The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency.
- Eugene McCarthy
I'm always wary this time of year because our legislatures and Congress go back to work.
They mean well, of course, but it often seems government has difficulty solving the problems we citizens create.
Personally, I think they try too hard. With all the Western folks in town for the Augusta Futurity, I'm reminded of the old Indian saying: "When you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount."
Well, no. And a reader passed along this wonderful example of what happens when government has to solve the aforementioned problems of riding a dead horse.
1. Changing riders.
2. Buying a bigger whip.
3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
4. Visiting other cities/states/countries to see how they ride dead horses.
5. Lowering standards so dead horses can be included.
6. Reclassifying the dead horse as "living-impaired."
7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.
9. Providing additional funding/training to increase the dead horse's performance.
10. Conducting a productivity study to see if a lighter rider would help the dead horse.
11. Declaring that, because the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and contributes more to the bottom line than live horses.
12. Rewriting the performance requirements for all horses.
13. And (my favorite) promoting the dead horse to a supervisory or elected position.
The last is apparently popular and explains much about what goes on in our legislatures and Congress.
There is the story of a pastor who got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation: "I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program. The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets."
Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.