Jon Corzine, the governor of New Jersey, has embarked upon a bizarre quest to force towns with populations below 10,000 to merge with their neighbors. The alleged reason is cost saving, but as Jim Manzi points out, small towns actually cost less to run than larger towns. Perhaps there are some trivial efficiencies in the administration of state funds, but this seems a rather mean reason to disincorporate more than three hundred towns. I find Arnold Kling's explanation rather more convincing:
I have no first-hand information, but I would bet that a lot of the push for Corzine's comes from public-sector labor unions. My guess is that they have a harder time overpowering voters in smaller jurisdictions. If my suspicions are correct, then this is not a drive for efficiency. It is rent-seeking hardball.
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