American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Work of little value assigned or taken on only to keep someone from being idle.
- n. An activity or task assigned or undertaken for the sake of activity or busy-ness, rather than because of a particular need.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Active work of litle value, such as assignments given by teachers to students to keep them busy while the teacher performs other tasks, or chores performed to while away time; also called
- n. active work of little value
“The added revenue can be invested in new schools or health-care clinics in areas where education and medicine are scarce; it can subsidize short-term make-work projects to appease the angry unemployed or patronage networks that control dissent at the local level; it can finance the construction of better roads and bridges to open internal trade; it can bankroll the imposition of martial law.”
“The unemployed need jobs, real ones, not government make-work.”
“In the following decade, I hammered federal training and make-work programs in articles for this newspaper and other publications.”
“All were given make-work to distract them from the purpose of the study.”
“Also anyone who thinks that pyramid-building, ditch-filling, make-work government "recovery" programs that stimulate aggregate demand actually create wealth.”
“What is the difference between responsibility and make-work?”
“If you think about it in terms of a two horse race, then Americans chose the relatively more rational candidate (i.e. the one whose policies pander less to anti-market bias, pessimistic bias, make-work bias, and anti-foreign bias).”
“Putting names on the board for little make-work jobs is the stuff of kindergarten classrooms.”
“The station is a largely useless international make-work project that was criticized by every major science organization in this country.”
“Its best-known ideas include an unwieldy make-work scheme that distorts labor markets and breeds corruption, a misguided education policy that threatens to drown India's few excellent private schools in a sea of mediocrity, and an ill-conceived food security proposal that will funnel subsidized grain toward the majority of the country's 1.2 billion citizens.”
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