Opportunity Lost for Government Responsibility

by Kerry Martin

I loved hearing recently about the teen who had the idea to save the government money by switching fonts and reducing the amount of ink used.  My first thought was, “give that kid a scholarship!”  But my second thought was, “I wonder if the government will end up doing anything about it.”

More than one week after the press went wild with the story, there hasn’t been much in the way of announcements from taxpayer-funded entities other than a spokesperson saying how much the government has cut down on the amount of printing it does.  Tell that to the EPA, which throws away thousands of printed pages a year.  Even though some analysts have determined that the estimated $400 million in savings was probably a stretch, I’m sure this calls attention to the fact that font, type size and style have an effect on ink usage.

At a time when the general public is concerned with wasteful spending, budget deficits and sustainability, I would have thought that local, state or federal government offices would grab any opportunity to piggy-back their messaging onto a hot news story like this.

To me, this was a lost opportunity to institute new policies and communicate commitment to saving money through small practices like switching to Garamond.

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