Thursday, July 16, 2009
If it is wrong for a solvent financial institution that took TARP funds at the request of the government to hold a sales conference in Las Vegas, why is it just fine for a structurally insolvent government agency to hold a retreat at the Biltmore in Arizona? The difference in press coverage is particularly difficult to explain.
CWCID: Glenn Reynolds, who writes "Remember, it's only bad when companies do it."
...as I understand it this was a junket to "interview" some dancing girls, presumably to see how this activity would impact future SOC SEC benefits.......perfectly legitimate don't you see......don't you.....?
Don't want to defend this when I don't have all the facts, but a few things to consider:
1. Most Government Agencies have an annual training requirement for supervisors in hours...likely hovering in the 40-60 hours per year range. This conference would likely have almost all of those requirements.
2. At roughly $1100 a person for 30+ hours of training, it's actually a decent value.
At $1,100 per it is a very good deal. Figure $500 per for airfare - no 30 day in advance bargain rates - that leaves $200 per day for lodging, food and entertainment. I am quite familiar with the AZ Biltmore. I have played the golf courses a number of times and was married there. In season you're looking at $300 per form a room.
I agree with Roy. Hotels in Arizona in the summer time are CHEAP. It's the off season - who wants to go where it's 115 degrees by 10 in the morning? If they had to get together, Arizona in July is an economical choice.
To be clear, I have no issue with the Social Security meeting. My complaint is with the Congressional and media treatment of Wells Fargo and every other company that held a meeting in Vegas last winter. Why would the Biltmore meeting be OK if the Vegas meetings were not. Vegas is, after all, at least as cheap as Arizona at the moment.