About 40 years ago he found himself in an Asian country where the government was extremely eager to show off a public works project of which it was inordinately and excessively fond. It was digging a canal.That simple bit of Bastian logic*, if adhered to consistently, would eliminate half the Federal government's welfare programs right there.
They took Milton out to see this, and he was astonished because there were hordes of workers but no heavy equipment.
He remarked on this to his government guide, who replied, "You don't understand, Mr. Friedman. This is a jobs program. That's why we only have men with shovels."
To which Friedman said, "Well, if it's a jobs program, why don't they have spoons instead of shovels?"
*(By which I mean, looking only at the immediately visible effects, rather than the whole...)
[Apologies to whomever I got this from for not recording the link, but thanks!]