Public Service in Belgium and Missouri
On KY3 in Springfield and in the newspapers, I have called for a reduction in the number of state employees as one solution to resolving the budget deficit. I understand the opposing argument (made by people who might even philosophically agree with me): that a recession is the worst possible time to add former government workers to the unemployment rolls, especially when the state unemployment fund is close to going broke right now.
However, tough economic times are also just about the only time there is a real opportunity to reduce the number of government employees at all. When times are good and budgets fat, nobody says, “Hey, jobs are easy to come by; let’s fire the worst 10 percent of the public payroll and reduce both the size of government and the tax burden, right here and now!” Sometimes, you get a combination of factors that actually helps to make some reductions successful, as was the case for Gov. Blunt. He deserves great credit for that, even though it was nothing quite like the radical reduction in non-public-safety-related government employees that we need right now, in my opinion.
I don’t mean to single out Missouri state government employees, in contrast to local, state, or federal bureaucrats thoughout the county — which gets me to the point of this post. Today’s Wall Street Journal has a hysterical article about government workers in Belgium, and their abuse of sick leave. Read the whole thing.
It’s funny in many ways, but in a bigger way, it is just pathetic. This is what socialism (or quasi-socialism) does to people: It takes their initiative away, and any sense they might have of controlling their own destiny, all in the name of equality and fairness. So, you eventually get a nation of losers who can’t go to work because they are depressed that their girlfriend dumped them. No wonder InBev is actually run by Brazilians. …