Saturday, May 25, 2013

Your tax dollars well spent

I went to workout tonight.  When I passed by the check-in counter I overheard a conversation between the clerk and someone who had to be a guest.  He wanted to know where the locker room was.

When the visitor passed through the turnstiles I told him to follow me and I would show him where the locker room was.  I'd heard him also ask the clerk where the pool was, so I told him I would show him that as well.

We begin to converse in route to the locker room and he tells me he is visiting his parents in Boston this weekend. He lives in Maryland, he says, northeast from the capitol near College Park. We shmooze a bit in this very short journey from the turnstiles to the locker room.  When we arrive, I tell him how to access the pool.

He tells me a story which, in retrospect I believe, was intended to relay how glad he was to have a pool in which to swim. At the time, what struck me about the story was what will strike you as significant.

As you know there is this phenomenon going on called sequestration.  I have not been able to understand why the term is used but to be fair I haven't been exploring how/why they have selected the label.  To sequester someone is to put them someplace away from others. Juries are sequestered when the judge feels that contact with those outside the jury could contaminate the deliberation process.  The current fiscal "sequestration" relates to funding cutbacks so I am not real sure why the term applies.

The fellow tells me a sequestration story.  Apparently, the government decided to drain the public pools in Maryland. Why?  The chlorine necessary for the pool was  a cost that someone determined could be eliminated.  So, the pools were drained to save money on the chlorine. However, the  fiscally responsible people whose salaries we pay as taxpayers, made no cutbacks to the staff who work for the pools. The lifeguards, for example, maintenance personnel, administrators of the pools were not cut back. The lifeguards  arrive at work daily. There is no water in the pools, therefore no swimmers to protect. Still they are paid to stare at an empty pool. Maintenance workers have no pools to clean because there is no water in the pool.

Makes you feel good about sequestration, No?

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