I don’t always agree with Murtaza Baxamusa, but I will always read what he writes. I’ve frankly never seen anyone write about public policy so poetically. But it’s not fluff. I would not dare go into a debate with Baxamusa without being incredibly prepared.
The guy thinks. Then reads. Then thinks some more. Then reads some more. Then starts doing the math. That’s when we get to see it.
If you disagree with him, fine. But if you start calling him names or write him off as a “liberal” you’re done in my book. The guy’s facts are compelling and you should come with better ones.
After reading him for a few years now, I’ve detected in him a tendency to believe that government not only can and does provide an efficient service but that it also has a responsibility to set an employment standard. As an employer, in other words, the city has unique responsibilities to provide levels of benefits above what might be offered at a comparable sized company.
I’ve been trying to wrap my head around that for a while. Is this the city’s job? On the one hand, that sentiment gives me only a fraction of the uneasiness I feel when others, like labor’s Lorena Gonzalez, rank major projects not based on their need or even their attractiveness but their value to the workers who actually get to build them.
On the other hand, what worries me is that we may not want that building or project or it may be shortsighted or a waste of money that could be used on something else. And yet, if it’s good for the workers who construct it, we’re compelled to build it?