Jewish Journal

Our Government Is A Big Fat Waste-Monger

by Annie Korzen

September 28, 2011 | 3:23 pm

I would like to suggest a new cabinet post: Secretary of Frugality. Please note that I am available for the job. Here are a few items I would deal with.

• I volunteered to be a polls worker on Election Day, and was obliged to take a. two-hour training class.  We were each handed three thick vinyl-covered volumes of instructions.  My particular job description took up half a page.  I wonder what amount of trees and water and oil were wasted in order to print thousands of those useless instruction books. 

• Actors collect unemployment between jobs.  While I was on the dole, I would frequently receive letters from the Unemployment Department inviting me to learn job skills as a metalworker.  I wonder how many thousands of these notices were sent out.  I wonder how much paper, energy, and manpower was wasted. I wonder how many actors seek training as metalworkers.

• I will permanently abolish the automatic flush toilet: a truly diabolical invention. The airport restroom sounds like Niagara Falls.  The automatic gizmo is so sensitive that it flushes when you look at it, flushes when you sit down, flushes while you do your business, and it flushes again to say bye-bye.  I may be technologically challenged, but I am perfectly capable of pulling a toilet handle.  I wonder how many millions of gallons of precious water are squandered away by a totally unnecessary “convenience.”  Why don’t they invent something useful instead, like an electronic eyeglass locater?

• Our primitive, brutal, congested penal system has got to be one of the biggest money-wasters around – along with that insane War on Drugs.  I say make more drugs legal – in addition to alcohol and nicotine – then tax the hell out of them and use that money to educate and empower those young men who are looking to escape their hopeless lives.  They will then get good jobs, nice homes, and get high on things that we respectable people are addicted to – like crispy baguettes and “Thirty Rock.”  It’s so simple!

When I am Secretary of Frugality, I promise to
• turn garbage into mulch,
• turn bath water into garden water,
• turn cooking oil into fuel,
• and let those windmills turn.

I believe Americans are capable of change, and there are small signs of progress.  I attended a school concert recently, and the programs were printed on scrap paper.


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Annie Korzen is a comedy writer and performer. Her humorous essays have been printed in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and more. She has...

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