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The hardship of taramasalata.

Government programs have a tendency to outlive their usefulness, to continue long after their original purpose has been accomplished. One of my favorite examples of this comes from an article by James Bennet, the new editor of The Atlantic, written while he was working here in 1991. It described how the Rural Electrification Agency lasted long after every farm in America had been wired by finding other worthy projects, such as helping out country clubs.

The most recent example I've discovered was in an article about hardship pay for the State Department's overseas posts. It describes how money to pay for posts in Iraq and Afghanistan has been found by eliminating hardship pay in Athens, Warsaw, Hong Kong, and Seoul, meaning that up until now, State Department employees at these posts have been pulling down the extra bucks. Athens was found suitable for the Olympics two years ago, Seoul 18 years ago. Warsaw has not been a hardship post for almost as long, and Hong Kong has not been one for at least 50 years.
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Title Annotation:Tilting at Windmills
Author:Peters, Charles
Publication:Washington Monthly
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2006
Words:175
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