Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Night Watchman...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

The following has probably been seen and read before by many. The message is a powerful message, IMNHO. It is one of those messages that bears repeating, and repeating, and repeating... often. A message that should be reinforced at every turn of the bureaucratic Merry-Go-Round.

But first some thoughts...

We are facing difficult fiscal times that require hard decisions. So far neither the Congress or the Executive Branch has come to terms with the fiscal challenges and the global realities of the 21st century. Perhaps the fault here really rests with us, We the People.

Given that we are a representative republic and power really rests in our hands (self governance or self rule), perhaps it is time we get serious about cleaning up "our house."

As you read the following think about your individual situation. Your neighbors. Consider those things your government does that benefits you and your family as well as those things effect you negatively and unnecessarily adds cost to the government which ultimately coats us all.

Think locally. Think statewide. Think nationally. Think globally. Consider unintended consequences. Think ethically and morally. Think about how this nation of the self governed can create a more responsive and effective government.

Stop bitching about the government and the people you elected to serve in government. Start thinking about why we have the situation we have today and how it might be improved.

And most of all... Stop sending mixed messages to the politicians you elect and accept the responsibility for changing your government. Into the government you want. It takes works and determination.

Oh, and one more thing, perhaps the most important, BE READY AND WILLING TO ULTIMATELY ACCEPT COMPROMISE. Then demand your representatives in government do the same. In a nutshell, look out for your own self interest (and those of your family) with respect to economic and political concerns. It is time the days of the connected and the pull pedlars controlling government come to an end. It is, in the end, up to each and every one of us to make our voices heard and demand better than we have ben receiving for the past 13 years.


Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert.

Congress, recognizing the darker side of human nature said, "Someone may steal from it at night." So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress asked, "How does the watchman do his job without instruction?" So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress asked, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?" So they created a Quality Control Department and hired two people, one to do the studies and one to write the reports.

Then Congress asked, "How are these people going to get paid?" So they created two positions, a time keeper and a payroll officer and hired two people to fill these positions…

Then Congress asked "Who will be accountable for all of these people?" So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, "We have had this command profile in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back." So they laid off the night watchman.

Now, slowly, let it sink in…

Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter. Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the Department of Energy during the Carter administration?




Didn't think so!

Bottom line, we've spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency, the reason for which very few people who read this can remember!

Ready??... It was very simple and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.

The Department of Energy was instituted on 8/04/1977 for the admirable purpose of 'lessening the nation’s dependency on foreign oil'.

Now, wouldn’t you agree this has been pretty efficient?

It is 2013, 36 years later. The budget for this "necessary” department in 2012 was 24.2 billion dollars per anum.  In 2012 it had 16,000 federal employees and approximately 100,000 contract employees. Is it time to finally consider the job it has done?


35 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports.

Ah, yes – the efficient Federal Bureaucracy.

It is 2013 and we have entrusted the banking system, health care, and the auto industries to the same government Bureaucracy and its inefficient system.

Hello!! Is Anybody Home?

Signed....The Night Watchman

It seems the night watchmen has been paying attention. Isn't it our turn to relive him?

There are places to cut just as there are places not to cut. Figuring out what is right and makes the most sense is really everybody's job, Isn't it? Leaving it to the Washington and state bureaucrats will most definitely insure continuation of the status quo.


  1. "lessening the nation’s dependency on foreign oil"

    I've always found this statement to be absolute nonsense.
    There is a world market in petroleum priced in U.S. dollars. We are going to pay the world price regardless.

    Now, if it were rephrased to "lessening our dependance on oil" we might have something that makes more sense.

    The night watchman story was pretty good.

    1. You make a valid observation. And I enjoyed the story as well.

  2. Whatever the expressed original purpose of the DOE, it exists today because the energy sector is a huge player in all our lives and our tax dollars go to them as the government itself, mostly the military, is a major consumer of energy. Energy is also a major player in security and defense in general, as well as in trade, agriculture, manufacturing, and so forth. So, it's in our interests to have a DOE. What exactly it does is another matter. What would you suggest it do? How would you suggest perhaps it could do things differently? Complaining about the size and scope is all well and fine, but it's just a surface of the matter.

    As a matter of capitalistic success, our energy sector, in this country, is probably the strongest in the world. Our large energy corporations make record profits on a regular basis, and in general the sector has been remarkably successful by all capitalistic standards for many years now. So I fail to see how the DOE has on the whole encumbered it, let alone wasted all our tax dollars.

    Of course, others would argue the relationship between the energy sector and the government is too cozy, and that much of the tomes of energy regulation are actually giveaways to special interests. That's the kind of thing you clean up with clean elections. That's how our republic works. Dirty up the elections with money, masquerading as passive speech, and you have a lot of the bad regulations that actually hurt consumers and taxpayers.

    As for hurting the energy sector, it sure looks friggin' healthy to me. A little too healthy if you ask me. Like a dude on steroids.


    1. Question for you jmj. Have you ever identified a government bureaucracy you thought was unnecessary? Follow up question. If so which one(s) would it (they) be?

  3. I would just reorganize them.

    I never liked the DHS. It's superfluous and runs contrary to the posse comitatus doctrine. The DOJ is what prosecutes crime in the US. This ridiculous war on terror has created an inherently bad bureaucracy there, whatever the goodly motives of it's agency.

    The environment is given short-shrift and relegated to whining about small issues, while defense doesn't have to pony up the bill for the VA, a huge cost you don't see in the annual defense appropriations. Education, something you guys complain about all the time, actually has a huge payoff, as there's a lot more to it than just a silly regulation here or there at your local middle school. Education is given another short-shrift.

    Meanwhile, defense is still unimaginably huge, with a massive bureaucracy, proven time and again to be frivolous spenders. It should be cut at the very least in half. The ATF is an anachronism. It's like someone just blindly pointed at three objects in a honky-tonk and made a law enforcement body out of it.

    The USDA should get out of the housing subsidy business in the burbs. I don't see why HUD wouldn't manage a 90 year old's rent subsidy. It's not like she's out working the fields.

    That's all just at the federal level, and I can think of many other examples. On the state and local levels, over the course of my life, I could probably cite dozens of unnecessary bureaucracies.

    Then there's the contracting with tax dollars to private bureaucracies that is quite often a complete waste of money. Pure dangerous and run-amok institutional corruption in action, sucking money out of corrections, law enforcement, healthcare, education, and on and on.

    Now then, what would you get rid of?


    1. "Then there's the contracting with tax dollars to private bureaucracies that is quite often a complete waste of money"

      Actually, that often saves a LOT of money. Because the government can contract with the outfit that provides the best service, instead of funneling money into the bureacracy and overpaying government union 'workers'.

      "Pure dangerous and run-amok institutional corruption in action, sucking money out of corrections, law enforcement, healthcare, education, and on and on."

      Now this... is a dead-on perfect description of public-sector unions.

  4. "I would just reorganize them."

    Re-arrange deck chairs on the Titanic?


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