Archive for August, 2012

Spending money on employment that doesn’t create meaningful value is just dumb.

Nice little ditty (with light editing) from my friend Randy… and another quick story that follows from my friend Chuck:

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert.

Congress said, “Someone may steal from it at night.”

So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress said, “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?”

So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?”

So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One was to do the studies and one was to write the reports.

Then Congress said, “How are these people going to get paid?”

So they created two positions: a time keeper and a payroll officer then hired two people.

Then Congress said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?”

So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, “We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back.”

So they laid-off the night watchman.

Now slowly, let that sink in.

Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter. Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter administration?


We’ve spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency, the reason for which no one can remember.

It was very simple… and at the time, everybody thought it a very good idea and most appropriate.

The Department of Energy was instituted on 8/04/1977, TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.

Hey, pretty efficient, huh?

And now it’s 2012 — 35 years later — and the budget for this “necessary” department is at $24.2 billion a year.  It has 16,000 federal employees and approximately 100,000 contract employees; and look at the job it has done:

34 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports.

(This is where you slap your forehead and say, “what were they thinking?”)

Ah, yes — good old Federal bureaucracy.

Now, we have turned over the banking system, health care, and the auto industry to the same government?

Hello!! Anybody Home?

Signed….The Night Watchman

This reminds me of a personal story:  in 1972, Anita and I moved into Menlo Park from Burlingame; we were in a tiny school district–about 300 families and 4 schools, three k-6 and one middle school.  Shortly after 1972, the area became too expensive for people to move into; no young families; by 1978, two of the four schools shut down for declining enrollment; but guess what ?  The district Office, where all the administrators are, grew by 50%.  Get the picture?