Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
In the olden days, public sector jobs were filled by patronage, which led to massive incompetence and frequent turnover. These employees could get away with lousy service without repercussion because their jobs didn’t depend on customer service, they depended on remaining in favor.
Later, public sector jobs are filled by civil service procedures to avoid nepotism and favoritism, hopefully resulting in more competent employees. These employees couldn’t give the public lousy service because they’d be disciplined or even fired.
In states like Minnesota, public sector jobs became union jobs with the adoption of the Public Employment Labor Relations Act in 1984. They’re still filled by civil service exams but now they’re union jobs so employees can get away with lousy service without repercussion because it’s so difficult to discipline or fire a public union employee. Local media attention or legislative scrutiny often is required before action is taken.
I once submitted documents to the County Recorder but they were rejected. The phone conversation went something like this: “Why were my documents rejected? We can’t give you legal advice. I don’t want legal advice, I want to know what’s wrong with my documents so I can fix them to get them recorded. Read the statute. I did read the statute, I still can’t see anything wrong with my documents. Consult a lawyer. I AM A LAWYER AND AS FAR AS I CAN TELL THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH MY DOCUMENTS SO WHAT’S THE PROBLM? I’ll refer you to my supervisor.”
I don’t know whether that’s incompetence, malice, stupidity, or just an idiotic policy, but it did not delight the customer.
And in the federal government, it’s even worse: public sector jobs are union jobs, supposedly filled by civil service process except the bosses are political appointees so the workers actually selected to fill positions tend to mirror the boss’s political views. The federal government workforce leans Democrat so they have no personal qualms about treating Tea Party fundraisers less well than Move On fundraisers, for example. Massive media attention and Congressional inquiries were insufficient to motivate the IRS to discipline anybody.
Something will have to, someday. Perhaps it’ll be DC collapsing.