The missing ‘Help Wanted’ ad

April 23, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

It’s missing from the want ad section of the Citizen: “Wanted Urgently: Reasonably bright person who can actually read and count backwards from 10 without too much hesitation, to be paid a very large sum of money for working on one or any of an investigation, consultancy, report on a particular time, series of incidents, or alleged conditions or fault, for X government department, body, party. Any person who can understand this ad should apply forthwith.”

See, I want one of these jobs but the ad was not in the Citizen this week or, even, recent weeks. To be crystal clear, this is not the fault of the very competent staff here at the Citizen – no, it is one of those self-propagating dilemmas where the person who is needed – as read above – is not yet hired to place the ad: so, no ad, because of lack a person to do it and, hence, none of us who qualify can apply. Vicious circle.

Okay, here is my thinking. I have been deeply impressed with the news when some governmental something/body decides that the only way forward is to hire (here is where the ad is needed, see?) consultants, investigators, people with unlimited patience for digging into endless files, the majority of which will be completely irrelevant to the question in hand but might make interesting reading and take up lots of time.

And governments – whatever – pay huge, huge money for the information, recommendations,  consultations and so forth – huge. Thus, a government body spends some serious money to outsiders to make recommendations about local matters and are prepared to wait an undefined length of time for results which will then be studied by government staff and, likely as not, a half-haphazard pretence at following said recommendations will begin, which, however, will very likely result in a general collapse of the progress for which the study, investigation,  consultation provided at such huge (remember) cost, due to a lack of comprehension and interest on the part of the people entrusted with the actual work of making the recommendations effective.

I want one of those jobs – see how I can waffle on for a long time, making sense eventually but in a very convoluted way? So, I’m really well qualified to dive in, up to my ears, in any kind of consultation, etc. After all, if governments insist on throwing such huge amounts of your money away on pointless, ineffective research, done by outsiders, on whose findings they will depend to the extent of blaming those outsiders in case of failure, non-achievement or the death of ambition, rather than admit to failure themselves, one of us ought to benefit from the foolishness.

Of course, I am not exaggerating in the slightest, although we all wish the foregoing were nothing more than a whimsical flight of fanciful hyperbole on my part, but no. The truth is pretty well as stated that governments waste fortunes on studies and consultations, with minimal effect.

Nowadays, a $1 million is barely petty cash in the minds of our government leaders and don’t let any of those wannabees tell you they’ll do better because the sad fact is that the nature of government and those that lead is dishonesty. Even the brightest-eyed, best smiles, most sincere candidates morph almost immediately into shifty, secretive, dictatorial…..

Something happens to any individual, regardless of background, rich or poor, famous or unknown, when that person sits of the throne, as it were, of political power, he/she loses his mind. The authority in power to make the final decisions and spend all that money, including borrowing on an unlimited line of credit, held by some (mythical) third party renders any individual insane with cashflow.

In order to balance wild, unreasoning spending, there will adjustments to tax laws: like Justin eliminating the tax claim on public transportation, as one perfect example of nutsy-ness in balancing the books: spend like crazy on projected programs and consultations but get it back from the lower rungs of the taxpaying public. Especially students whose tax exemptions for text books have also been cut.

On the record, $1 billion is a lot of money. Somewhere, somehow, someone threw that number out as something, smaller than one would think, to cost $1-billion. When not enough people flinched, it became common currency. However, no kidding, I think it is high time the public insisted on a breakdown of real costs with all of these extraordinarily high priced projects. We must see real justification for the price.

Meanwhile, if you are reading some obscure government journal or digging into the nether reaches of the internet and you do happen to come across one of those ads, let me know, will you? I never seem to win the lottery…

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