How Bureaucrats Captured Government — The American Magazine: " . . . . The inevitable result of employees who cannot be fired is, of course, a federal workforce that, feeling safe in their jobs, is not likely to overexert itself and is more prone to fall into corruption — as some employees of the IRS clearly have. More than a few master the art of skirting the edge of trouble. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma estimates that over a seven-year period, the federal government lost 9,000 man-years of work due to employees who simply failed to show up to the office some days. That is not very different from the situation under the spoils system — although smoking, at least, has been banned from federal office buildings. The solution, obviously, is a much reformed, simplified, and faster process for dealing with incompetent, lazy, and corrupt employees. But like reforming the spoils system of the 19th century, that is a good deal easier said than done. As always with human affairs, self-interest rules."
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