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Another Magnificent Moment in the World of Government Stimulus

George257 Wrote: May 21, 2012 6:50 AM
Public libraries were invented in Victorian times when a book cost the equivalent of several months wages for an ordinary person. The idea was to get poor people reading. In these days of the internet/google/wikipedia , cheap paperbacks, kindle and ebooks, secondhand bookshops, large book retailers, etc, and much higher real incomes, I think we have to question the need for them. Of course, schools still need libraries. As for computers in libraries: why? Does anyone remember internet cafes? They were opened at a time when computers were expensive and not many people had them. Now computers are cheap and anyone who wants one already has one. Internet cafes died out because there is no longer any need for them. So should computers in librar

Most of my work on government stimulus focuses on economic theory and evidence.

But every so often it’s a good idea to remind ourselves of the ridiculous ways that government wastes money.

Here are some details from a boondoggle in West Virginia.

Nobody told Hurricane librarian Rebecca Elliot that the $22,600 Internet router in the branch library’s storage closet was powerful enough to serve an entire college campus. Nobody told Elliot how much the router cost or who paid for it. Workers just showed up and installed the device. They left behind no instructions, no user manual. The...

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