I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I write about insanely stupid government policies. But I know I get more motivated to fight big government.
How can anyone want to give more money and power to politicians, for instance, after reading these comparisons of dumb government policy in the United States and United Kingdom? Or how can anyone think it’s a good idea to expand the public sector after reading these examples of bureaucratic incompetence?
But now I’ve come across something even more amazing, a story of government stupidity that trumps these other examples. And this is not satire. It is not from The Onion.
Believe it or not, the Greek government has decided that pedophiles are “disabled” and therefore deserve money from the government.
And what really makes this boondoggle remarkable is that you‘re helping to pay for it thanks to the IMF bailout of Greece. Here’s the link to the AP story, and here are the relevant passages.
…a government decision to expand a list of state-recognized disability categories to include pedophiles, exhibitionists and kleptomaniacs. …The Labor Ministry said categories added to the expanded list – that also includes pyromaniacs, compulsive gamblers, fetishists and sadomasochists – were included for purposes of medical assessment and used as a gauge for allocating financial assistance. …The new list gives pyromaniacs and pedophiles disability pay up to 35 percent.
Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but my first reaction to this story is that child molesters should be in jail, not getting taxpayer-funded handouts.
I guess that’s being unfair, though, since not all pedophiles become child molesters.
But that’s besides the point. Why on earth did the government decide that pedophiles are disabled? And why does that automatically entitle them to disability payments?
Most important, why did the Obama Administration support the IMF bailout of Greece, which means I’m helping to pay for this nonsense?
I don’t know whether this is a sign that I’m not very imaginative or a sign that I have an overly active imagination, but the only semi-rational justification I can think of for this policy is as follows.
1. Greece is in fiscal trouble in part because of too many overpaid bureaucrats.
2. It’s almost impossible in most circumstances to fire bureaucrats.
3. By some miracle, though, pedophiles don’t have normal levels of civil service protection, which means they can be let go.
4. But government unions don’t want their fellow bureaucrats cut loose without some sort of golden parachute.
5. So Greece rules these pedophiles are disabled and gives them a permanent source of income.
6. Greece then saves money by paying them 35 percent of their salaries to stay home and goof off rather than paying them 100 percent of their salaries to come to the office and goof off.
Sounds crazy, and I’m sure this isn’t what’s really happening, but can anyone think of another explanation?
Whatever the reason, this story is the perfect symbol of bloated, stupid, and feckless government. The only example that comes close, though it only applies to one person rather than an entire class of people, is the decision by Social Security bureaucrats in America to give disability payments to some clown that wants to be an “adult baby” and wear diapers.