An Interesting Story About Government Funding

If the government wants to give money to your organization, that’s a good thing, right?

Here’s a letter to the editor that recently appeared in the Financial Times:

Sir, I was raised in a Catholic orphanage, along with 800 boys and girls, pre-kindergarten through high school. It was established in 1883. I experienced none of the “abuse, neglect and trafficking” JK Rowling talks about (“Rowling shines a light on the false incentives distorting aid”, Gillian Tett, November 19). That is, until the orphanage began accepting funds from the state rather than via charitable donations from religious organisations.

Once government money began flowing in, the orphanage had to adhere to all the latest politically correct modalities then in vogue: no more dormitories, only small “cottages” of 10 with live-in grievance counsellors rather than nuns; no more in-residence classrooms — the kids now had to be bussed to the nearest school; no more football and basketball teams — everybody had to get a trophy; and no more need to work on that 850-acre farm, or to work in the kitchen, in the bakery, in the dairy, in the powerhouse shovelling coal, or in the shoe and carpenter shops — these things would be provided by state subsidies.

Knock on the door of any one of its graduates and you would find that person a veteran of the second world war, the Korean war, Vietnam, the Gulf war, simply working in the corporate world as a productive member of our society. Now, its graduates are wards of the state.

In time, the orphanage dwindled from 800 children to 80 — the rapacious after-effects of public funding. Most recently it became entangled in equal rights abuses, the legal costs absorbing scare funds for upkeep and maintenance, before finally sinking into insolvency and closure. That orphanage out on the Illinois prairie is now surely one of Rowling’s “fairy tales”.

Jeremiah Norris (Hudson Institute)

As Rose Wilder Lane wrote, a long time ago:

Nobody can plan the actions of even a thousand living persons, separately. Anyone attempting to control millions must divide them into classes, and make a plan applying to these classes. But these classes do not exist. No two persons are alike. No two are in the same circumstances; no two have the same abilities; beyond getting the barest necessities of life, no two have the same desires.

She was talking about individuals, but a similar point could be made about organizations.

The people who talk so much about ‘diversity’ rarely seem to understand (or at least to care) that top-down government management is a destroyer, not an enabler, of true diversity.

8 thoughts on “An Interesting Story About Government Funding”

  1. I’ve been an elected school board trustee with about 6,500 students and $160mm budget for past 15 years

    A sad fact today is we begin the non-public part of our board meetings to be brought up to date on any new litigation from parents, employees and occasionally other. As a voice of one, I oppose quick settlements to avoid being a target for even more litigation.

    We’re not perfect, and make an occasional mistake. But regular litigation is now an expensive part of public education. The cost to taxpayers or rights of the children is rarely a consideration.

    Few people understand how extensively regulated is K-12 education today.


  2. Few people understand how extensively regulated is K-12 education today.

    Or everything else. The son who does not speak to me is a trial lawyer. Back in the days when we were friends, he did litigation defense. Since he joined the dark side, we have drifted apart,

    One day, I was at the LA Harbor with two of my daughters, one is also a lawyer. I said, jokingly, that the big Japanese auto carrier ship in front of us brought 10,000 Japanese cars every trip and we loaded it with 10,000 lawyers and sent it back to Japan.

    My lawyer daughter said, semi-seriously, “That isn’t funny, Daddy.”

    I didn’t really think it was either.

  3. My lawyer daughter said, semi-seriously, “That isn’t funny, Daddy.”

    No, but the following is funny…….

    While hunting has become a popular sport in many countries,
    laws have to be developed to both keep the populations in balance
    as well as to allow for a fair fight. New Rules and Regulations also
    have to be legislated whenever new species become the object
    of the hunt. With this is mind comes new regulations.

    US Government Department of Fish and “WildLife”
    Sec. 1200

    1. Any person with a valid hunting license may harvest attorneys.

    2. Taking of attorneys with traps or deadfalls
    is permitted. The use of currency as bait is prohibited.

    3. Killing of attorneys with a vehicle is prohibited.
    If accidentally struck, remove dead
    attorney to roadside and proceed to nearest car wash.

    4. It is unlawful to chase, herd, or harvest attorneys
    from a snow machine, helicopter, or aircraft.

    5. It shall be unlawful to shout “whiplash”,
    “ambulance”, or “free Perrier” for the purpose of trapping attorneys.

    6. It shall be unlawful to hunt attorneys within
    100 yards of BMW dealerships.

    7. It shall be unlawful to hunt attorneys within
    200 yards of courtrooms, law libraries, whorehouses,
    health spas, gay bars, ambulances, or hospitals.

    8. If an attorney is elected to government
    office, it shall be a felony to hunt, “entrap”, or
    possess it.

    9. Stuffed or mounted attorneys must have a
    state health department inspection for rabies, and vermin.

    10. It shall be illegal for a hunter to
    disguise himself as a reporter, drug dealer, pimp,
    female legal clerk, sheep, accident victim,
    bookie, or tax accountant for the purpose of
    hunting attorneys.

    (Maximum number of catches allowed per hunting season)

    1. Yellow Bellied Sidewinder 2
    2. Two-faced Tort Feasor 1
    3. Back-stabbing Divorce Litigator 4
    4. Small-breasted Ball Buster 3
    (Female only)
    5. Big-mouthed Pub Gut 2
    6. Honest Attorney On the Endangered Species List
    (Illegal to hunt)
    7. Cut-throat 2
    8. Back-stabbing Whiner 2
    9. Brown-nosed Judge Kisser 2
    10. Silver-tongued Drug Defender $100 BOUNTY

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  5. I believe today a lot of Catholic organizations refused to take government aid for that reason. As a corollary think too of companies that are too dependent on government contracts. Best to be rid of all Government income.

  6. Few people understand how extensively regulated is K-12 education today.

    When I was a child, there was one school superintendent for 13 towns, including mine. Currently each of those towns has its own school superintendent. My hometown’s superintendent informed us he spent nearly all his time making sure that the school- ONE SCHOOL- complied with all the regulations. [There is a regional high school my home town attends, so our town has only one school within its borders.]

    Regarding the lawyer jokes, I would like to add that my HOA has made use of attorneys. For most of the last ten years I have been the HOA’s representative for our attorneys. The attorneys we have used have been forthright, informing what we could and couldn’t obtain from the law. They have been forthright and accurate. Many times they have charged fewer hours than they actually worked. There are times when you need an attorney. Yes, they are costly. But necessary, at times.

    But lawyers who write federal law- that’s another issue entirely. As are lawyers who become politicians.

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