Thursday, October 16, 2014

Yeah boy, how do I get me one of those government jobs? I'm ready for a nap.

Now, I don't mean this to be a blanket indictment, but I've gotta say I don't have much faith in ANYTHING our federal government does.  Or should I say TRIES to do.  Yes, I'm sure there are some successes that go unreported, but when taken as a whole, our government does NOT impress.

Think about it:  Natural disasters strike, and the boondoggle they call FEMA swings into action.  They send in their army of bureaucrats and set up registration stations where the affected can sign up for gubment help.  "Your gubment trailer is on the way!"  *pay no attention to that outgassing thing that makes them dangerous to live in*  "Oh, and feel free to help yourself to a complementary bag of ice."

And for our veterans, the ones who put their life on the line for us, the ones we solemnly promised to take care of if they were I need to list all the shortcomings of the VA?  (It would fill multiple volumes.)

For a decade prior to 2008, up to this day, even, our federal financial regulators turned a blind eye to the unprecedented con job the banks were doing on the American people.  "So you're broke?  And you want a bailout?  Sure....happy to help.  Here's a coupla hundred billion bucks, and another few billion to fund a nice bonus for you fine gentlemen, too."  Nice job guys.  Thanks for looking out for the American people.

The DOJ developed a half baked idea to see where the Mexican drug cartels are getting their guns BY SELLING GUNS TO THEM OURSELVES.  DUH!

Now Ebola has made it to our shores and the CDC tells a Dallas nurse on the Ebola-watch short list, "Aww, go ahead, get on the big 'ol jet plane and go visit mama in Cleveland.  Never mind that pesky little fever."  BRILLIANT! 

I honestly believe the people we have working for us on the government payroll are the labor pool "B" "C" team.  The really sharp people go to work in the private sector, the left-overs going on to government service.  For others it's the allure of essentially lifetime employment, "help yourself to the cash register" pay, lots of perks, and an early, absurdly generous retirement plan.  Some can do an adequate job, some (most?) not.  *sigh*

The Peter Principle is alive and well.  Can we just fire them all and start over?



  1. Yeah, this has been the rallying cry for the GOP for years, in addition to 'my taxes are too high', or even 'we shouldn't be paying taxes'.
    Everybody want's less,smaller government, unless it's something they care about.
    I'm really not sure about the majority of federal government employees being incompetent, parasites sucking the life out of us.
    You cited FEMA; the most notable failure was Katrina, and I quite agree that the governance of FEMA was incompetent, and that president did little about it. How about the Coast Guard people (all government employees) who went in?
    Also the VA, which has come under well-deserved criticism. I've known several VA docs and nurses over the years, and none fit the description.
    Seems it's the leadership, not the workers. And putting resources in the hands of the workers. Oh wait, resources......yeah, we don't want to pay any more taxes.
    I'm just not sure that broad-stroke generalizations do anything more than make us feel better, because it's a simple solution. Alas, few problems are simple.

    1. Good points Fish. My rant is definitely not that of a Republican (I'm a staunch Independent, with plenty of disdain for BOTH parties). As Joeh below points out, there is definitely a job for the government to perform. I personally don't mind paying taxes, and would even agree to pay MORE taxes IF I FELT I WAS GETTING MY MONEY'S WORTH. But right now I feel like I'm making payments on a top-of-the-line Cadillac, but getting just a plain vanilla, basic Chevrolet.

      My wife is a (30%) disabled veteran and she/we have had plenty of dealings with the VA. A trip to the VA for any reason turns out to be an all day affair. You rarely get to see the same doctor twice. Many of the nurses are excellent for sure, but many just seem to be watching the clock. The administrative help is worthless. The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

      I have friends who have been impacted by natural disasters and they uniformly say that FEMA is no help at all. But you are definitely correct about the Coast Guard....they are magnificent!

      I served for years on a city commission (volunteer, no pay) and observed a DOJ investigation into our police/fire hiring practices. After two years and a total waste of taxpayer dollars, the feds quietly packed up and went home.

      I once had to go to visit with HUD about a project at work and and came back feeling that not one person there, from the receptionist to the Top Dog, was worthy of a taxpayer paycheck. What a waste!

      I have dealt with the FAA, from ATC to field investigators and found them to be refreshingly competent (although their equipment is antiquated).

      I have read many accounts of the financial meltdown of 2008, from many different sources, some liberal, some conservative, and by all accounts the tail (the bankers) were and still are waging the dog (regulators).

      I could go on and on but you get my drift. Of course I'm not saying that out of 2,000,000 (?) federal employees they're ALL nose picking mouth breathers. But the federal employment atmosphere is lackadaisical at best, and I honestly feel that even the intelligent, competent ones are eventually tainted by it. Few could make it in the private sector.

      You are right again when you say there is NOT a simple solution. Many say it is so big and so broken, and has such political clout all by itself, that it can never be fixed, and that's what bothers me. IMHO we deserve better.

    2. Nice reply.
      I agree we deserve better, but therein is a problem. Good for whom? What's good for the poor might not be good for the rich. The actions of government in the last decade or so have been good for the rich, and largely refuted the notion Roland Reagan fronted about a rising tide lifting all boats. The trickle-down theory, you remember it. It's stopped working, if it ever worked at all.
      Since 2010 large corporations have figured out they can keep their major constituencies, stockholders, happy by increasing profits marginally while limiting the actual output of their business.....replacing full time employees with part time, reducing benefits paid, etc. Their stockholders are not expecting a huge return on investment, but a small one. That's evidenced by a the small national gross output increase.
      Changes to this would require something businesses do not want to do: grow. Growth requires adding employees, products, engineering and research. That's not on the plan for the companies, large ones, in the US. It requires investment, that's not on their plan for us.
      We're in thrall to these companies, and we're going their way, like it or not.
      President Obama has tried, not a hard as I'd like, but tried to change this. Our next pres will likely accede to the demands of business, and it'll be far worse for the people not in the 1%.
      Long gone are the first 100 days of FDR, when a major shift occurred that benefited the entire country.
      Government has done what we've largely voted for, and here we are.

    3. Wholeheartedly agree with everything you said, except your last sentence. I think the politicians make their talking points things the masses like, but then after they're elected quietly (?) fall in line with what their special interest masters want. We're duped time and again.

  2. Scott I agree, many dynamics of government jobs result in poorer results than private sector result oriented competition provides. Unfortunately government sector positions are required in many areas and privatization is not always a good thing. I agree with S/F/M about broad strokes, but if it is leadership that is at fault then tirades such as yours are needed to poke leadership in the butt. I don't think you are asking for less government, just smarter more efficient government. If that is too much to ask then we are all in trouble.

    1. Agreed Joe. Our government seems to be obsessed with size. I'm a "quality" guy. They think bigger is better; I think BETTER is better. I believe we could do more with fewer, better quality people who were properly led and motivated. Right now we have too many people from all GS levels just crossing days off a calendar until they retire.

  3. And don't forget about the military, whose motto is "we've never seen a war we didn't want to get into." The generals are lobbying to get back into the middle east full force. What's a few billion more dollars? Chump change to them.

  4. If you fire them all you get even worse.

  5. I read somewhere that people get the government they deserve. I'm beginning to think it's true.

  6. It's not just's the private sector, too. My husband works for a huge corporation (well, I do now, too, but his employer is a corporation on steroids). He tells of layers and layers of management and stories of waste and incompetence that it'll make your ears flop. Some day, when he's not employed there any more, I'll be telling stories.... So I'm wondering if it's just something that happens with anything that gets big and complex. And let's face it, governing a country is just a complex thing.