Thursday, May 7, 2009

Compromise Means Social Gains, But Slowly And Incompletely

In Milwaukee, a compromise by a regional planning commission committee moved about $15 million in a $38.7 million stimulus transportation package to the City of Milwaukee.

Federal stimulus legislation says the money was to be spent in economically-distressed communities, yet some of the money will go to communities with very fewer low-income residents and unemployed residents than the City of Milwaukee.

The formula agreed upon by the committee was better than some earlier proposals, certainly; the compromise solution broke a stalemate.

Likewise, a compromise finally among smoking opponents and proponents is moving a statewide workplace smoking ban through the legislature.

Proponents wanted a ban years ago. Opponents balked, and obstructed, and finally won another delay to July, 2010.

Another compromise - - and another year+ during which a lot of restaurant and tavern workers and patrons will breathe other people's carcinogens.

I have no doubt that this delay will cost some people their lives, with the danger finally ceasing next July.

I know it's in the nature of the political system that compromises are made: In these cases, I wish there had been more substantive or faster solutions, but I give credit to the people who kept fighting the good fight.

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