February 5, 2004

Non-Profit LePetomaines

Donald Sensing is being sensible again at One Hand Clapping with his terse observation that do-good organizations tend to outlive the good they do and end up just "protecting their phoney-baloney jobs."

Earlier today we grabbed a document listing the kind of government pork that is doled out to non-profits in the name of the greater good. You might want to glance at it. It's right here. I found a few things I approved of. Everyone will. But there are hundreds and hundreds of grants being pumped out to... well to do-gooders who have run out of good to do. Yup, as Sensing sensibly says:

It's not mission creep, it's the "Governor LePetomaine syndrome"

In Mel Brooks' classic western comedy, Blazing Saddles, Brooks plays the corrupt western Governor William J. LePetomaine.

When a report reaches him that a town faces a crisis, LePetomaine turns to his attorney general, Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) and exclaims,
"We've got to do something to save our phony-baloney jobs!"

The need to justify a job's existence is what I call the "Governor LePetomaine syndrome." It applies to organizations also. Say, the Southern Poverty Law Center:
"The Montgomery, Ala.-based SPLC made a name for itself chasing Klansmen and militias. Now, it focuses on serving diabetic prison inmates, 10 commandment-toting judges and writing movie reviews. [via Instapundit]"

Humm, it's only a question of time before someone starts a non-profit dedicated to understanding and limiting "The LePetomaine Syndrome." That's a group that need never go out of business.

Posted by Vanderleun at February 5, 2004 1:25 AM | TrackBack
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