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Will somebody please tell me what the heck I’m talking about?

I was surfing around recently (Wikipedia, I think) and I came across the most marvelous term. It was something like the “national park effect” and it had an alternate version that mentioned a specific park. Yosemite, maybe. Does this ring a bell with anyone? I’d love to know the exact phrase.

What it means is, whenever a bureaucrat is ordered to cut back, he immediately chooses the most beloved or most important programs and threatens to disembowel them, as though it’s the only possible way to cut costs. Walk right on by all the useless cash-eating bullshit government sponsors — tax cuts mean drastic changes to the national parks or the military or highways.

Here in the UK, it’s usually schools and hospitals. Fortunately, those things mean nothing in the Badger household, but they get us with police and trash collection.

I know from my own experience (mostly reading the little area paper) that our local district council has a salaried position to show new-ish mothers at home how to brush a baby’s teeth (only this!), keeps someone on staff to come around and look at your compost heap and tell you if you’re doing it right, floats a full-time rat-catcher (okay, this guy was quite useful and interesting). They recently sponsored a trapeze artist to teach basic moves in the community centre (fitness, don’tcha know).

Don’t forget these employees enjoy salaries well above those in the private sector, benefits often equal in value to their salaries, and pensions...well. Pensions are the killer. Carrying civil servants through their golden years is murdelating our budgets. And, even worse than the States, government is the only part of the economy that has continued to grow and grow as the private sector shrinks.

We’re coming up on an election here, probably in May, and the Tories are probably going to walk it, though they richly undeserve to win. Already the BBC and Labour (but I repeat myself) are full of “ZOMG, Tory cuts in services!!!!!” and already the Tories have responded by deciding that cuts really don’t need to be deep.

Ugh. We are drowning in tax over here.

So what I like to do — it’s a little masochistic game I play — is mosey over to the Guardian jobs section and spot the most useless, expensive government job opening on the books. Lesbian outreach workers and sustainability officers and like that. Our entire household tax expenditure probably isn’t enough to support one of those useless parasites, and that makes me feel as warm and fuzzy as goat testicles.

Interesting to note, by the way, that the government’s favorite place for classified ads is a highly left-wing paper with tiny circulation. They know their constituency. Although today’s winner is from that once-great conservative paper, the Daily Telegraph.


February 1, 2010 — 7:10 pm
Comments: 36