June 05, 2012
There are countless conferences, international and domestic, that federal bureaucrats can attend on the taxpayer’s nickel, all worthy causes to safely soak up the need to “do good.” The UN alone could consume thousands of hours in pointless meetings, workshops, forums, fact-finding missions, site visits, and banquets to honor Third World tyrants.
The big breakthrough would be encouraging thousands of parasitic busybodies to work from home with minimal supervision. This would reduce carbon emissions, eliminate paperwork, and shrink the need for expensive government office space. Relieved of their government responsibilities, or just puttering about a few hours per week, these well-paid slackers would hopefully become bored enough to open donut shops or moonlight as taxi drivers and thereby make genuine economic contributions.
In an instant the long-standing tribulation of firing incompetents will be solved, though not technically terminated. They will still draw salaries, but their impact will be mitigated. Nor is there any need to sweat over privatization or to battle public unions that resist automation.
This widespread absenteeism would also help delegitimize the ballooning federal bureaucracy”no small benefit as big government mutates into the cherished ideal for millions of dependency-inclined Americans.
Reporters could have a field day visiting near-empty federal office buildings and being told that nobody remembers who once worked there, what they looked like, or what they did. The only evidence of an absent employee’s existence would be their Ho Chi Minh City ATM withdrawals.
This is hardly a novel idea. For years New York City schools found it cost-effective to shift terrible teachers from school to school in favor of slogging through a long, tedious termination process”the “Dance of the Lemons,” it was called. The least capable were assigned to “rubber rooms” where they read newspapers and did crossword puzzles.
The fact that gigantic government is unnecessary would finally be plain to see. People would notice that rampant absenteeism barely mattered. Government jobs would vanish overnight. This would be a return to the era of limited government when legislators only showed up for a month or two per year.