One of the biggest challenges in politics and public policy is that people spend most of their time working in silos. That is, they work on a narrow range of issues or even just one issue.
Reporters have beats. Lawmakers have committee assignments. Subject matter experts usually work in just one discipline. Interest groups have, well, their interests.
To be sure: We need specialists in politics and public policy. But when the champions of a single issue pursue their own interests to the exclusion of everything else, specialization becomes the enemy of good public policy. What seems like a solution to one problem actually makes another problem or set of problems much, much worse.
Two of the most respected voices in the Colorado business community – Loren Furman of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce and Rachel Beck of the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC – recently offered a stark reminder of the desperate need for more jobs in our communities.
“Colorado’s unemployment rate is worse than nearly every other state in the nation,” Furman and Beck wrote in a Feb. 24 column for Colorado Politics. Therefore, lawmakers need to “look at the big picture” before passing new laws, because those laws “have consequences that reach far beyond the businesses they directly impact.”