Jumping through hoops over Lottery says a lot about Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Corbett and his administration are preparing to revise the contract to privatize management of the Lottery and resubmit the application to Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

It is yet another hoop to jump through in the long, painful road to the 21st Century for Pennsylvania.

Other states can privatize road systems and use the revenues to revitalize their highway structure. Other states – 48 of 50, to be exact – can have privately run liquor store systems that create consumer advantages and a greater revenue stream for the state. Other states can revise labor laws to take away union membership as a work requirement.

So it’s not as though it can’t be done. It just can’t be done in Pennsylvania without a lot of angst and pain.

Which explains why Pennsylvania lacks economic vitality and has a state government that is too cumbersome, inflexible and expensive.

If it’s really true that state law prohibits the governor from privatizing the Lottery, we need to have that law changed.

Efficient leadership of any state should allow leaders to privatize functions if they can be operated more effectively in that way. There’s nothing revolutionary about that. It’s just common sense.

This is not a Democrat or a Republican issue. Until the state of Pennsylvania becomes more flexible regarding the best way to do business – public or private – it will always lag behind its true economic potential.

Its residents will suffer. Its taxpayers will suffer.

The yell-loud-and-obstruct approach that is used every time a revisionist move is attempted to modernize the state’s government is growing tiresome.

Take a look at Indiana as a model for what Pennsylvania can become. The state has reformed its highways, privatized many other former state functions and modernized its labor laws. It has turned around its state debt and its road system and is thriving economically.

That can happen in Pennsylvania. But not until there is an attitude adjustment from the old boy network that has too much influence in Harrisburg.

– Williamsport Sun-Gazette