Saturday, September 03, 2011

Be Specific

The right wing constantly says government cannot do anything right. I was listening to one of the progressive talk radio shows yesterday, while waiting in the truck as Farm Boss picked up cattle corral panels at a farm supply store. I heard a caller, who was conservative, again making that point. He said he was a Texan who ran a business. He said government took two weeks to do what business does in a day.

Since tea partiers are constantly taking this stance as part of why they want to shave government's ability to do anything back to the military, they obviously believe the argument that government should not do what they can do better for themselves. They believe, and were taught to think this from way way back, starve the beast. What they are talking about is the federal government though with this starve the beast (well they don't maybe vote for local school levies either) talk.

Okay, so here is the question: if you either deal with the federal government or have read an article (not one of those floating email lie filled stories) but a real newspaper story about federal government ineffectiveness, I'd like to hear it here.

Now we all know that FEMA blew it after Katrina with using contractors, like Halliburton, who misused funds, lost them and basically totally failed in rapidly reacting to the disaster (including the dikes around the city) as well as the trailers they bought to use which never got used, etc. etc.

But FEMA was being run by heck-of-a-job Brownie, who was the Bush pick to run the agency when he had had zero experience at anything like it. He couldn't have picked say a Red Cross coordinator to nominate for the position? I mean they seem to get their people in and deal with disasters very rapidly. No, he picked someone who was a crony, who had supported him and who he liked. Yes, it failed with Katrina but is FEMA still a failure or is this just one of those stories that never ends for saying all of government is a failure?

Oh right, and I remember ATF too. Not only their most recent debacle with the guns but a lot of their earlier ones. You want to end ATF, you got my support on that one as it seems a scary bunch who in the past have killed people including children with their reckless and feckless raids. Their selling of guns to Mexican cartels supposedly as a sting that ended up just giving them guns, well they would be on my removal list before the National Endowment to the Arts which can do less damage and costs less money.

And oh yeah, there is the disastrously named Homeland Security that chose a Nazi name for their program but that was also under Bush. Whether they are helping us by their naked cameras (which I understand are being discontinued) or their freedom to grope anybody sexually and call it legal, I don't know. I do know that it has been a very invasive program brought in with the excuse of 9/11 but to do a job that should have been done by FBI and local law enforcement.

So, I have just convinced myself that there are some ineffective government programs or have been although I hear FEMA is now ahead of the game in reacting even as they are being denied funding which will make them incapable of responding to future disasters. People who find fault with them might think about that for their own region as nobody is immune to disasters. Yeah, I get it that some people don't need government help after such a thing strikes. And if it doesn't help you, it's not good. I get it. 

But what that guy was talking about was specifically dealing with bureaucrats or seeing government workers doing a job that they weren't doing effectively and business could do better. So let's make this specific to running into government types who made everything cost more for no good reason.

AND this must be the ineffective federal government worker. If your experience is local or state, well that's where people like Perry want to send all these jobs. (Coincidentally he is the governor of the state where this caller said he'd had these experiences. Wonder if he was talking state or federal...


Kay Dennison said...

As usual, you have nailed it!

Ingineer66 said...

I deal with government workers on a daily basis. I think most are hard working, dedicated public servants. The problem that I see are the coals that are nearly impossible to fire. Because of civil service rules and now powerful employee unions, someone that actually does get fired will eventually get reinstated. And because of affirmative action or whatever you want to call it, people are often hired and promoted not on merit, but on race or gender or the worst one, what their record is for promoting affirmative action programs.

There are many managers in government that could not manage a little league baseball team, but they are put in charge of millions of dollars in programs or contracts. And it is somebody else's money so there is often little accountability.

Rain said...

Thank you, ingineer. To add to the insights, from what government branch do these people come?

Ingineer66 said...

All of them. Seriously, I mostly deal with people from Transportation Departments, so most of the employees have some technical or professional training. And that includes Federal, State, County and City departments. I also have family involved in and or dealings with Fire Fighting, VA Hospitals, Highway Patrol, State Universities and the Military. Most professional level government employees are hard working and dedicated, but some are not.
From my viewpoint, the most abuse comes from non-skilled government employees that think they have it so rough, but hardly work and make more money than their private sector counterparts. For professional type folks, doctors, lawyers, engineers, most of us make less than private sector, but wanted the security and benefits of government employment. Now that security is being taken away. Funny all the engineers that now complain about my retirement, were not so worried about it during the boom when they were making double or triple my salary.