In recent revelations from internal investigators in multiple federal agencies, federal workers have too much time on their hands from a lack of work, and many of them are wiling away the hours binging on porn.
Some of them are looking at porn for up to two hours or more a day. Others aren’t looking at porn. They’re better than that—they’re watching television or checking social media or going to the gym. But there seems to be one common activity none of them are engaging in while they’re on the clock—actual work.
And before you get too upset with them, you must understand that they may not have any work to do. They’re not shirking assignments or anything. They often have no assignments. They’re bored. So why do they even have jobs?
After the Great Recession, jobs were harder to come by. In an effort to pad the unemployment numbers, the civil government shifted much of the job growth from the private to the public sector:
“In 2012,” Hall and Greene wrote in a recent report for George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, “public-sector employment made up more than 16 percent of the U.S. labor market.” That in itself is bad enough; but as the men observed, “Direct government employment fails to capture the full impact of government spending on state labor markets.”
To determine that “full impact,” Hall and Greene estimated the number of jobs in each state that are funded by federal contract dollars and added them to the number of actual public employees in that state. When they did that, they found that public-sector employment grew by almost 3.5 million jobs to a national average of 19.2 percent of the workforce. In other words, nearly one-fifth of all workers in the United States are employed either directly or indirectly by government.
And once jobs are in the public sector, they are likely to stay there, whether they are needed or not. Federal workers employed by a bureacracy become part of that bureacracy’s budget. And if you think a federal director is going to cut his own budget, you’ve been drinking the funky Kool-Aid:
“Today, federal managers are under many constraints,” [former Inspector General Brian Miller] said. “With hiring freezes and budget limitations, a federal manager may hoard resources, squirreling them away for fear of losing even unneeded resources.
“It takes a very strong manager to stand up and do the unpopular thing: to manage resources efficiently.”
And that’s a problem. Because there isn’t really any external accountability concerning federal workers inside a federal agency. It’s the agency’s job to deal with its own employees. Miller continued:
“At the end of the day, an [Inspector General] IG may recommend a course of action, but the IG has no power to make it happen,” he said. “An IG warns, reports, and recommends, but agency managers administer disciplinary actions and make changes in the agency.”
That’s a recipe for bloat, corruption, wastefulness, and inefficiency. Of all the federal workers who have been clicking around in the pornographic mire, very few of them have faced criminal charges for fraud. And honestly, if we were going to be charging people with fraud, the federal workers themselves wouldn’t be first on my list, as reprehensible as their actions are. Their actions are nothing compared to the fraud perpetrated on the American taxpayers by agency managers and policy makers.
Another rotten thing to think about from this situation—consider how bad unemployment actually is in this country. None of these people should be employed. Even with the federal government’s enormous reach, there isn’t enough work for all of them. Which means you, faithfully employed American taxpayer, are spending your hard-earned dollars so some federal workers can watch porn so Obama can say that job growth is up.
If that doesn’t get your goat, I don’t know what could.