of local administrators has gone up even as the number of students has declined.
The school closings have saved money in some places, but West Virginia now spends more of its education budget busing students than any other state.
” Brokaw contends that consolidated governments, schools and universities are cheaper and more efficient than the dispersed, decentralized system we have now.
He cites a New York State study from a year ago finding that consolidating government would save a billion dollars a year.