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Letter: Turn public goods into private goods?

Many Minnesotans consider paying taxes to fund government services wrong. Early Minnesotans considered some services important enough to all citizens that they used taxes to share the costs. These services were seen as public goods.

A strong university doing research, educating students and extending knowledge statewide was one such public good.

Another was an integrated transportation system enabling farmers to get crops to markets, suppliers to get goods to stores and workers to get to work.

Access to unique recreation sites statewide was another public good considered worthy of funding through taxes.

Current popular economic theories insist governments are worthless and private corporations are ideal.

Private contractors provide superior support to active-duty military personnel and veterans, better than government administrations like the Veterans Administration. Genuine capitalists and patriots support eliminating the VA and all military units, replacing them with effective and efficient for-profit corporations.

Smart people know public goods should become private goods. Obviously, all Minnesotans will benefit when services currently provided by evil, wasteful and inefficient governments are provided by sanctified, honest and efficient for-profit companies.

Isn't it time to admit that education, transportation, water and sewer service, and recreation should be private goods, not public goods?

Minnesotans should not be asked to spend their hard-earned money providing citizens with affordable K-12 education, cutting-edge research results, college degrees, safe roads and bridges, clean water, state parks or access to lakes. If people want these services, they should pay for them directly.

Eliminate tax funding for education, transportation, drinking water, sewage treatment and recreation. Sell off the existing assets to private companies and let the market provide those services at market-based prices.

Only then will Minnesota attract businesses and jobs, and become the great state it was in the past -- or so Republicans would have us believe. Do you believe?

Stuart Macdonald