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D.C. Mayor proves that Democrats love spending, for spending’s sake.

Christopher Harris

I recently saw an article in the Daily Caller about a spending bill from the Mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser, and it reminded me of a famous “quip” from someone I call, THAT DUDE, THE TEACHER.  Milton Friedman was awarded the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize Laureate in Economics, “for his achievements in the fields of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and for his demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy.”  According to him, as he was visiting a foreign country, he saw the workers on a massive construction project using shovels to dig ditches instead of bulldozers and the like. When he asked one of the government officials why this was being done, when there are mechanical devices that are more effective and efficient,  the government official stated that it was because more jobs were created that way. Friedman immediately responded, “Then why not use spoons?”

Well, here was the headline from the Daily Caller: “DC Mayor Rams More Last-Minute Spending Through City Council”. The article went on to say:


At the behest of Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. City Council members passed a $23 million spending bill Tuesday that will pay for police body cameras and and yet another jobs program for twentysomethings.

Bowser launched the last-minute money grab Sept. 15, giving the council just one week to pass the legislation, without much deliberation and no public hearings. The supplemental budget uses funds from the current fiscal year, which have to be spent before Oct. 1 when FY 2016 begins.

The council returned from a month-long summer recess just days before it was forced to take up Bowser’s extra spending plan that included $2.3 million to place 50 20-to-24-year olds in jobs as garbagemen in the city. That is roughly $46,000 per job created.


When I think of my favorite President of the 20th Century, THAT DUDE, President Ronald Reagan, in some regards, I’m always amazed at how prescient Reagan appeared to be. But, then I remember that he too was a student of human nature, and human behavior, and that he was also greatly influenced by Milton Friedman.  It seems like almost every day, when I read a headline today about the actions of Leftist/Regressive/Socialist minded people, something he previous said immediately comes to mind. In his October 27, 1964 speech, “A Time For Choosing”, Reagan said:

Now—so now we declare “war on poverty,” or “You, too, can be a Bobby Baker.” Now do they honestly expect us to believe that if we add 1 billion dollars to the 45 billion we’re spending, one more program to the 30-odd we have—and remember, this new program doesn’t replace any, it just duplicates existing programs—do they believe that poverty is suddenly going to disappear by magic? Well, in all fairness I should explain there is one part of the new program that isn’t duplicated. This is the youth feature. We’re now going to solve the dropout problem, juvenile delinquency, by re-instituting something like the old CCC camps [Civilian Conservation Corps], and we’re going to put our young people in these camps. But again we do some arithmetic, and we find that we’re going to spend each year just on room and board for each young person we help 4,700 dollars a year. We can send them to Harvard for 2,700! Course, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting Harvard is the answer to juvenile delinquency.


Just three years ago, the Washington Post reported that the average salary of the approximately 241 men and women who have obtained the coveted position of sanitation workers for the city was $36,000 a year, plus health and other benefits. But when I checked websites like Simply for information on the salaries of garbage man in DC, it said:

The average salary for garbage man jobs in DC is $59,000. Average garbage man salaries can vary greatly due to company, location, industry, experience and benefits.

This salary was calculated using the average salary for all jobs with the term “garbage man” anywhere in the job listing.

Another quick search for job openings for “sanitation workers” right across the river in Alexandria, VA  came up with this result.

Opening Date/Time: Tue. 09/22/15 12:00 AM Eastern Time
Closing Date/Time: Tue. 10/06/15 11:59 PM Eastern Time
Salary: $27,929.20 – $42,739.32 Annually
Job Type: Full-Time
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Department: Transportation & Environmental Services

I personally don’t begrudge anyone who is willing to get up, in all kinds or weather, and do a dirty and relatively thankless job. But, being a student of Milton Friedman, I have to go back to someone else he greatly influenced, THAT DUDE, Thomas Sowell, author of Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy,  I immediately found myself asking the three questions he loves to ask:

Thomas Sowell - 3 Questions

If the D.C. government is going to spend $2.3 million to place fifty, 20-to-24-year old’s in a job, at a cost of $46,000 annually per job…how much of that will be going directly towards paying the salary (including benefits) of those workers? I am willing to bet that a fairly sizable portion of that money will not find itself into the paychecks of those works. And even if all $46,000 goes into the salary of those workers, shouldn’t taxpayers ask if the same job can be done more effectively and efficiently for less money? Like Ronald Reagan said, “It would seem that someplace there must be some overhead.”  If they want to create more jobs in D.C. for people…why not hand out spoons and tell people to start digging?




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