Thursday, March 28, 2013

Corruption Not Incompetance

I was wrong in thinking that the government was incompetent when it cam to spending millions of our dollars in a wasteful way.

Let's look at another example from the Antiplanner:
Meanwhile, on the other side of DC, Arlington, Virginia–the same city that wants to spend $250 million on a 4.9-mile streetcar line–just finished installing a $1 million bus stop. Not surprisingly, construction took longer than expected.

Of course, not satisfied to spend a mere $1 million on a single bus stop, Arlington plans to build a total of 24 of these gold-plated bus stops. After all, why spend $5,000 on a shelter that protects customers from rain when you can spend a million dollars of other people’s money on a fancy bus stop whose “roof may not keep rain off the heads of those waiting”?
$1 million per bus stop is very wasteful.  But the companies who will build the bus stops will make money, which they'll use to make campaign contributions to politicians, who will be encouraged to vote to give those companies more projects to build, etc.

It is incredible that things like this happen.

We can read often about the decline in newspaper readership; they wonder what they can do to return to prominence.   I have a suggestion for you newspapers: write some stories on how much of our money is wasted by the government.  Point out which politicians get large campaign contributions from the companies that get government contracts.  Go through government budgets and point to areas of outright waste. 

Or you could continue to write about celebrity relationships and wonder why readership is down.

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