Some of the best comedies are based on characters who have become completely detached from reality. The more detached they are, the funnier it is. Farmers that have never been to the city and don’t know how to use a flush toilet, or a city girl that’s never been on a farm and is shocked to learn where hamburgers come from. Crocodile Dundee was a classic example.
Another good example is L.A. council member Bill Rosendahl, who refuses to lay off his city’s calligraphers during the greatest recession in history.
From Wikipedia, calligraphy “is a type of visual art. It is often called the art of fancy lettering.” If you know how to write fancily, you get to keep your job in the government.
“That’s right, those lovely, hand-scribed proclamations commemorating your service to the community, or perhaps Sea Otter Awareness Week, are a million-dollar-a-year issue at city hall. Elected officials love handing them out to constituents as acknowledgements for volunteerism and other civic contributions.” ~NBC
On Tuesday of this week, L.A. city council members considered laying off 1,000 city workers, including city calligraphers, to close an ever growing budget deficit. They only needed 8 of their 15 votes. They failed.
Talk about using your tax dollars to subsidize the typewriter repairmen industry, or the horse and buggy whip manufacturers…this makes me wonder if the L.A. government uses photocopy machines or just has a staff of thousands that transcribes documents by hand instead.
Companies have been forced to layoff millions…but the city government of L.A. couldn’t layoff 1,000. It’s so easy to avoid making the tough decisions when it’s not their money that pays for it.
To think of all that time I wasted in college and all the useless experience I have from my lowly private sector existence. If I had only known back then to just study calligraphy for a few weeks, I could have a guaranteed government job with all the perks and benefits and never have to fear a recession.
A mentor of mine once taught me that, “volume hides all sins.” He used a river as a metaphor, and explained that as long as there is lots of water in the river, the flowing surface is smooth and peaceful. As the river runs dry, and the volume of water drops, it’s forced to run over all of the stones and branches and logs along the bottom and the surface is violent, frothy and agitated. He was referring to fraud and how much easier it is for companies to hide it when they are making a lot of money, but how quickly their games are revealed when the money starts running out.
Now that we are in the Great Recession, and the money is running out…the games of our government are starting to show on the surface. Not only are we learning about rampant pension and benefit abuse by the unions in collaboration with the politicians, but also how detached from the average American citizen our politicians are. While we lost bonuses, had our pay cut, lost our jobs…government workers were getting increased benefits, more pay and kept all their jobs. While we cut back and started saving more, government grew larger and spent more.
While companies struggle to get lean and efficient, cutting waste and excess, letting go of key employees critical to the business, just to stay alive…the government won’t even lay off their calligraphers.
If it weren’t true, it would be a comedy.
Categories: Gov't Workers & Unions