Bureaucracy in action

Please ignore the navel gazing in this and you might see a more important point about why government should run as little of our lives as possible.

The brilliant academics at Granby Elementary School are wanting to raise money to buy, well, something…whatever the last multimillion dollar bond issue wouldn’t buy apparently. Well enough, they could ask for a donation, but no that would simply be too efficient. Instead they are having a school carnival including a silent auction. Five minutes ago, my daughter tells me that tomorrow they are putting together buckets of art supplies to be sold at the silent auction. She’s been assigned to bring 3 24-count boxes of Crayons. So, I’m supposed to go buy these. (My wife is gone for the week, every store in Granby other than the convenience store closes at 8 and the kid needs to go to bed because they are having “MAP” testing tomorrow, so this is going to be problematic.) Then in a couple of weeks we’re supposed to go to the school carnival and bid to buy them back. Now, the economist in me, the Missourian in me and the guy trying to figure out how to get to Neosho to buy them all agree – this is stupid. It’s inane that I should buy something, give it to them and then buy it back. It’s stupid that they need this tomorrow when the actual event is over a week away. That this is their idea of efficiency explains why they could pass a multimillion dollar bond issue two years ago and need to beg donations to buy school supplies now. Now I’m not normally one to suggest that government should ask me to get my checkbook out, but wouldn’t that be the common sense, efficient solution?

Beyond Politics: Markets, Welfare, and the Failure of Bureaucracy (Independent Studies in Political Economy)

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