« Paying to Lobby Against Yourself, Redux | Main | Expensive, and Getting More So -- Arlington Public Schools CIP »

Arlington County & Those Who Care

Arlington County's political elite like to refer to the county being a "caring community." It's even embedded in Arlington’s so-called vision, which is posted on the county’s homepage. It even appears in large print on the second page of this year’s budget book – immediately following a picture of the five Board members on the first page. Several years ago, a member of the County Board even asked the County Manager to provide him a list of spending that would show that Arlington is, in fact, a caring community. Obviously, he never bothered looking through the county budget.

We were reminded of all that when we saw Walter Williams’ latest column in which he asks “What human motivation leads to the most wonderful things getting done?” A hint: it ain’t government! Nor charitable organizations. According to Dr. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, “results motivated by charity and selflessness pale in comparison to other motives behind getting things done.” He then goes on to applaud free markets and the role of the profit motive. Will the county's political elite learn from the lesson in economics? Don't hold your breath!