There is one question political pollsters prefer over any other when trying to gauge voters’ feelings about a candidate:
“Is the country [state, city, school district, etc] headed in the right direction or on the wrong track?”
This is in part due to the vagueness of the question, and partially because people generally pick one or the other and there isn’t a middle choice. Using a subjective numerical scale to determine how much a voter likes a candidate, or how likely a voter may or may not cast his or her vote for a particular candidate is much tougher. “On a scale of one to ten, would you say you are VERY likely, SORT OF likely, KIND OF likely, MOST likely to vote for…? I’ll pick 4, 5, 6 almost every time. Those answers don’t do squat for statisticians and pundits.
I’m pretty good about answering any polls or surveys when asked, because I used to do political polling and phone calls back in my early political days. Any good college political science student raises his or her hand to help on local campaigns. “Campaign Assistant” sounds so cool on a young, hungry poli-sci resume. That is until you realize the job is making blind calls from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm for some schmucky dog catcher candidate you will never meet. No selfies in those days. You might get a button, a signed brochure, and a free meal on election night.
So let’s bring this thought to our business community in Williston and Western North Dakota, and ask again: From a business, economic and jobs standpoint; are we headed in the right direction, or are we on the wrong track? It might depend on which level of government to which you refer.
I’ve written before about how our federal rulemakers (not lawmakers) have been ‘helping’ small businesses the past few years; and how they’ve unleashed a series of administrative rules which if fully implemented, will stifle growth and cost the United States thousands of jobs. The “unelected government” comprised of appointed cabinet level officials, under deputy assistants to the secretary, and a plethora of bureaucratic spinsters spew out thousands of new administrative rules and interpretations of laws that not only hinder free markets, but clamp down on the American dream.
Pro-business lawmakers can only do so much during a term before it’s time for another election. Make no mistake, if the current federal regulatory environment continues, it won’t just be the price of a barrel of oil that muffles our economic growth potential in western North Dakota. It will be our own federal government. We need to recognize that the free enterprise system might not be perfect, but that same system also has built this country into a political and economic super power.
Good thing for businesses we have some choices in 2016. Let’s make the right ones.
Sidebar: Thanks to State Senator Brad Bekkedahl, North Dakota Public Service Commission Chair Julie Fedorchak, and North Dakota Department of Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson for making our first attempt at the “Eggs & Issues” policy forums a smashing success. We’ll be planning three more in the spring so watch for them. Maybe we’ll even have some eggs.