14 February 2006

Asses & Tumors

Now the Department of (Inferior, Outdated, Culturally-Useless) Education announces a reduction of 5,000 employees from their payroll.

Big fat hairy deal. This is like a patient with cancer-riddled internal organs being told he's about to have his appendix removed.

The Do(IOC-U)E's problems are legion, from simple stupidity to complex stupidity:

-- Simple stupidity: Payroll and related costs absorb over 90%--read that again--of the department's budget, despite the fact that teachers comprise less than 40% of the department's total personnel. With an annual budget over $1.2 billion and running a roughly $360 million deficit each year, this department is as simple and attractive as a cesspool.

-- Complex stupidity: Political cronyism and blatant corruption have never blended well with education. Maybe it's just Me, but the carrion-feeding mentality doesn't jibe well with forging a better future. Right, Victor Fajardo? (For those of you just dropping in, Victor Delictor is in jail now for being more than just an incompetent Education Secretary: he was also an insidious supplier of illegally-gained monies to the local statehood party, led by another donkey, then-governor Pedro Rosselló.) (For those of you who object to "donkey", please substitute "ass". Please do.)

What are the expected savings from this toenail-clipping reduction of 5,000 employees? About $15 million. Woo-hoo! Hell, Victor Malefictor took $11 million all by himself, so excuse Me for not being impressed. A 1% "savings" from a runaway behemoth of crass political and cultural incompetence is not going to amount to anything, so again, what's the big deal?

The problem is that the current jackass in La Fortaleza (those of you who object to "jackass" can simply use "ass"; and again, please do) Aníbal Acevedo Vilá keeps trying to jump humongous chasms in two leaps (or four) rather than one. Reducing the size of government, like removing cancerous tumors, is a great idea. But tumors are removed by excision, not shaving. Although it's very hard--if not impossible--to tell where the tumor ends and where the "government organ" begins, My suggestion is to cut away boldly, to make the changes as strong as possible so that the process forces an analysis of what's tissue and what's rot.

And if it turns out that there is no tissue, only rot, then We can start making positive strides to a more effective infrastructure, even if it means eliminating a sorry "marketing" arm like PRIDCO or an even-sorrier "teaching brain" like Education. We need changes now and We're not going to get them through half-measures.

Actually, half-assed measures. Two asses amounting to half-assed government... When it comes to asses, the math can get complicated...

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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