I didn’t write this, Ben Stein did. But, I feel it is an important opinion piece. Many of us have probably had these thoughts, but Mr. Stein makes them cogent. Here is the introduction to the article from the American Spectator with a link to the complete story.
Personally, I don’t get it. We have the disgraced CEO of General Motors, with his company now majority-owned by the U.S. government being paid an obscene severance package worth more than $8 million dollars while the administration is denying everyday businessmen an opportunity to head to Vegas, Miami Beach or Camelback Resort for their business meetings because it “sounds” expensive.
This in turn hurts hotel operators, maids, barmen, drivers, restaurant workers and a litany of others, all in the name of restraining excessive spending.
The current administration is continuing along its misguided path and hurting the little people while they reward the multi-millionaires and their friends. It’s a heck of a way to run a country.
As you read this Congress is still tampering with blacklists for meetings and conventions. I find this amazing when the leader of the Senate represents Las Vegas.
Here’s Ben Stein.
No Meetings on the Table
by Ben Stein
I was saddened to read in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago an article about how the federal government is clamping down on business meetings. The Department of Agriculture in particular is telling its employees not to have meetings if they can video conference, and especially, no matter what, not to go to resort towns like Las Vegas for meetings. This, so the government people say, shows respect for the taxpayers.
A few humble thoughts:
The idea of this, the most profligate administration in history by far, saying it is showing restraint by avoiding a few business meetings is like Genghis Khan saying he is a good guy for only pillaging 99 days out of 100. It would be funny if it were not so sad.
Second, it really tells volumes that this administration, with its vaunted smart advisers, thinks a business meeting is a bad, wasteful thing.
Are the meetings of Congress a waste? They are business meetings. Are the meetings of the Supreme Court wasteful? They are business meetings.
Business meetings involving travel are vital business and productivity tools for maximizing knowledge, the essence of human capital. They are the best possible way for new ways of adapting and adopting to be brought to bear. A business meeting is as valuable a business tool as a computer and maybe more so.
Perhaps more to the point, business meetings did not contribute to the credit bubble that caused this recession. Business meetings and travel did not cause the bursting of that bubble.