Ah, Sibby.

Steve Sibson awakens from a five-week blog silence to blast the Sioux Falls events center vote. The events center is bad, says Sibby, because it's socialism. And capitalism. And debt. And democracy (which is tyranny). And mob rule.

So we don't have enough money to pay K-12 teachers and take care of the disabled, elderly, and poor on Medicaid, but we can build a $115 million facility for having fun and games. And all in the name of economic development. Anybody consider the economic impact of increasing the sales tax 25% so that $175 million fewer services and products are purchased in South Dakota? I am sure the Educrats and the Medical Corporate Establishment will be able to fund an even larger proaganda program in 2012 to try and get the voters to pass their sales tax increase.

This may sound like the crony capitalism that the GOP is known for, but Mayor Mike Huether is not only a former banker, he is also a Democrat. It takes a blend of capitalism with socialism, plus the help of mob rule through a democracy, to use a regressive sales tax to take from the poor and give to the wealthy business elites. Instead, why didn't the proponents set up a corporation and have these wealthy business leader buy stock and fund the Event Center privately? Could it be that that would not be economically feasible? [emphasis mine; Steve Sibson, "Mayor Mike Huether, Democrat banker blends socialism, capitalism, and democracy to take from the poor and give to the rich with a $115 million Event Center," Sibby Online, 2011.11.09]

Throw out capitalism, socialism, and democracy, and I'm hard pressed to figure out what kind of social system Sibby wants. Feudalism under philosopher kings? (No, that's too much like Obama, right, Steve?)

But as happens with unnerving frequency, I find gems in my crazy neighbor's thinking that resonate with my own observations. We claim that we are a poor state. We buy the argument that we just don't have the money to avoid slashing funding for education and social services. Yet we can always find the wealth to cover the big projects that we (or at least the crony capitalists and well-paid marketers among us) really want.

Surprisingly, Sibby's commentary harkens to a comment here from Charlie Johnson on education and priorities in Madison's vote to build a new gym:

Will there be the energy and work necessary by local supporters of education to advance changes in school funding by legislature and the governor? Is our school board and teaching staff ready to handle an additional short fall in funding in 2012? Do we know which staff members or programs that may further need to be eliminated? Will we have staff to fill all the classrooms when MHS “reopens” in 2014? Is campaigning for “brick and mortar” more sexy that tackling the real issues of how we adequately fund education? Do we have local educators, staff, political leaders who will challenge and stand up to the powerful special interests who continue to uphold the status quo in education “non” funding. My comment: That dog fight will require much more than has been experienced already in a renovation campaign [Charlie Johnson, comment, under "Election Recap: Progress in Principles, Not Material Things," Madville Times, 2011.11.10].

Sioux Falls voters, Madison voters, fellow South Dakotans, let's put Steve's and Charlie's questions together: Do we have our fiscal priorities in whack? How do the principles that motivated our votes this week translate into action in our upcoming Legislative session and the 2012 election? If we have the money for an events center here, a new gym there, then what else can we (and should we) achieve with our money?