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The People’s Republic of Omaha 23 June 2009

Posted by The Inimitable M in Bob Nelson.
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I’ve been meaning to write about Bob’s columns, and I swear, Bob, I’ll do this more often.  It’s just been a rather hectic June.

As I read his column the past couple of weeks, and have been seeing backup stories in the rest of the Omaha World-Herald, I think it’s time to kind of bundle a few of them and present this concept as a possibility.

Omaha has voted in a mayor whose decision-making skills are seemingly questionable, but sure likes to micromanage.  The new mayor has been making mistake after mistake.  He’s on a roll.  (I think he learned at the knee of a certain former U.S. President we all know.) 

This is just one example:  Instead of driving the vehicle that is already leased for the mayor to use, Mayor Suttle chose a hybrid SUV that’s going to cost the city $15,000+ a year to lease.  Thanks, Mayor Suttle, for your foresight and incredible ability to knock a few more dollars out of the accounts of programs the city really needs – because, after all, isn’t a hybrid the up-and-coming thing??  Right after this decision, some of the major city departments were told they had to scale back more than originally stated. 

There are so many more mistakes he’s made, some I read in the Omaha World-Herald, some I heard about “on the street” from others…so many that someone needs to take that shovel away from him.  He’s dug a deep enough hole.

The city also voted in a councilman whose light bulb (in a rusty socket, I think) must have just exploded in his head thinking up this new idea, “Let’s tax all the people who don’t live here for working here.” 

Hey.  Ralston thanks you.  So does LaVista.  So do quite a few other “suburbs”. 

I live in a small town in Iowa and work at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.   I’m not the only one who lives this far out, and I’m sure I’m not the only one in a “staff” position.  In fact, I know nurses who live out here, and let’s not forget the doctors who live in Council Bluffs, other Iowa-side outlying areas, and places north, west and south of Omaha.  One of UNMC’s top researchers lives even farther east than I do. 

You want to tax them for providing the talent, skills and services that put Omaha on the map…for making it an international stopping point for medical care and research?  Sure.  Go right ahead.  All of them – every single one of them – every one of them who work at Alegent, UNMC, Creighton, pick a hospital or research facility – can take their stellar skills elsewhere.  And THAT’S just the medical services industry!

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

SphinxWelcome to Omaha, Nebraska

But then today, after reading Bob’s column, it hit me.  He talked about going to Nebraskaland Days in North Platte and being told the paper left them “high and dry”.  You see, because it is economically logical to do so, the OWH has stopped delivering to outstate Nebraska.  I guess you have to save money somewhere, and cutting off the rest of Nebraska because you don’t think it’s profitable to keep delivering a “statewide” paper to the rest of the state makes sense.

I immediately thought of the potential for Omaha to become a fifth world nation.

Cutting itself off from the rest of the state, charging an employment tax on those who don’t live in the city, spending the city’s budget on unnecessary items, killing services…that’s just the start.  And it’s really beginning to look like a viable option.  

I can see it now:

Eppley Airfield – massive lines to at the passport counters…

Welcome to the People’s Republic of Omaha.  We hope you enjoy your stay.  Please queue up to the right.  Thank you.

We’re sorry, but you cannot bring that little quart sized bag of toiletries into our country.  You will need to buy them here. 

Are those clothes?  Sorry.  You will need to buy ours. 

We’re really sorry, but we’re going to have to take your baby’s pacifier.  You can buy a new one over there at the People’s Republic of Omaha’s baby needs station. 

Is that a laptop?  You will need to leave it here with us.  Only laptops purchased in the People’s Republic of Omaha are allowed in the country.  If you have purchased this here, we must see your sales receipt, unless it is more than 10 years old.

What do you think, Bob?  Fifth world nation status?

Anyway, before anyone says I don’t have a right to complain because I don’t “live” there…

…I have every right.

I’m an ex-pat.

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