While I fritter away my time lobbing snowballs at misguided and defensive sophists, Sam Hurst is establishing himself as the greatest writer in the South Dakota blogosphere:
There is an old cliché about the technical nature of Keynesian stimulus spending that is revealing for both its cynicism and its simplicity. "You can pay people to dig holes and then fill them in, just as long as it's new spending."
Crackle-bang — rarely does anybody else on my link list craft opening lines that. (Hurst also uses that fancy drop-cap — show-off! ;-) )
When I presented this cliché to an economist recently, he explained; "The creativity is in knowing which holes to dig, and which holes will make a lasting difference to society."
So imagine my surprise when I asked Paige Baker, Superintendent of Badlands National Park, to fantasize about how he would spend a big injection of stimulus money from the Obama administration if he could get his hands on it. "We have more than forty dams that the buffalo herd depends on, but over the years the ponds have silted in and gone dry. Because there is no water, it limits the areas of the park where we can allow the buffalo herd to graze. If I had the money, I'd send teams out to those stock dams, and clean them out."
Hummmm. Dig holes, fill them in, and then dig them again... [Sam Hurst, "Forty Dams in Forty Days, Restoring the Badlands," The Dakota Day, 2008.12.11].
Read the whole article. Great word choice, great story-telling structure, and more relevant to the real lives and real politics of South Dakotans than a lot of the noise out here on the Internet (or in the legacy media).
I just read that Columbia University will start considering online-only publications (that's us!) for Pulitzers. Sam Hurst just jumped to the front of that queue (assuming anyone in New York notices our happy little prairie blogosphere). Keep up the good work, Sam!