Patrick Tuohey

Everyone at the Show-Me Institute, especially those in the Kansas City office, offer our ecstatic if hoarse congratulations to the Royals for their World Series championship. More than merely winning, the team demonstrated how the game ought to be played.

It's been said time and again that the Kansas City Royals have succeeded by playing small ball; focusing on base hits, keeping the runs coming. There is no dependence on big personalities, and hopes aren't pinned to a dramatic swing for the fences to win the game. The Royals charted their own course, built on their own strengths, and delivered a product no one else could.

Kansas City government—and Missouri government in general—could learn a lot from that. Instead, city leaders engage in the municipal me-tooism of convention hotels, streetcars and airports. We pin our hopes on big plays (Boeing tax credits, Power & Light District) and neglect the basics (deferred maintenance on neglected infrastructure, diverting funds from schools, libraries, sewers, public safety). As a result, the City of Fountains cannot afford to maintain its fountains. 

Policy makers are sacrificing the basics in order to score with big projects. It isn't working. We ought to learn the lesson of the Royals' last two seasons: focus on the basics, play to your strengths, keep the line moving.

About the Author

Patrick Tuohey
Patrick Tuohey
Senior Fellow of Municipal Policy

Patrick Tuohey works with taxpayers, media, and policymakers to foster understanding of the conse