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This means loosening the controls we have placed on our cities and towns thus allowing local officials to try different solutions to the problems they face. We hear the report about the one city that does something really stupid and we rush to pass legislation to ensure it never happens anywhere again.
The correct response is not to become more parochial, it is to become less. We see a senseless policy outcome and we create all kinds of rules to deal with it.
Before this goes any further, let me warn all involved about the nature of such transactions. There are two types: weddings of attraction, into which both partners enter willingly; and shotgun weddings, in which one party takes part only because of compulsion.
The latter describes one Monmouth County town that I covered in the waning days of the Corzine administration, Loch Arbour.
Many of today's school districts are geographically huge, especially in rural areas.
Increased size means more bureaucracy and more red tape, increasing the distance between teacher and administrator, between classroom and parent.
And like banks, fewer players will amplify fragility. Consolidating schools is something that has been going on since the early 1900's, but it became one of the "solutions" to the budget problems of the late 1970's and early 1980's.
And while there is little argument that consolidation of schools allows for greater efficiency, it comes at a cost.
The need for innovation is the key reason why we should not be seeking the consolidation of local governments. What we need is the type of innovation that provides different responses to the same stresses.
Our biggest problem as a nation right now is that our places are generally all vulnerable to the same things.
That is because we have all used the same cookbook (standard zoning) and the same Mechanisms of Growth (government transfers, transportation spending and debt) to get to where we are now.
A better solution would be to embrace the innovations - and failures - that would come from thousands of local experiments in adapting to our current financial situation.
Our state and local governments are in a bit of a pickle.
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We have exploding childhood obesity and, again, no way to avoid forcing our children into hours of sedentary bus riding each day.