Advancing a Free Society

Is Your Local Government Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Governments are like 10-year-olds: If they have a few bucks in their pockets, they want to spend it, even it’s on dumb stuff.  Although governments at every level are supposedly tightening their belts and many local jurisdictions are in genuine crisis, many of us confront bureaucratic profligacy and waste under our very noses.

Last year, I saw first-hand an example of a nonsensical waste of public funds in my own suburban community of Redwood City, Calif.  Because of a requirement of the Americans With Disabilities Act that wheelchair ramps be included at all intersections, work crews installed hundreds of these ramps at a cost of millions of dollars — at a time when counties and cities here were cutting essential services to the bone.

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