Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Bureaucratic Disconnect Of Government

     According to Federal Reserve Chairman, Janet Yellen, the economy is right where she wants it, with rising inflation and a labor market that features the lowest participation by workers in almost forty years. But Ms. Yellen, who has never held a job in the real economy, let alone operated a business, thinks that the current economic conditions are just peachy. It is illustrative of the total disconnect between the reality with which most Americans live their daily lives, and the theoretical blather that passes for sound monetary policy from people like Yellen and Bernanke, who live in the surreal world of acedmia and government all their lives.
      For Janet Yellen and the theoreticians in government, the fact that a record number of Americans are unemployed, and are now saddled with paying more for the daily items they need, is a good thing. The trouble with economic theory that is spewed from the depths of ignorance and formed into policy that affects the lives of hard working Americans, is that it is 180 degrees out of phase with economic reality.
     Another example of this bureaucratic disconnect is Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, commenting on the recent disgrace of the Phoenix VA saying that "a good portion of it works." That one statement encapsulates the ethos of mediocrity that is the best argument for limiting the functions of government. Does anyone think that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, would retain his position if he announced that, "A good portion of the tech giant works." Of course not. In the private sector excellence is expected and mediocrity is met with unemployment, not bonuses.
     This glaring difference between the private and public sectors was also comically demonstrated in the 1984 film, Ghostbusters. When Dan Ackroyd and Bill Murray's characters lose their university jobs, the Murray character suggests they get jobs in the private sector. Ackroyd's character says, "No way. I have worked in the private sector, and they expect results." But not only are public sector workers like the Phoenix VA not expected to demonstrate excellence in their jobs, but they are rewarded with bonuses for not doing so.
     Not only is bureaucratic lackluster mediocrity ubiquitous, but it is expensive as well. Every year the federal government's budget increases and the quality of services received by the taxpayers footing the bill gets worse. Our veterans, as well as the average citizen, deserve better from a government that is suppose to serve the populace, not the other way around. And as someone once said, "That government is best which governs least."

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