February 12, 2010

Federal snow removal


any of my friends who live outside of the Washington, D.C., area have asked me why the government shuts down for an entire week just because of a couple of snow storms. “Why,” they ask, “can’t they simply clear the streets of snow and get everyone back to work?”

This is a good question and I understand the confusion that gives rise to this question. But frankly, those who live outside the seat of the Federal government simply don’t understand. The unique political nature of this city means that a careful line has to be drawn when dealing with politically active organizations such as the local snow clearing unions.

This is a bit hard to explain, so perhaps it would be best if I simply show you an illustration. The following illustration shows the unique union negotiations two different snow clearing unions have struck—the Snow Blowers Local and the Plow Trucks Local. The negotiations don’t always work hand-in-hand between the disparate unions, but they allow the union members to continue working hard to clear our highways and keep the Federal money flowing to make sure jobs are saved, created, and properly documented.

Okay, perhaps that wasn’t completely honest. But it’s still a funny picture.

Happy weekend!



  1. THAT is hilarious! We got about 3 inches last night, and I had a doozy of a time driving home from church. But the years of snow navigation in Central NY State kicked right in! Saw several cars off the side of the road, and had to turn around because of an accident -- but we made it home in just over an hour (normally it takes 35 minutes!!)

  2. I've heard a lot of people complaining about how people in Washington go nuts when it rains. Dick Durbin said that the DC people act like it's a nuclear attack.

    But the real reason that people around here freak out with snow is just what you described. We already have no spare time and our commute is already the worst commuting time in the nation. If you add snow into the mix and double the amount of time for the commute, you have a disastrous situation for most of us.

    For me (during rush hour) that would increase my total daily commute from 5 hours to 10 hours. And there are simply not another 5 hours in the day to lose.

  3. How cynical, Rich. But very, very funny!!! It somehow really epitomizes Washington expenditures.


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