Champagne in the Castle

This story has led to the resignation of the head of the Smithsonian. A familiar pattern in both business and public life, but often times these scandals don’t touch the people they really ought to touch. Namely, the people whose role was to exercise due diligence, who approved the contracts or the expenditures. Certainly this casts a very new light on the Smithsonian’s terrible deal with Showtime.

The only thing I fear is that the yahoos on Capitol Hill will decide to punish the institution by cutting its appropriations further. Maybe they ought to fund a national treasure appropriately and find an administrator who is less focused on raising money and more focused on making his own institution the best it can be. I have to laugh when folks decide that someone who comes from the corporate world inevitably is going to be some kind of master of efficiency when they’re put in charge of a public institution.

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5 Responses to Champagne in the Castle

  1. hestal says:

    I spent decades producing systems for the management of private and public enterprises. On balance, the most efficient and effective, measured in terms of providing equal service to customers in keeping with the legal purposes of the enterprise, were public organizations. And as you say, the problems arise when the elected officials decide to indulge their personal theories or to reward their cronies. In the present the phrase, “No Child Left Behind” is as empty as “Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

    In fact education and the military are nothing more than giant playpens for the self-indulgence of personal fantasies by the ruling juntas. Giant, destructive playpens, and those who wreak the destruction are never held accountable.

  2. David Chudzicki says:

    “NOTHING more than”?

  3. hestal says:

    David Chudzicki:

    If your comment “NOTHING more than” is aimed at my comment, then what is your point? Do you not understand my point or do you merely disagree with the way I expressed it?

  4. David Chudzicki says:

    Your claim, as I understood it, seemed so extreme that I wasn’t sure whether that’s really what you meant. If it is, then yeah, I disagree.

  5. hestal says:

    Glad to hear it, I wouldn’t want you to be an accuracy scold.

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