Wednesday, March 9, 2011

They need an ax, not a scalpel

Here in Texas, and I imagine it's pretty much the same everywhere, the news is full of how all our gubments...local, state, federal...are broke and must find ways to cut back. They all get back to the pay and benefits of our "civil servants", and that's when my blood begins to boil. Do you have any idea how much those mouth breathers make, and how lavish (capital L!) their benefits are? I could live with that if I felt their talent and productivity was head-and-shoulders better than those workers in the private sector, but my experience has been that is rarely the case.

Over the years I've dealt with government surveyors, engineers, inspectors, and directors. I've had dealings with county bureaucrats and state employees in many different agencies, too. And if you wanna have a laugh go visit with someone from HUD, the EPA, the FDIC, or FEMA. They are experts at doing nothing. They can quote chapter and verse which forms you must have, the hoops you must jump through, the hearings you must endure, etc. What would take a single private company executive 10 minutes to accomplish takes multiple government committees months, perhaps years, to do. If ever.

More proof? Government financial regulators: Do you know how much they make? Well up into six figures! If they had been doing their job, if they had been smart enough or awake enough, they could have derailed Bernie Madoff years ago. And Enron...and WorldCom...and $147 a barrel oil thanks to rampant speculation...and the entire financial meltdown of 2008? They were too busy counting down the days to their retirement to pay attention.

I've had my opinions confirmed by government insiders, too. My brother's FIL retired from his Fortune 500 company VP position, only to get bored and agree to work part-time and share his purchasing expertise with his city government. He said he was appalled at what he saw. I asked him how many of those city employees he worked with could have worked for him in the private sector, and he replied, "only one". The rest were just taking up space....and making big bucks doing it, usually more than their counterparts in the private sector. The world is upside down, I tell ya!

On the other hand I've seen the work police officers and firefighters do, and air traffic controllers, and a select few others, and they have my admiration and respect. The rest....lets just say the threat of a "government shutdown" leaves me giddy with anticipation.



  1. when I first started working for the German government, I was surprised at how many "miths" about the gov. employees was actually true! The amount of "wasted" time chatting with fellow workers is amazing... and they get away with it.

    The only "real" benefit, though, is a steady paycheck... anyone who can get a job outside, does (we have had a number of people leaving for jobs outside our office) because the pay is actually better, but they have to keep on their toes. So, it's the hard workers who leave, and the lazy bums who stay.

    And I'm glad I'm getting out in 16 months! :-)

  2. ooops, I spelled myths wrong... sorry lol

  3. The situation here is that those who can't make it in the private sector flock to government employment, and recently even those who CAN make it in the private sector flock to government service because the pay and benefits are so good, and the effort required of them is so little.