16 April 2012

GreyMail: Political Corruption

MB shares this story:

A five-day Western Regions Conference at Las Vegas in October 2010 for 300 people cost more than $822,751, according to a report from the General Services Administration’s inspector general.
Along with excessive spending violations, the report claims that a $58,808 contract was given to large audio and visual services company, Royal Productions, when federal law requires them to be awarded to small businesses, according to the Washington Post.

Though I’m philosophically opposed to government regulation and its attendant bureaucracy, this story provides a perfect example of why one should be opposed to regulation and bureaucracy on pragmatic grounds.  Namely, bureaucrats are too busy wasting taxpayer money to enforce the regulations.  Thus, the problem with regulations is not necessarily that they are bad in theory (though some undoubtedly are), but that they are pointless because the people tasked with enforcing them are too busy partying in Vegas and, as was the case with the SEC some months ago, to busy jerking off to porn.


  1. DoD has been forbidden from holding a conference in Vegas ever since tailhook. The real question is, "why are they having those conferences int eh first place"? Is there really anythign going on there that is beneficial to the official performance of the agency? The answer is no. Industry has conferences like this so that vendors can meet each other and sell stuff to each other. Government tries to act like business and thinks that "having annual boondogles" is a business practice that improves the bottom line. But they are just clueless about what busines looks like.

  2. @Prof. Hale- Agreed. The government seems ill-equipped to know what business looks like. Probably because it can force people to "buy" its product.