A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 21, 2012
“A block grant is a solid mass of money surrounded on all sides by governors”

A block grant is a sum of money that is given by the federal government to state and local governments under certain programs, such as education, healthcare and transportation. “The First Law of Federal Geometry: A block grant is a solid mass of money surrounded on all sides by governors” was written for American Demographics (1982) by Ross K. Baker The humorous definition of a block grant has been frequently cited.


Wikipedia: Block grant
In a fiscal federal form of government, a block grant is a large sum of money granted by the national government to a regional government with only general provisions as to the way it is to be spent. This can be contrasted with a categorical grant which has more strict and specific provisions on the way it is to be spent.
(...)
United States
Since the 1970s, the United States government has provided large sums of money through block grants, under a policy that has come to be known as “devolutionary” or “new federalism.” Block grants replaced the previous policy of revenue sharing (1972–87).

According to the General Accounting Office, from 1980 to 2001 the number of federal block grant programs went from 450 to 700. The grants are aimed at a wide range of activities from education to healthcare, transportation, housing and counterterrorism.

Google Books
American Demographics
Volume 4
1982
Pg. ?:
The First Law of Federal Geometry
A block grant is a solid mass of money surrounded on all sides by governors.

12 January 1982, Education Week:
Mr. Baker offers 10 laws. Among them: “The First Law of Federal Geometry: A block grant is a solid mass of money surrounded on all sides by governors.”

26 December 1982, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “How the world really works: Observations on the true nature of men, women, children, and shoes” by Paul Dickson, pg. F7:
Baker’s First Law of Federal Geometry: A block grant is a solid mass of money surrounded on all sides by governors.

Google Books
The New Official Rules:
Maxims for Muddling Through to the Twenty-First Century

By Paul Dickson
Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co.
1989
Pg. 24:
Baker’s First Law of Federal Geometry. A block grant is a solid mass of money surrounded on all sides by governors. — Ross K. Baker, American Demographics, January 1982

Amazon.co.uk
Baker’s First Law of Federal Geometry: A block grant is a solid mass of money surrounded on all sides by governors. - Funny Printed Coffee Mug [BLK3864]
by Mugz Game
Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 14 Sep 2011

Twitter
4Chan Anonymous
‏@4Chan_Anon
A block grant is a solid mass of money surrounded on all sides by governors.
12:37 PM - 20 May 12

Twitter
Get Slizzerd
‏@getslizzerd
A block grant is a solid mass of money surrounded on all sides by governors. #TeamFollowBack
9:25 PM - 14 Aug 12

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Wednesday, November 21, 2012 • Permalink