The Three or More Useless Men Problem

Leslie Loftis
2 min readApr 24, 2017

I am on record with compalints about the pro-life movement, but do not agree with the nun that it is the pro-birth slander.

Conservatives espouse many plans and programs that help children — we don’t worry about marriage and nuclear family for nothing — but not government programs. We are wary of the three or more useless men problem. From the healthcare shutdown in the fall of 2013:

Government ineptitude is nothing new. Running though my head today is the opening of the musical 1776. Many of the lines and lyrics were taken from contemporaneous writings of the Founders. At the start, John Adams storms into the Continental Congress chamber, railing, “I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, that two are called a law firm, and three or more become a congress!” Instead of even entertaining debate on the issue of independence, the Continental Congress was tackling the weighty question of whether or not the militia should wear matching uniforms.

Details change. The nature of committees does not.

The majority of the country doesn’t oppose Obamacare because we want to see people die or be in pain. It’s silly to even think such a thing. We all seek solutions that actually work. We are just wary of the “three or more useless men” problem. Government solutions are usually cruel, open to corruption, inefficient and costly.

If we want truly to help the poor, the sick and the needy, we must understand that massive increases in the government bureaucracy aren’t the preferred solution. They aren’t a solution at all, in fact. In the future, we will only need to look back to the early days of October 2013 to remember that.

The original article is here.



Leslie Loftis

Teacher of life admin and curator of commentary. Occasional writer.