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Is It Me?

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Red Don's picture
Red Don
User offline. Last seen 3 years 29 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 19 Oct 2008

I work for a local authority.  We have been told there is no money in the budget to paint over a few black marks on the walls in one of our office building. Fair enough. However they mentioned that there was a large budget for construction work to improve the office. Therefore if we came up with a construction project we don’t actually need (knock a wall down etc) and it gets approved and carried out, it will cause enough mess to force them to put a fresh coat of paint up. Instead of laughing the idea out of court, my manager wants to have a meeting with everyone to discuss possible renovation ideas. I thought we were in a recession! I wouldn't mind but I can hardly see the marks on the walls myself.  Has the World gone mad or is it me?

User offline. Last seen 5 years 4 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Oct 2008
I used to work at public

I used to work at public library. We had similar problems: for example our requests for more book shelves (we had books piled pretty much everywhere) were usually turned down on the ground that there weren't any funds available. But we also had too much money to buy books: this money needed to be spent by a certain date if we wanted to have those funds available next year so we bought hundreds of books that were sent right to our warehouse. Get it? We didn't have the book shelves to accomodate all of our books but we had to buy many more books than we actually needed.
Also look at all the councils which are spending like there's no tomorrow on dubious projects while our roads get worse each day. I usually liken public spending to a family which keeps on claiming to have no money for food or medicine but  which keeps buying Fabergé eggs. Why is that? The big problem is that a public economy doesn't work like a private economy (though the last decades have seen the infection spread, just look at the car industry). In the public sector there's no capital accumulation, there's no accountability and income is always forthcoming no matter what. A CEO who goes on a wild spending spree without any return for the company will most likely be sacked by shareholders. A mayor building a new fountain while the roads disintegrate risks absolutely nothing. If I run a private enterprise and I squandered all of my capital foolishly banks would be very unlikely to give me a loan. A council wasting money needs to worry not: there will be more money on the way next year no matter what. Sadly starting with the whole British Leyland fiasco private groups started to think that if they are big enough they will be bailed out by government no matter what: that's why I talked about the infection spreading.
There would be a whole lot more to say but this isn't the time and place.

In Distortion We Trust


"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Joined: 23 Jul 2008
I have worked in local and

I have worked in local and core government departments and your right about how they tend to spend all their budget quickly, beg for more, spend that then beg for even more, so that the following years budget is larger than the one before.



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