How Can the Government Be Made More Effective?

The federal government is an organization over 200 years old that has never been reduced or re-engineered. It’s like a mile long luxury car. It will carry a lot of people, but it is expensive, unproductive, and can’t maneuver quickly. Can anything be done?

It can be improved, but not without some hard choices. The process should start with a few admissions.

Public service employee pay and benefits is going to bankrupt local, state, and national government if not changed. Government employees are paid an average of 40% more than their private sector counterpart and their benefits are off the chart. A 50 year old person who has worked for the government 25 years can retire and get 70% of their salary and healthcare coverage for life. The government will not only pay the salary of the retired person for another 30-40 years with all their healthcare, but also pay the salary and benefits of the new hire taking over the position.I read that government pension payments alone are already in the trillions.

Government employees get guaranteed pay raises every year, regardless of performance. As far as I can tell, a government employee cannot be fired unless they are a criminal. They just get moved to other departments.They get their raises regardless of a down economy. So much for the idea of shared sacrifice during the latest recession.

I have done some business process consulting work and I shutter at the thought of taking on a government entity. Every agency, program, department, and office needs an honest operational review. I would classify each department in one of four catagories; NMC, NCU, UBE, and URN. The government loves acronyms!

  1. Necessary with minor changes.
  2. Necessary, but currently useless. Entire group should be eliminated and start over.
  3. Unnecessary and should be eliminated.
  4. Unnecessary and a result of nepotism (favoritism) . This one is important to find out which elected officials are ripping off the system to pay their friends and family.

Being self-employed I have had countless sleepless nights worried if I will have enough income the next month. I have had to work all hours and sacrifice holidays to get projects done in order to be payed. I can’t comprehend a government job where your biggest worry is boredom.

There are so many examples of how the largest bureaucracy in the history of the world is grossly ineffective, let me mention one. The government has many programs to feed the hungry. I don’t know the exact number of programs, they span different departments and locations. This type of disorganization leads to incredible waste, fraud, and worst of all – children still go hungry.

It is time for an accounting. This should have supreme importance as we move into an election season. Ask your candidates these hard economic questions:

  • How can we continue to fund government pensions?
  • What will you do to hold an unnecessary program accountable?
  • Should government salaries be 40% higher than the people they serve?
  • If you are elected, how many people will get government jobs?

As long as performance not a requirement for employees or departments, there are going to be problems. If bigger government is what the nation wants, at least require some accountability.

New government jobs should be offered to 50 somethings like me. The money saved on pensions alone would keep many governments from bankruptcy in the future. Plus, I want to ride in Uncle Sam’s big luxury car.

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