The "Dead Horse"
In the Navy, a "Dead Horse" is the term used for advance pay that you can get when doing a PCS move; you normally end up spending it on various uncovered costs associated with the move, and now you're paying off something that you're not using anymore.
According to the tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, the following is more true of a dead horse: "When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount." In Western society today, though, it seems that governments and businesses have discovered new ways of dealing with the dead horse issue:
1) Buying a stronger whip.
2) Changing riders.
3) Appointing a committee to study the horse.
4) Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.
5) Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
6) Reclassifying the dead horse as living impaired.
7) Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
8) Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.
9) Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance.
10) Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.
11) Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.
12) Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.
13) Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.
The last one is, of course, just another way of stating The Dilbert Principle.