Saturday, March 16, 2013

Government; can it work again?

A guy stopped at a local gas station and, after filling his tank, he paid the bill and bought a soft drink. He stood by his car to drink his cola and watched a couple of men working along the roadside.
One man would dig a hole two or three feet deep and then move on. The
other man came along behind him and filled in the hole. While one was
digging a new hole, the other was 25 feet behind filling in the hole.

The men worked right past the guy with the soft drink and went on down
the road. "I can't stand this," said the man, tossing the can into a
trash container and heading down the road toward the men. "Hold it, hold
it," he said to the men. "Can you tell me what's going on here with all
this digging and refilling?"

"Well, we work for the government and we're just doing our job," one of the men said.

"But one of you is digging a hole and the other fills it up. You're not accomplishing anything. Aren't you wasting the taxpayers' money?"

"You don't understand, mister," one of the men said, leaning on his shovel and wiping his brow. "Normally there's three of us: me, Elmer and Leroy. I dig the hole, Elmer sticks in the tree, and Leroy here puts the dirt back. Elmer's job's been cut... so now it's just me and Leroy...."

At last! An explanation for how our present U.S. government REALLY

Z:    not bad, huh?  It just makes so much sense.   If we just got rid of fraud and government employees who do practically ZILCH (ever been to a DMV?), how much money could we save?


Think we can EVER get back to sanity in government again?    Can we get to a place where jobs are only filled when NECESSARY, like in private business?  Or is it too late to change?

What do you think?


Always On Watch said...

Think we can EVER get back to sanity in government again? Can we get to a place where jobs are only filled when NECESSARY, like in private business?

No. The present bureaucracy isn't yet in its final stages. The dystopia is still in mid stages, IMO.

Ed Bonderenka said...

I remember watching the movie Lincoln.
In it is a scene where Lincoln needs a vote for the thirteenth amendment (against slavery)and realizes that one of those opposed to him is sure to lose his seat in the next election.
To buy his vote (gasp!), Lincoln offers him a postmaster position.
That IS how government works:
Giving someone employment for their support.
An example of eliminating this is the sequester, where the FAA is closing a number of air traffic controller positions.
I'm not an expert, but it may well be that those positions (at those smaller airports) really are not needed, but are leftovers from a previous need.
Cut spending.
Yes, people will lose their jobs.
But that happens every day in the private sector.

Anonymous said...

Government never gets smaller. Ever!

Curt Fouts said...

The problem is, when government does work, it's to our detriment.

Bipartisan "cooperation" results in more debt and more federal interference in our lives.

sue hanes said...

Z - Good illustration of how government can work. It's not too late to change that. We just have to keep blogging and make our opinions known.

Ducky's here said...

Let's start the reductions with the most wasteful -- the military.

Odd that everyone here finds government inept but assumes the military is competent despite the results of the last 60 years.

Z said...

AOW...I hope you're watching CPAC...AEI, CATO, Heritage...
Arthur Brooks is one of the most impressive thinkers I've ever heard. He nailed what we have to do to get our country to understand why what's happening is bad for them and why what Conservatives have is good. It was really fantastic. make excellent points. I do believe that many gov't jobs are not needed, that's for sure.

Conson Fire...we can hope!

Curt, you are so right.

Sue...I wish you could have heard Arthur Brooks: I hope you look for some of his writings.

Ducky...yes, if you see no threat from the rest of the world, you are so right. If you're awake and see how badly we are threatened, you're as wrong as you usually are.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

In a word: no.

Too many people wanting and VOTING for their Free Cheese.

And in concert with a government that simply couldn't care less about numbers.


Ducky's here said...

Z, the nature and presence of threat in the world is an entirely different question.

My question is why the right chastises government inefficiency while excluding the military and precluding cuts in military pork.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Duck. You conflated competence (over the last sixty years) with waste.
They're competent, but yes, waste could be cut. Obama has refused to give them discretion in the sequestration cuts to inflict the most damage.
And I won your movie trivia quiz yesterday and you're to cheap to give the award.

beamish said...

I'm sure this is something the Tea Party could fix, the same way they stopped the TARP bailouts, balanced the budget, kept taxes from rising, saved Medicare, prevented Obamacare from becoming law, and stopped the re-election of Obama cold.

Next they'll stop gun bans.

Always On Watch said...

I've paid attention to those venues you mentioned.

But the hurdle is getting votes in an election.

FreeThinke said...

I remember my father telling me that the toll on the George Washington Bridge, which was built, during the Depression -- like the Empire State Building! -- was supposed to disappear once the cost of building the bridge was recovered.

NEVER HAPPENED. Instead the toll increased dramatically during my life time. It was 50¢ when I was a child. The last time I checked -- now years ago -- it had risen to THREE DOLLARS.

NOTHING generated by government EVER goes down in cost. No tax once imposed EVER goes away. No tax once established EVER diminishes.

Z said...

Ducky, can you show me where the military doesn't want to make itself most efficient and not cut pork?
Or perhaps the Pentagon knows more than you do? just a guess.
You're so blinded by the silly misrepresentation of THE MILITARY DEFENSE MACHINE as if it does NOTHING GOOD, that I truly feel you can't see it.
I'm tired of fighting with you, by the way; but when you say things like this, speak for the military using THE NATION's mischaracterizations, it's hard not to.

Ed, congrats on the movie quiz!
Re military and pork; thanks for reminding us all that Obama's overlooked so MANY experts on what they suggest needs to be cut and what shouldn't be cut.
How's a military moron like him (sorry, but what the heck background does HE have that informs HIM but hate for our military?) overlook GENERALS?

Yes, Republicans have suggested WHAT to cut, harming America the least while trying to make the most no avail.

FT, what an excellent reminder of government at work! Thanks for that. EXCELLENT metaphor..

Ducky's here said...

@ED - You conflated competence (over the last sixty years) with waste.

I will have to disagree. Viet Nam, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan. Fiascoes.

However, I can accept a possible counter argument that the missions were poorly defined and the political leadership was at fault.

However, programs like Social Security and Medicare have a sound mission and are efficient. So I am going to say that the place to make changes, providing you want a productive society, is still the military.

If you come back and say that Medicare is inefficient compared to bloated for profit private insurance I can assume you don't want to discuss this in good faith.

Z said...

EVERYBODY: My back's bad today so I'm babying myself and watching TV (ignoring the list of errands I had to do today :-( Not fun!)

BUT, I just watched ten of America's AMAZING young Conservatives on CSPAN at CPAC, which I only started watching this morning. I nearly wept hearing these young people who are "the youngest speaker of the house" of this state or assemblyman, a comptroller,etc etc.
Two blacks, two women, one Asian (California!), 5 of THE most amazing white males (yes, white American men CAN still be admirable, liberals!)...all loving this country and all so articulate.

What really struck me was that at least 2 had Cuban heritage....we all know most Cubans are highly Conservative, particularly because of the Castro regime which hurt them so badly (would that American liberals notice that truth)...and what struck me was "How the HECK did Castro overcome Cuba when so many Cubans ARE for self reliance, freedom, capitalism?" They can't have all been sheeple and then suddenly got conservative values BECAUSE of know?

I was also VERY touched by how many invoked God. Shamelessly, openly...beautifully.

God bless these young Conservative Americans; I swear this bum back was worth it if only to sit and listen and feel energized and hopeful again.

Z said...

Ducky, does it EVER occur to you that there are STILL generals who say that we could have helped more in Vietnam (I say "helped" because I'm not sure what winning might have looked like, except fewer living under communism...) had we not left?

I just heard a paper at my school given by a 17 year old who understood and discussed the media's impact on getting us OUT of Vietnam even as some s
I asked the student if he'd thought about discussing Cronkite's roll in turning Americans against this cause; he had but hadn't even mentioned Cronkite in the presentation and the teacher marked him down a little because of that..
A minus..but still!

As for medicare vs private insurance...there's a place between big government health care and 'bloated' private insurance; you just can't let yourself go there...I assume you don't want to discuss this in 'good faith' because of that.

By the way, businesses like insurance need to be slightly 'bloated' for the next time (GOD FORBID AND I MEAN THIS) a loved one of YOURS is hurt so badly in a car crash that he or she will depend entirely on his/her insurance for the rest of his/her life.

the GOP has had countless tweaks to Medicare that this gov't won't even listen to.
It's almost sickening (pardon the pun) that they are NOT being listened to and even being accused of having nothing to add to the health care discussion. And then shamed to cower under the moniker of "THOSE REPUBLICANS WHO ONLY SAY 'NO'"

a travesty and an unhealthy trend that this president has made his badge of honor.

Z said...

Folks...I don't much agree with Kirsten Powers much, but have you noticed how she's been taking quite a strong stand against much of the NY Times' editorials lately?
Pretty good stuff...enough? probably not!!

Ed Bonderenka said...

"I can accept a possible counter argument that the missions were poorly defined and the political leadership was at fault."
You beat me to it.
I know that military spending is not lean enough.
I remember getting new furniture for the day room in our barracks that nobody used because we all had comfortable rooms with TVs and Fridges and stereos we bought ourselves.
When I asked the First Sgt about the expenditures, he said we had to use up our budget or it would get reduced.
That's a microcosm of what goes on everywhere.
But when the administration decides to not let the military decide how to cut, the furniture stays and the Aircraft Carrier doesn't leave port.
"Social Security and Medicare have a sound mission and are efficient"
Yes and no.
There is a lot of SS that is not means tested.
I had a friend in High School who drove a new car.
I asked how he could afford it.
It was SS from the loss of his father.
His mom had re-married and they were affluent.
Big home on Lake Erie.
I wasn't jealous, but it just seems wrong.
So, efficient, no.
Positive mission, yes.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Z shouldn't have to congrat me on your quiz. You should.

JonBerg said...


"Kirsten Powers........ have you noticed"

I may be reading her wrong but it seems to me that she is becoming more sensible, at least on some issues. Sometimes Liberals do grow-up!

Ducky's here said...

Ducky, does it EVER occur to you that there are STILL generals who say that we could have helped more in Vietnam (I say "helped" because I'm not sure what winning might have looked like, except fewer living under communism...) had we not left?
Over three million dead and a completely defoliated agricultural countryside where they still plow over live munition.

What more did you have in mind?

Ducky's here said...

Ed --- I don't doubt that means testing is on the way. I'd support that.

However, Medicare and Social Security still have a very low administrative cost, unlike for profit health insurance.
Social Security administration administrative costs are lower than the mutual fund loads a lot of suckers pay.

They can use reform (just as the insurance and banking sector desperately needs it) but to say they conform to z's little aphorism is simply wrong.

Z said...

Ducky...Most towns and fields in Europe were decimated during WWII as well. based on your thinking, we should have stayed home?

Which "little aphorism" is that??

And the cost of running Medicare .. you mean administrative or the pay-offs?

Z said...

had to laugh at CSPAN after the CPAC convention closed just now "and read continuing coverage at THE HUFFINGTON POST.."

Yup..that's not biased :-)
I'll admit that they do have some fairly centrist stuff, but to highlight Huff after a Conservative convention as THE one to read?


Z said...

Man, there's a guy saying he's so shocked that Conservatives want to abolish the Dept of Education because "Education is SO important"...

my GOD; this is why it's better to keep Americans uneducated, isn't it. He simply doesn't understand the truth. They all mentioned Education iN THE INDIVIDUAL STATES. NOBODY is talking about education not being important!!

And we wonder why our excellent message isn't heard? it's just not understood by so many Americans.

Kid said...

Leroy's job has been cut long ago too. Now we're just digging holes.

Kid said...

ED. On your theme from your first comment.
When the rubber hit the road, meaning the locales could not raise taxes anymore to pay for all the 'old joes' who got hired over the last 30 years or so, they had to cut them.

A local podunk fire department cut 90 'firefighters' and kept 13 calling it good. A local podunk school district cut 100 'teachers' and 90 -NINETY- 'administrators', making over 100k a year - and called it good.

What did those people do other than collect pay, benefits and early retirement?

Exrapolate THAT across the country.

Realize that the worthless slogs in federal employ will be the last to go.

Air traffic. yea, right. Meanwhile, be assured you got 800,000 "non-essential" federal slugs sitting around watching porn all day. Literally.
Google up SEC employees sitting around looking at porn all day.

Parasites of incredible magnitude.

Some dude at work came into our office whining about how his sister - a teacher of 35 years is losing all her roll over sick days..

I asked him what he thinks should happen. He said, well, they need to raise taxes or something so these people don't get screwed like this.

I said "So, you want people like me in the private sector, who generally haven't gotten a raise in the last 6 years because of the economy, to dig into out wallets and pay even more money to people who, through collective bargaining power have excluded themselves from the bad economy and have gotten raises and benefit increases, leaning on us to do it. Seriously?"

I continued "Screw them. Screw the teachers, the fire fighters and the police and the rest of the public union people. I will do everything in my power to see to it they don't get another dime from me. If they don't like it they should take it up with their union bosses who have robbed their pension plans. And if they end up staying screwed then join the club. It's going to be a big one by the time the dems are out of power again, IF even we ever get an American government back."

I used stronger language actually. I don't expect him to ever talk to me again and that's Ok. In fact, it's better than Ok. Let these people live in their leper colonies with the other parasites.

Z said...

hurrrah for you, Kid! You TELL HIM!!
I agree with you.

By the way, did you know that 20% of Black men under 30 voted for Romney? That really surprised me...huge number for a people who're so blinded by color-preference (but WE are the 'racists', of course :-)

As for schools/government workers; the gov't's spoiled them rotten and they're now like whining little babies.

Of course, that means, to a liberal, that Z doesn't like education :-) Honestly, you can't make up jerks like the lefties. Even if you wanted to, which is NUTS, of course.

Kid said...

I didn't know that Z. On the blacks anyway. I see where many are waking up to who their slave masters are and have been.

I'll tell ya, it's like we're surrounded by zombies, vampires, losers, and morons. The losers and morons support the zombies and vampires.

Finally, WHY are the dem politicians so ugly? There is some psycho-element to explain that I'm sure. Some (too many) people hate achievers?

Anonymous said...


"I used stronger language actually."

Here's some of mine for heathen...

WOW... No Kid...I meant...WOW

Other than that...I'm flippin' speechless.

Imagine that!

Anonymous said...


Finally, WHY are the dem politicians so ugly?"

I'd ask's because they're in a perpetual snarl...they're unhappy....they're simpletoms....and they're worried that no one wil take care of or feed them. a nutshell...suck..and thrive off of ugliness. Look at Feinstein.Hillary...Waters...Jordon...the ugliest POS that ever existed.

Kid said...

IMP - Thank you... I have my moments. I don't know what else to say.

I am focused though these days. I can't wait until a lot of other people join in. Hopefully they will.

Kid said...

IMP, On the ugly. It's a meme I've been observing for a while. A couple thoughts come to mind.

1) Seinfeld said once "Only 3 % of the population is dateable. 4% tops."

Yea. So imagine all the people who aren't dateable.

2) Those people have for the most part been rejected by society, Especially the most visible of society, the 'beautiful people of hillywood', the prom king and queens, the tall handsome types who get raises and promotions while the others languish in the pits.

That is the reality of it. We know that. I think that they vote for these ugly morons as a way to reject Us. Those who are driven, successful, generally good looking. Outside of having a moose and a rat for parents, I think good looks comes from within. I think most people can be good looking. Those who aren't have problems that manifest in everything they do, and in this case, voting for ugly *'s is one of them.

Ed Bonderenka said...

"Rollover sick days" says it all right there.
Are they saving up for a major illness?
When did sick days become vacation days?!?
And vacation days for most of us, (if we get to take them) are "use them or lose them".

Kid said...

Ed, no doubt, I've heard of people, close to friends of mine who retired over a year early using the sick days.

Unions are a plague now. They've outlived their usefulness. They not only feed off companies and consumers who buy their products, they now feed off the entire taxpayer base. The Bailouts for the UAW. They will continue feeding until there is nothing left to feed upon.

The EU is the live test case in its later stages and it's obviously failing miserably.

Losers given an inch will take a light year.