All Rights Reserved © 2004 Thomas W. Day
One of the great flaws in our country's self-defense systems is that those who administer the system claim to be super patriots for their sacrifice. Without a shred of evidence, they claim to have made sacrifices for the good of us all. Usually, the sacrifice was one they made of someone else.
The thing the majority of government employees are most interested in protecting is their pensions. They are often willing to sacrifice integrity, justice, and their country's best interests to protect a benefit that no longer exists anywhere but in government. Pensions are so rare in modern life that, if it weren't for government, it would be safe to call them ancient history.
So, how do we create patriots in government?
For starters, we remove the present crop of drones and their reason for government employment; the pensions. All of them, civil service, postal workers, military personnel, elected officials, every last government employee loses their pension and any hope they might have that the rest of us will pay them to idle away their golden years in luxury or double-dipping. Of course, this would result in mass exodus from government "service," but who would that inconvenience? In 1996, the House and President Clinton got into a budgetary pissing match and "shut the government down" for three weeks. Other than the fact that savings was negated by the foolish payment of "lost wages" to the government employees when the offices reopened, there was a lot learned by the experiment. Various federal offices had to identify crucial jobs and critical employees and keep them at work. Non-critical employees were sent home. Why they were brought back is a question that might never be answered. In functioning businesses, non-critical workers get laid off, not paid for not doing the work they usually don't do.
One of the big complaints about the government shutdown was the fact that a few thousand rich folks were deprived of passports. The rest of us should have considered that a benefit. If the rich can't troll off into the third world looking for new places to ship American jobs, the rest of us are better off. If they have to keep their vacation money here, spending it in American resorts and spas, we're better off. If trickle-down works at all, that's about the only way it works. So, it's pretty difficult to find a task the federal government does that the working class wants it to be doing.
I suppose you'll argue that, if federal employee benefits are reduced to the level of non-socialized occupations that we’ll end up with no one wanting to hold public service jobs. And that’s bad because . . . ?
Take away the salary decisions from the people who get the salaries. Put the government's salary budget on the ballot every two years. Especially Congress' salary decisions. When they do a poor job, or no job as Congress did during 8 years of Clinton’s administration, they get paid accordingly.