Sunday, December 11, 2011

How dare they??

We’ve been sitting here today watching football, napping, and feeding the fire.  The Pats got kind of lucky; they didn’t look like a commanding presence on the field.  The Packers look like they are.  We predict an unfavorable playoff outcome for our New England team.

No matter the distractions available to us, including snuggling with the pups, we couldn’t seem to avoid thinking on the MSHA issue.  You know the posts we’ve published in recent days, and if you don’t, we’re not going to force them upon you now.

What really got to us as we tried to relax is the ‘how dare they’ aspect of this situation.

Here we have 140 plus bureaucrats, all of whom earn well above the average income for Maine residents, who have Cadillac benefits, and who have job security beyond the imaginating of all who don’t work for government.  And with all these advantages, they cloak themselves in the moral superiority of ‘public service.’

How dare they.

Even worse, they have the incredible arrogance to use their taxpayer funded web site to complain about their compensation.

How dare they, times two.

To make things worse, their so-called leaders are going public expressing umbrage over efforts to examine and rationalize their stewardship of vast sums of other people’s money.  They’ve been dispensing, by their own account, more than $1 Billion in federal funds per year. And spending who knows how much more on their operations and other expenses.

‘Witch hunt,’ they and their big government disciples, activists, and ‘non-profit’ crornies are quick to proclaim.  Their enablers in the mainstream media attack any such efforts as a war on the homeless.

How dare they, times ten. 

This whole snafu is a case study, nay, a poster child for what government by bleeding hearts and busybodies has given us in the way of ‘unsustainability.’

Personally, we don’t buy any of the rhetoric about cutting them some slack or claiming ‘we don’t understand'.’  We’ve had it up to here with the bloviation emanating from entrenched bureaucrats and career hacks.

For now, we’ll leave you with this previously posted, pithy essay that perfectly captures the attitudinal pathology at MSHA.


Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own.

Ever wonder about those stories of $600
hammers and $800 toilet seats that the
government sometimes buys? You could walk
the length and breadth of this land and not
find a soul who would say he’d gladly spend his
own money that way. And yet this waste often
occurs in government and occasionally in other
walks of life, too.

Why? Because invariably, the
spender is spending somebody else’s money.

Economist Milton Friedman elaborated
on this some time ago when he pointed
out that there are only four ways to spend

When you spend your own money
on yourself, you make occasional mistakes,
but they’re few and far between. The
connection between the one who is earning
the money, the one who is spending it, and
the one who is reaping the final benefit is
pretty strong, direct and immediate.

When you use your money to buy someone
else a gift, you have some incentive to get
your money’s worth, but you might not
end up getting something the intended
recipient really needs or values.

When you use somebody else’s money to
buy something for yourself, such as lunch
on an expense account, you have some
incentive to get the right thing, but little
reason to economize.

Finally, when you spend other people’s
money to buy something for someone
else, the connection between the earner,
the spender and the recipient is the most
remote — and the potential for mischief
and waste is the greatest.

Think about it — somebody spending somebody else’s
money on yet somebody else. That’s what
government does all the time.

But this principle is not just a commentary
about government. I recall a time, back in the
1990s, when the Mackinac Center took a close
look at the Michigan Education Association’s
self-serving statement that it would oppose
any competitive contracting of any school
support service (like busing, food or custodial)
by any school district anytime, anywhere.

We discovered that at the MEA’s own posh,
sprawling East Lansing headquarters,
the union did not have its own full-time,
unionized workforce of janitors and food
service workers. It was contracting out all of
its cafeteria, custodial, security and mailing
duties to private companies, and three out of
four of them were nonunion!

So the MEA — the state’s largest union of
cooks, janitors, bus drivers and teachers —
was doing one thing with its own money and
calling for something very different with
regard to the public’s tax money.

Nobody — repeat, nobody — spends someone else’s
money as carefully as he spends his own.


There you go.  And as we’ve seen on numerous bumper stickers on Subarus, Volvos, and Piouses around town over the years,

“If you aren’t angry, you aren’t paying attention.”

Which is just the way the ‘public servants’ at MSHA like it.

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