Friday, March 26, 2010

The Blame Game

Today is National Blame Someone Else Day. The Irish Independent gets into the spirit of things with it's lead headline today:
No one gets the blame for €426m docks farce
No surprise there. Still, part of me wonders whether the daily drip feed of egregious incompetence and excess that we are now being fed will temper the famous Irish appetite for a free lunch (at the taxpayers expense)? Perhaps, though I think it'll take a while longer. As P. J. O'Rourke reminds us (channelling Milton Freidman), people tend to have four different ways of spending money, depending on whose money:
  1. You spend your money on yourself. You're motivated to get the thing you want most at the best price. This is the way middle-aged men haggle with Porsche dealers.
  2. You spend your money on other people. You still want a bargain, but you're less interested in pleasing the recipient of your largesse. This is why children get underwear at Christmas.
  3. You spend other people's money on yourself. You get what you want but price no longer matters. The second wives who ride around with the middle-aged men in the Porsches do this kind of spending at Neiman Marcus.
  4. You spend other people's money on other people. And in this case, who gives a shit?
I'd apologize for the vulgarism, but then it was him what said it, not me.

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