A couple of examples from John Stossel at Reason:
But New York City's bureaucrats are unapologetic about their $2 million toilet. The Parks Department even put out a statement saying, "Our current estimate to build a new comfort station with minimal site work is $3 million."Or in Canada:
"$3 million?!" I said to New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, ingcredulously.
"New York City is the most expensive place to build," he replied. As a result, "$2 million was a good deal."
I pointed out that entire homes sell for less. He said, "We built these comfort stations to last... Look at the material we use compared to that of a home. These are very, very durable materials."
They have to be, he says, because the bathroom gets so much use. "We're going to expect thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of visitors... So we have to build it to last."
Yet not far away, Bryant Park has a bathroom that gets much more use. That bathroom cost just $300,000. Why the difference?
Bryant Park is privately managed.
Toronto's government estimated that a tiny staircase for a park would cost $65,000-$150,000.Most places, most of the time, government is rubbish at everything.
So a local citizen installed a staircase himself.
Did the bureaucrats thank him? No. They say they will tear his staircase down. Can't have private citizens doing things for themselves. (Update: The private stairs have been torn down, and the city says it will replace them for $10,000.)