Column: Responsibilities not clear cut with respect to governments




Who should be in charge? Governments or private entities? If government, should it be the feds, the states or the locals? What level of government, if any, should control transportation, education, health care, libraries and almost anything else you can imagine?

Hoosiers and all Americans have problems answering these questions. Economists often say that where the actions of one entity result in significant effects on others (externalities), control should go to a larger unit.

What happens in one library district probably has little impact on the neighboring district. Libraries are considered purely local, and not all Indiana communities have libraries. Some people, however, believe there are lower costs of service in larger systems (economies of scale) and urge the adoption of countywide or regional library districts.

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