One thought on “How a Politician Should Change His Mind

  1. Wow

    You pointed out the virtue of this decision (and explanation of said decision) as a lesson on how to change your mind when you learn you were in error (and it takes a certain humility to do even that much)…

    I'd just like to call attention to the impressive resolve Gov. Christie shows toward reducing wasteful spending. I work in the university system…do you understand how ridiculously difficult it is to get governing bodies, be they school admin or legislature, to TURN DOWN money they already got approved to receive?

    An example: SUNY Oswego got handed 37 million dollars by Gov. Patterson to build its' new Campus Center. When students actually PROTESTED this new project (and raised legit complaints that the money was being spent on eye candy rather than on a new physical sciences building or the needed addition of dorms or an expanded bus service or any number of potentially useful things…the board turned a deaf ear because they had the money in their hands. Turning it down could easily have cost every last one of them (except the Chairman, of course) their jobs.

    Here at Stony Brook, just before the recent recession, several major construction projects on campus were started using monies provided by New York. The school has that money…it does not matter than economic realities have changed…they're not allowed to reallocate that money away from building useless extra athletic facilities or a seven story high rise dorm in the middle of the most crowded part of campus…that's what they were approved to build…meanwhile, the school is so poor that it gave incentives to long time staffers to get them to retire this year while enforcing a hiring freeze. Meaning, for example, that the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, which has traditionally had three janitors, now has one and we can only get our trash picked up once a week and our floors cleaned once per semester.

    Once you have their money…you never give it back…even if it no longer makes sense to do what you planned…even if the realities have changed. Never…EVER…turn down money that's been handed to you from on high. Spin the story if you have to…claim you're stimulating the economy or creating jobs or that the cost is not going to be that bad for the average resident…blame someone else for problems, etc. But never turn down money.

    Unless you actually BELIEVE in cutting wasteful spending at all costs…unless you actually STAND BY your principles…unless you really do CARE about your constituents and want to use your best judgment to adapt as circumstances change.

    I like this guy more and more.


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