Lars Larson: Wasted school supplies

Have you heard about all the school supplies they were wasting in Gresham?

I think waste is wrong any time. But, waste by government institutions is doubly offensive because they demand that taxpayers pay taxes at the point of a gun. They take our money and when it’s wasted, it’s really wasted.

I’ll give you an example from this week. At a Gresham elementary school parents found a dumpster full of wasted supplies. In many cases simply unused supplies brought in by the kids and paid for by their parents. Some of it may have been paid for with taxpayers dollars. It certainly all came from families in the northwest.

Gresham’s response? “This happens all the time. We’ll investigate.” I hear about it nearly every year.

If schools are going to demand that we pay high taxes to fund $13,000/year in schooling the least they could do is make sure all those supplies get used. Or, not thrown in the dumpster when still brand new.

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Posted by at 05:30 | Posted in Measure 37 | 547 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Rupert in Springfield

    Governments once they get to a certain size exist in large part as a means of wasting human effort. By wasting the efforts of the populous, government maintain relevance and power in peoples lives.

    You think those giant earth moving projects, the huge dams etc., in communist countries are because they cared about fulfilling peoples electrical needs?

    Not on your life. Those projects, from the pyramids on, have served two purposes. One they get a large structure built that possibly has some use. More importantly though they keep the citizenry busy.

    This is why inefficiency in government is so important.

    Who aspires to be in government?

    People who for some reason wake up and like the idea of setting the rules others follow more than they like the idea of making something people want. People who like power.

    If government were efficient, thus requiring negligible amounts of taxation of the populous, wouldn’t those in government be less signifigant in peoples lives?

    If government is less efficient, taxation soars, and government is omnipresent in peoples daily lives.

    It’s not a purposeful effort, its just the natural inclination.

    Waste is everywhere, obviously Lars hears about it every year in the case of the school supplies. Do we see anyone in government, a teacher, or a janitor, going on the news with the school supplies story? Of course not.

    When was the last time anyone in government stood up, called attention to waste and went to the effort to cut it? It happens but its rare. Why would that be? It appears to not make sense since the one issue everyone can agree on is cutting outrageous waste, like the school supplies, is a good thing.

    Compare that to how often we see someone in government demanding more money, or starting a new program to spend money. Those aren’t nearly as popular an activity and finding outrageous waste and eliminating it. Why is that more frequent than championing elimination of waste?

    Answer – government exists to expand its power and relevance. Part of that power is taxing the populous to the highest extent possible. If it has to tax, spend, and throw away in order to do so, it will do just that.

  • a senior citizen

    I went to a news story about this with a picture of the school supplies:

    Good grief, about four boxes of crayons, a dozen used bottles of Elmer’s glue (ever try to use that stuff after it’s dried up over a summer after school kids have used it? I have.) A dozen or so marker pens, some kind of “educational” CD or two.

    This is the best example Larson can come up with of school and government waste? Then we should be grateful that our local government is so thrifty and efficient! Compared to corporate waste and fraud, this Gresham school is nothing.

    • Steve Plunk

      That corporation isn’t throwing away other people’s money like the school did. That is a huge difference. It took effort to waste these supplies. Why expend the effort?

      • valley p

        “That corporation isn’t throwing away other people’s money like the school did.”

        Dried up glue does not have monetary value. Aren’t you just jumping to a conclusion based on insufficient facts?

      • valley p

        And to add a not so small point. The US banking industry managed to throw away hundreds of billions of other people’s money. Madoff along managed to throw away about 60 billion. Enron threw away a whole lot of money. BP just threw away the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico.

        So yeah…private corporations can and often do throw other people’s money away.

      • eagle eye

        Isn’t the corporation throwing away the stockholders’ money? Even when it’s not digging for government bailouts. And isn’t the corporation a type of public entity too, though of a somewhat different kind than a public school? After all, the corporation wouldn’t exist if it hadn’t been created by very special provisions of law. Those laws creating corporations exist because the corporation is regarded as a kind of public trust. “Initial public offering” and all that.

  • Marvin Von Renchler

    Lars, the problem is that we all makes posts like this, do some investigative journalism and report waste, etc, call into radio shows and give a ‘what for’, then sit back and feel like we got something done. So what was done about it? What was done about the countless other problems and outrageous waste such as the DMV computer fiasco, light rail and more? We all yell but do nothing. Nothing.  To go back to that old quote from the movie, we should be MAD AS HELL AND NOT TAKE IT ANY MORE.  You report on many items such as this—why dont you call for a rally by your listeners/viewers to do something?

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