Sunday, January 13, 2008

Who Runs the Buggy-Whip Concession?

In his most recent syndicated column (which I saw in this morning's Daily Progress in Charlottesville, but had to be found on line in the Topeka Capital-Journal), former Texas agriculture commissioner Jim Hightower writes:

Sergio Olaya is a 21-year-old college student who has had to drop out of school because of our country's messed up health insurance system....

Ironically, Mr. Olaya's job is in the U.S. Senate. He runs an elevator on which our honorable solons ride everyday.
The point of Hightower's column is to make a plea for government-provided health insurance for all Americans, but that's not what caught my eye.

What grabbed me was the notion that the U.S. Senate is paying someone to be an elevator operator -- in 2008!

Are our Senators so weak that they cannot press the buttons to take them from the ground floor to the third floor? From the basement to the penthouse?

Can there be a more archaic, unnecessary job than running an automatic elevator?

What other 19th-century jobs are being paid for on Capitol Hill by the money taken from taxpayers?

Perhaps if Congress got rid of the deadbeats on their payroll, they could refund some of those taxes so people are better able to afford health insurance on their own, without the government control that Hightower so strongly desires.


Jack Landers said...

Indeed it is an outrage. Post-haste, we must move this young man over to the shoe-shine department. Or I hear that they are looking for another assistant to the gentleman responsible for massaging Robert Byrd's heart into beating each morning.

jk said...

Yup, the Capitol walls are Schumpeterian gale-proof. Aaah!

"Operator," however, is a pejorative term. Olaya is a Vertical Location and Positioning Engineer.