|Evanston's Abandoned Shure Inc. HQ Last Week|
In many cases, the entrepreneurial business of going door-to-door, right after a snowfall, snow shovel in hand, offering one's schoolboy labor in return for a dollar or two, was their first actual work experience.
Until recently, lots of kids -- as well as unemployed older men -- in North suburban Evanston would do just that.
Not so much anymore.
You see, government bureaucrats have to justify their fat salaries and so they sit around dreaming up new schemes at which they can diddle away.
Then they can go on the radio or send out a news release telling the taxpayers how wonderful they are (and incidentally, why they need more staff, fatter salaries and nice comfy pensions.)
The City of Evanston is a case study here.
This past Friday, one Erika Storlie, Evanston's $95,000 a year PR flack and her assistant, one Martha Logan, who pulls down a paltry $82 grand, decided that they needed something to do.
They needed to dream up some sort of news peg to get on the airwaves and tell people how wonderful their government is.
This being a time when snow is more than a little in the news, the old light bulb flashed over their heads and they called up Chicago radio news bureaus to tout Evanston's wonderful volunteer snow shoveling setup.
|Evanston Bureaucrat Ferraro -|
Perfect Face for Radio
They then rousted up one Christina Ferraro, Evanston's $90,000 bureaucrat in charge of goo-goo, city feel-good programs and put her in front of WBBM news radio's microphones to tout the wonders of their city's volunteer snow shoveling program.
Ferraro, who has the perfect radio face, told WBBM listeners that the wise and good Evanston government enlisted conscript labor from Evanston Township High School, where kids are shanghai-ed into mandatory "community service" toil -- to shovel the snow off the walks of Evanston's senior citizens and cripples.
Ferraro also said that the wise and good Evanston government also signed up bored and high-minded rich kids from Northwestern University to volunteer for this.
She said that assorted other stray Evanston do-gooders, likely from places like the Ethical Humanist Society, the Unitarian Church and the Womens' Christian Temperance Union, also sign on.
This way, she said, cripples and old people get their sidewalks snow shoveled for free in progressive Evanston, Illinois.
Then Ferraro and the well fed flacks repaired to their Evanston government offices to check on their ATM balances and order out lunch, content in the knowledge that their good works were now known far and wide.
And a well thought out scheme this free snow shoveling thing certainly is.
Last year, more than 72 percent of Illinois teens age 16 to 19 were unemployed.
And Senior citizens are, by a long shot, the demographic group with the highest net worth.
And the snow being shoveled by these conscripts and volunteers rests on the sidewalks of Evanston homes with a median value of almost $300 grand.
So you'd think that if these well-fed Evanston government busybodies really feel they must intrude into the business of snow shoveling, they would at least have the sense to link up kids in need of work (and work experience) with seniors quite able to shell out a few sheckels for some youthful labor.
But for the Evanston government class that would be too sensible.