Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

A crude analogy

Posted by Lissa on June 3, 2009

(Or “Why, if you look at government from a worker’s point of view, it just sucks.”)

Ever worked for a business of any sort?  (If not . . . if you are an heir/heiress, a trust fund baby, or a life-long welfare recipient – how the hell did you find my blog?)

Ever supervised a team? 

How many of the people around you work just hard enough not to get fired?

If none of the people around you could be fired – if they had near-zero fear of losing their jobs – do you think they would work HARDER or LESS HARD?*

If your business group did not have to worry about being profitable/efficient, would your group work HARDER or LESS HARD?

If your company was given a certain budget every year, there was no serious penalty for overshooting it, and your real concern was to make sure you used up every dime lest you get a smaller budget for next year – would your company become MORE EFFICIENT or LESS EFFICIENT?

Since all those conditions apply to government and government workers, doesn’t it make absolute, perfect, rational sense that government doesn’t do ANYTHING efficiently?  (Except waste money.  That doesn’t count.)

Now try this.  If you work for a big corporation . . . imagine that the big-boss, the CEO, is trying to control the processes and efficiencies for the entry-level folks, the people on the ground actually taking phone calls and talking to clients.  Imagine that instead of setting up goals and instructing his chain of management to get it done, the CEO was actually trying to write and enforce procedures for the low-level workers.  Do you think s/he would have any idea how to get it done?  Doesn’t it make sense that folks closer to the ground have a better idea of the nuts-and-bolts of what works and what doesn’t, than the bigwigs off in their corporate headquarters?  Do you think the CEO has a real good idea what any of the ground-level people do on a daily basis?  Let alone what ALL of them do on a daily basis?

Doesn’t it make the same sort of sense that the bigwig lawmakers off in Washington have even LESS ability to comprehend the nuts-and-bolts details of our lives and needs, than our own state legislature?

If the government cannot do anything efficiently, and the larger the government the less efficient it becomes . . . isn’t it simply common sense to have the goal of making government as small as possible?  Not nonexistent – I’m not an anarchist – and we can argue over the proper level of minimum government, but doesn’t that seem like a no-brainer?  Especially when there are independent agencies that distribute food, aid for children, job training, and shelter for animals?  Even acupuncture, for cryin’ out loud!

Why, then, do people think it makes sense for the government to keep growing and expanding?  Why would it make sense to put more and more minutiae under people removed from the front lines with very little fear of being fired and no impetus towards increased efficiency?

And that doesn’t even begin to address corruption, nepotism, the evils that too-powerful states have wrought upon their people, golden parachutes, abrogation of civil and constitutional rights, etc. etc. etc.

If I thought that our current level of government was the perfect level of government – which I certainly do not – I would still fight for a smaller government, in order to keep it the same size, because the nature of government is to grow.  I want as few of my life choices and activities – and tax dollars – to fall under government purview as is humanly and civilly possible.

Or do you really like the way they run the DMV?

*For fear of being fired — there’s a big to-do about 1,250 state workers being laid off.  For each individual worker, I sympathize — getting laid off SUCKS.  But according to this site there were about 93,900 MA state workers in 2008.  State Street, on the other hand, employed 13,900 in MA and announced plans to cut between 1,600 and 1,800 of them.  You do the math. 

NOTE: This post was done with my standard level of Google-fu — that is, to the level of an eight-year-old.  Well, maybe a ten-year-old.  If I’ve got all my data wrong, as always, feel free to educate me in the comments.

UPDATE: Hsoi linked.  Thanks!

UPDATE: Firearms & Freedom linked.  Thanks!

UPDATE: Jay G linked.  Thanks!

4 Responses to “A crude analogy”

  1. […] Posted June 3, 2009 Filed under: Politics | Tags: flabbergasted, Politics | The problem with Lissa’s crude analogy is that it makes sense. That’s precisely why it falls upon deaf ears and so many people think […]

  2. secretlivesofscientists said

    Funny how the government blames yuppie greed for our current economic shitstorm, and yet they are using the same redonkulous failure of a model and product of yuppie greed known as “management culture” to solve our problems.

  3. Bill Nance said

    Well said Lissa. We often disagree, but not on this one.

    Private employers are VASTLY more efficient than the public sector, and the fear of losing one’s job is the reason why. Anytime you remove that threat (As in the case of unions) the business becomes less efficient and less profitable.

    I find it particularly interesting to note that when worker’s rights are instituted by law in states, unions disappear. I would note that here in Mass, which is supposedly Oh-so-liberal, there are virtually ZERO worker protections beyond those mandated by the federal government.

    It’s a blatant sop to the unions. And then we wonder why people are leaving here in droves…

  4. […] Or do you really like the way they run the DMV? – Lissa […]

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