Shower taxes and the Army in Alaska

Last week we talked about incrementalism in Institutions and Values. Incrementalism is the practice of government agencies increasing their budget requests each year. There’s no incentive to decrease spending, and legislators may find it easier to pass slightly larger budgets than to evaluate entire agency budgets anew.

Our army classmate Adam contributed this experience:

While stationed in Fairbanks, (which is a strategic location post Cold War because..? I don’t understand.), Adam’s Stryker Brigade was nearing the end of their budget year. To ensure they spent all of their allocated money, Adam led an $8 million rapid deployment exercise.

Yesterday in class we talked about public hearings. Who’s participated in a public hearing?

Anna, one of our two Chinese students, shared her experience:

As an undergrad in China, she and other students protested a “shower tax”. Students have to insert their card into the shower and are charged for water consumption per second. Uni officials increased the price, and students protested. Students presented their own calculations at a public hearing, and administrators conceded.

We have a pretty diverse cohort, which is wonderful for humanizing what we’re learning in class.
I love school.

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