Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why Government Stimulus Does Not Work

Because the money is spent like this:

Phil Greenspun is, among other things, a computer scientist at Harvard and a helicopter aviator. In the course of attempting to run a private helicopter charter service Phil has run headlong into the mire of federal entanglements: From his blog:

"Finally, the FAA inspector looked at my random drug testing program to make sure that everything was in place. I’m subject to the same drug testing requirements as United Airlines. I am the drug testing coordinator for our company, so I am responsible for scheduling drug tests and surprising employees when it is their turn to be tested. As it happens, I’m also the only “safety-sensitive employee” subject to drug testing, so basically I’m responsible for periodically surprising myself with a random drug test. As a supervisor, I need to take training so that I can recognize when an employee is on drugs. But I’m also the only employee, so really this is training so that I can figure out if I myself am on drugs. As an employee, I need to take a second training course so that I learn about all of the ways that my employer might surprise me with a random drug test and find out about drug use. But I’m also the employer so really I’m learning about how I might trap myself."

The anecdote goes on to tell of a call he receives within 10 minutes of this inspection from an entirely different branch of leaches, in order to begin an audit of his drug screening procedures.
Here's the point that you already know: Government does not have an incentive to do things in a manner that makes sense to people, because people look to derive profit from our endeavors. Bureaucracy seeks on to perpetuate the existence of itself, and in so doing, continues to prey parasitically on those who drive this organism onward.

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