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Member since: Wed Jul 20, 2005, 12:23 AM
Number of posts: 5,061

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This sort of thing goes on all the time

$30,000 for catering for 300 is not all that bad, I guess, though it would have been cheaper to give them a per diem. Which they probably also did.

What gets me is that this is not unique to government. This happens in the coporate sector all the time, and no one bats an eye: what's more, the tax code encourages this sort of thing. It also happens with nonprofits.

In addition to the obvious points about the virtues of artisanal cheeses, though, what's left unsaid is what a colossal waste of time and money most of these various meetings, whether they are "trainings" or "conferences," really are. The educational content is usually either esoteric, irrelevant, obvious or useless, sometimes all at the same time. There's a cottage industry that produces management fads just so there is something to talk about at these conferences. Many of the speakers are actually less experienced and knowledgable than the people they are addressing.

Whether it's government, business or nonprofits, there's a multibillion dollar industry dedicated to sending people, usually already only the most well-compensated people, to places such as Florida and Nevada on someone else's dime to learn things they aleady know and meet people they probably don't really want to meet. It's absurd.
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