Friday, February 23, 2007

Rep Keith Ellison

Keith is my Rep. He spoke yesterday at the U of M Law School. I have been listening while doing paperwork. He is interesting to listen to.

One, of many things, he said is that he teemed up with a conservative legislator, from Lake Elmo, to pass drug sentencing reform in the Minnesota Legislature. Keith said he was interested in saving people while the other guy was interested in saving money. They teamed up, submitted the bill and it failed.

Anyway, I was struck. I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding that saving people and saving money are on different sides. The common theme is that Democrats are willing to give away money and save people who do not "deserve" saving, and Republicans are only interested in saving money at the expense of saving people. This common theme is very wrong.

Saving people is saving money and saving money requires that we save people. Think about it. If you save a person you do not have to put them in prison at $40,000 per year. Hell, we could send them to Harvard for $40,000 per year! A little money up front saves us a lot of money later on. Let's invest in people at the beginning so they give us a return later on. If they need help because they are addicted to drugs, lets get them off drugs and educate them. It is a lot cheaper than sending them to Harvard for the rest of their lives.

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