Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why the government can't fix the economy

Today I heard a perfect example why the idea of big government solving our economic woes is a farce. Simply put, if our government was a business it would have been out of business long ago. Here's the real time example.

As you're likely aware there is a new census happening. Rather than contract it out to a successful business, the census is being handled by government employees. I was talking this morning with a friend who has been hired in some kind of supervisory capacity.

He lives in a very rural community, so the closest training for his job is 100 miles one way. So every time he had to go to training he was paid travel time and mileage. My question: why couldn't this training have been done online via a live feed?

He went to a training that lasted from 8:30 to 10:00 AM. When it was done the trainer told those in the class (I don't know how many) "go home and put yourself down for 8 hours". Our tax money paid each employee for 6.5 hours of non-work. I guess there's plenty of money to blow. After all, it is a government job.

His reporting is done by computer and sent in electonically. But here's the glitch. At his location he cannot receive the signal. If he had a telephone line provided by the local telephone utility he could send the reports from home. But he doesn't. So his supervisor has told him to drive 100 miles one way three times a week and do the reports in the census office, which takes a whole 30 minutes. That, he told me, is costing you and me $85/trip. At 3 times a week that comes to $255/month.

Gee. I wonder what it would cost us to have the local phone utility run a line into his house? A lot less. What do you think?

If we're going to stimulate the economy and not continue to bankrupt our government wouldn't it make more sense to operate like a for profit business? Or better, give the contract to a business and expect accountability. It could be done cheaper and no doubt more efficiently.

So what really has changed? Not much.


Patty said...

Ha ha ha, I have been married to the military long enough to tell you that this type of stuff happens every day. To include our upcoming trip to Texas for an hour long Dr's appointment. When we were first told about it they said it would probably be a weeks worth of tests, so my dad is flying out to take care of the kids. Now they are saying it will only be the hour appointment, that they are flying both Jerry and I out for 2 days.

melissam2 said...

Just wait until ACORN gets involved!