What happens when millions of dollars from the federal stimulus package get funneled through the efficiency of Memphis City government? Well, that's a train wreck you can see coming a mile away.
This particular program was designed to provide summer jobs for young people. Unfortunately, the City of Memphis was not prepared to administer a project that mushroomed in size. So, many of the young people did not get paid in a timely fashion, others apparently got paid too much and there are other questions about the way the money was handled.
Before the summer started, city leaders boasted about the lessons that these young people would learn. In fact, they did learn some valuable lessons, but those may have more to do with government waste and inefficiency than the program's intended educational goals. They also learned that sometimes you don't paid unless you make a big stink.
In fairness to the City of Memphis, I'm sure this same scenario is playing out in other communities across the country. Trying to spend billions of dollars in hurry is a prescription for government waste.