‘How Government Works’

“Once upon a time, the government took over a vast scrapyard in the middle of a desert. One day, a citizen pointed out,
Someone might steal from it at night.”

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

“Then the university 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 a politician said,
How do we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?

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

“Then the union said,
How are these people going to get paid?

“So they created the following positions: a timekeeper and a payroll officer, and then hired two more people.

“Then a taxpayer 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 an auditor said,
We have had this in operation for one year and we are well over budget — we must cutback overall costs.

“So they laid off the night watchman…”


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