Lending A Hand

Government could take a lesson from the people of the Ohio Valley.

Government could take a lesson from the people of the Ohio Valley. Many lives were affected by the recent flooding of the Ohio River and its tributaries. Vice President Gore arrived and offered money, which was greatly appreciated. However, what made the difference in the lives of these people was not money but other people. People not devastated by the flood working side-by-side with people who lost everything. People and businesses donating to fill the immediate needs of the people: food, water, toiletries, clothing and bedding. It is amazing what a well-oiled-machine this spontaneous volunteer effort turned out to be. It worked because there was genuine care and concern.

You cannot get that from an organization like the government. Vice President Gore offered money, but how much more influential and beneficial would it be for the people if government workers got in there and helped shovel out the mud and serve up BBQ to the flood victims?

Or, government could take a lesson from the finishing industry. There have been several instances in which a plating company has had a fire. In each situation, other plating companies rented the other company's tank time, space or even helped clean up the damaged building.

And when the government does spend money, how wisely is it spent? One example of government waste landed on my desk recently. This EPA-sponsored booklet had fireworks' explosions, balloons and confetti along with the words Happy Birthday! The 36-page booklet was a celebration of TSCA (the Toxic Substances Control Act) turning 20.

My first reaction was, "How stupid, an entire booklet to celebrate some environmental law." It is like inviting people to your birthday party and asking them to pay the bill. Some regulation is necessary. The Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act have improved the environment. But I cannot recall a celebration of either Acts' establishment.

Finishers do much to recycle and reclaim. The finishing industry knows that R&R saves money. Purchasing decisions are carefully calculated. Finishers are willing to help fellow finishers.

This "fluff" book on TSCA tells me that EPA had money and did not know what to do with it. Government mismanaging taxpayer money is not a new concept, just an irritating one.