Skip to comments.Progressive Government Is Obsolete
Posted on 03/19/2011 4:17:14 AM PDT by Scanian
Across the country, the interests of organized labor, elected officials and taxpayers are colliding over wages, work rules and the astronomical costs of retiree pensions and health care. As important as these specific issues are to resolve, there is another, more fundamental problem causing so many Americans to lose faith in their government: It is not government unions per se but progressive government itselflong celebrated in Wisconsin, New York and elsewherethat no longer produces progressive results.
In the early 20th century, the progressives championed a rule-based approach to public-sector management that was a big step forward from the cronyism and corruption of Tammany Hall. Today, however, the very rules that once enhanced accountability, transparency and efficiency now stifle the creativity of public-sector workers and reduce the ability of public investments to create opportunities for citizensoutcomes precisely the opposite of those intended by Progressive Era reformers.
New York City has more than 300,000 employees who work under more than 100 collective-bargaining agreements, along with layers of bureaucratic state civil-service laws. State law mandates that over 1,500 job titles must be filled through competitive written exams, specifically ignoring an employee's actual performance or qualifications. We are even required to administer a civil-service test for the head of our Police Department's counterterrorism unit! (We found a way around it.)
Seniority rules require that layoffs are based on date of hire, not merit. These rules also prevent any significant rewards for outstanding performance and make dismissing bad apples in the Big Apple all but impossible. Even asking employees for their ideas can be against the rules.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
The idiots that negotiated these agreements ‘on my behalf’ as a taxpayer should pay for these salaries and bennies.
What do you think of the idea of holding a referendum for any such changes?
The author overuses the word progressive when talking about things left wing
Having lost the language, he has lost the war.
He uses it like Beck does. In the historical, Woodrow Wilson way.
I don’t agree with the usage either but it has some historical validity.
SOME historical validity? It’s the very definition of the word.
Government at all levels has only itself to blame for the disgust that the taxpayers are voicing. When government began employing people as part of the “war on poverty,” instead of hiring the best employees, the quality of all agencies dropped. Now it takes five hours to get a new car license tag in Houston. Who has five hours of time to spend standing in line? When computers came along, things were supposed to be more efficient. Instead, they’ve gotten much, much worse.
“When computers came along, things were supposed to be more efficient. Instead, theyve gotten much, much worse.”
You just said a mouthful! All that money paid for technology and to get what?
It has lostthe old meaning over the years with a lot of people. Rush considers it a silly euphemism for liberal.
I like Paul Ryan’s “progressivist” tag for them. It takes away the most of the fake “forward-looking” sense that lefties want the word “progressive” to convey.
.......and to get what?.....
I used my computer to file my tax return electronically with a minimum of effort and complete lack of bother.
I went on line and renewed my auto registration in about 5 minutes
I am able to make detailed studies of national park facilities and even trail maps from my computer and use the info to plan a long trip.
I believe we were talking about employees, government employees in particular.
You are a FReeper. That puts you on a different level.
It is important to recognize the link between European/American Progressives and Communist/Marxist ideologies in understanding the structure of Americas' bureaucratic government and the actions of the current Progressive regime.
Socialism pivots upon denial of economic reality coupled with the use of the coercive power of the state to enforce the favored economic policies of the moment, that is up until the real economy fails to prove the state with the means it needs to sustain that denial.
That is exactly what we are seeing in the obligation-related collapses of our various political jurisdictions, whether local, state or federal. Promises were made that could not be kept. Contracts were signed that implied future revenue streams that are just not possible. Powers of taxation were secured that implied that those being taxed would not move away. And on the federal level, money was printed and bonds sold as if wealth came from the printing press.
Up until this moment, on balance, we had sufficient resources and prosperity (assets and income stream) to be able to grow, raise families and prosper, and still pay these growing claims. However the last wave of economic denial was that government could declare (through the Community Reinvestment Act) it had the power to force lenders to sell mortgages to people who not only could not repay them, but who in a pinch had no intention of repaying them, and that such a policy would not have any downside, let alone one that destroyed several trillions of national wealth.
And now we are dealing with an attempt to stimulate the economy by fooling people into thinking that prosperity has returned. They are responding by trading their political (fiat) dollars for gold, silver, oil, wheat, corn, cotton, and anything else that is a real asset.
The economic theories of J.M. Keynes are so entrenched in the leadership/media-elites exactly because, in the words of Prof. Peter Klein , his theory gave them a scholarly basis for doing exactly what they wanted to do anyway, which was to spend, spend, spend, to make government as big and as powerful as possible.
In my experience, the ONLY economic theory that is not based in the denial of reality is the causal-rational approach. This is also called the Austrian School.
The Austrians would first warn you to not confuse money with wealth, and that wealth cannot be printed. Secondly, when government intrudes in private economic decisions, it only distorts them and destroys wealth. The more that government intrudes, the less prosperous we will be on balance. There is a debate in the Austrian school as to the proper role of government in society, but it is a universal given that our present government is far larger than is necessary and beneficial for society. It has certainly grown way beyond the size where it only protects us from the violence of others and it now exists mainly to perpetuate itself, no matter what it costs the average citizen in terms of money or liberty.
And in that observation, we come full circle to my observation above, that such presumption of power expands and expands until the resources it can grasp can no longer enable that expansion. Then it tends to collapse because such a power-hungry beast cannot adapt to less power. We see this in Harry Reid’s complaint that we must keep funding Cowboy Poets, and in California’s budget mess, and in the battle over a public unions in Wisconsin.
Our own government has become a more grave threat to the prosperity and safety of our children than any present external enemy. Our own government, in order to see its present policy plans carried out is willing to place our children in economic servitude in order to pay interest on its debt that is held by foreign powers who are not our friends. That servitude will be imposed by continual dilution of our children’s currency and thus a continual transfer of wealth from those who hold it and create it to those who benefit from money printing. To Keynesians, money-printing is the lifeblood of big and Bigger government. Austrians will explain how it destroys liberty and prosperity.
We must restrain government before it restrains us. The core issue at present is government’s ability to create its own operating funds and to make promises that it cannot fulfill, which is a form of credit expansion. To this end, we must end the Federal Reserve’s ability to create money out of thin air. And we must restrain government’s ability to encumber our own future incomes and private wealth.
I don’t know how to do this specifically, but returning to a gold-backed currency would be a great first step. And when that suggestion is made, you can tell by the reaction of the big government crowd exactly what effect it will have.
 Keynesian Economics: The Beast That Won’t Die, Will the Decline Continue? Monday, September 14, 2009 by Peter G. Klein, http://mises.org/media/4079/Keynesian-Economics-The-Beast-That-Wont-Die
If one takes a look at the Progressive movement that supported Henry Wallace for President you find there is little difference between their philosophy of government and the Socialists/Marxists who dominate the Progressive movement today. By the nineteen forties the Progressives had snatched the left wing mantle from the Democrats. They emerged for a time as McGovernites, but generally found a home with Ralph Nader. Now they are in the driver’s seat.
In Texas, one can renew drivers’ licenses online, but not car tags. And just wait until you become familiar with the Social Security bureaucracy. Perhaps you will be fortunate, and it will be broke before you have to “take a number” and sit and wait several hours, along with piles of women applying for “disability” with their rowdy children in tow.
Yes, government “service” is definitely plunging in quality.
We are not getting what we pay for.
I don't apply that to Obama, however. He is just a shiftless, opportunistic puppet that was selected to represent the movement. That's why he and Michele are behaving like ghetto trash that just won the lottery.
“Progressive” has a positive connotation in the modern world and I don’t think we should concede that to them.
Especially since “progressivism” is the leading cause of decline and social problems in this country and abroad as well.
They are and always will be “liberals” and or “leftists” to Yours Truly, with the added options of being “Marxists,” “socialists,” or “communists,” depending on individual circumstances.
I think using “progressive” is good, not only because it is historically accurate, but because it is a word that is not as easily dismissed as “leftist.”
The progressives in the US were statists even before the creation of the Communist states. For a progressive, everything depends on the state (which is run by an expert elite) and its power to determine and dictate behavior, and the individual is basically regarded as a dangerous nuisance. This extends to every aspect of life.
US progressives saw the state enforcing this through positive rewards (i.e., cradle to grave welfare for those who comply) but when that doesn’t work, there is always the threat of coercion for our own good.
When computers came along, things were supposed to be more efficient. Instead, theyve gotten much, much worse.
A computer very well may have taken your job. The computer isn’t nearly as smart personable or capable as you were or are.
I visited a bank last week for some work they needed. They had a huge basement that was unused. I asked about the size of the building, and the answer I got was interesting.
Before the age of computers, they used have many more employees because everything was done “by hand”.
He wouldn't be there unless he hated my cracker-white behind.
The first thing is we need to rethink what governments should be doing. The bulk of government budgets are for entitlement programs. Most of these should be handled by other means. When I was a kid churches ran huge free hospitals. The churches got ruled and regulated out of the business so government could take over and “more fairly and more efficiently” serve the voting poor.
Then, we need to go through government and replace obsolete functions with technology.
And, lastly, lest you think we’ve done away with cronyism; I know an El Salvadoran who went to the DMV with a visa and applied for a driver’s license. Along with the license they registered him to vote (and gave him voter’s ID.) He’s a registered Democrat.
Amen.... great post
A fellow FReeper uses the term “progressivik”. I rather like it....
Our "Progressive" educational system in action.
It takes only a modicum of research to discover how evil "statism with a pretty name" is.
I have an online account with social security and do all my dealings on line.
As a matter of fact, when I began, I took the form completed on line to the SS office and gave it to the woman at the window and bypassed all those waiting in line. She looked it over, nodded and that was it.
Once upon a time, a great many Americans worked in manufacturing. But, with advances in machinery, and off-shoring of industry, the need for industrial labor steadily decreased. Today, only a small percentage of the population works in manufacturing.
Once upon a time, a great many Americans worked in offices providing services. But, with advances in computers, and off-shoring of service work, the need for office labor has steadily decreased. Today, a much smaller percentage of the population works in offices.
Bottomline: We are productive, but where are the jobs?? Can society function when we have goods, and not much need for much of the population to labor?
No, I own my own businesss. It was just an observation.
When they came in, I found that it speeded up some slow workers and slowed down some of the fast ones.
The worst phenomenon I noticed was the “data processing” BS-er who regarded computers as an end in themselves rather than tools and a means to an end.
Bad employees will use computers and computer problems to excuse lack of productivity. And government employess didn’t seem to be made anymore efficient at all.
Just my personal observations. If yours have been different, God bless you!
I usr them (obviously) and enjoy them immensely. I just don’t think they’ve been the boon to the workaday world that some people thought they would be.
Exactly...so let’s call it a “leftist” educational system or something similar because that is exactly what it is.
I would say its use is very significant in that when the Progressives of Wilson’s day were all but vanquished, they changed their ideological name to something else like Liberal or managed to infiltrate their way into both parties knowing they would amass power again to bring their bile back to what many call the mainstream.
Some marched off with orders to the left and others marched off with orders to the right. Now we have this horrible goverment elitist group who are essentially all on the same side and play us against each other with their good cop, bad cop routine over and over again.
By calling them what they really are in no way diminishes today’s labels but only augments them as a way for us to readily identify the Progressives among our ideological center who are chipping away at what being a Conservative really is.
Shall we go through the list? Nixon, Ford, McCain and on and on and on. If we are ever going to rid our society of these wolves in sheeps clothing, we had better start calling them wolves or they will remain in our midst as sheep one by one killing off the flock.
I use them (obviously) and enjoy them immensely. I just dont think theyve been the boon to the workaday world that some people thought they would be.
Probably true of a great many inventions. Computers are not the end all, but they sure consume time, with a return on investment if used wisely.
Yes, like "Gay" as opposed to "Homosexual", or "nuance" as opposed to "outright lie" or "civili right" as opposed to "stealing from others so some lazy ass can be supported without doing anything but existing and some weasel can get reelected".
In the end it all boils down to marxism of one flavor or another.
A desperate national shortage of wisdom is at the root of most of our problems, wouldn’t you say?
Nobody possessed of a speck of wisdom would fall for government union propaganda, for instance.
Bottomline: We are productive, but where are the jobs?? Can society function when we have goods, and not much need for much of the population to labor?
An interesting comment on Rush yesterday by a caller that had lived in Saudi Arabia. Claiming I believe rightly that they import much of their “menial” labor, or labor period.
Making for an interesting lack of need for “workers” among the ruling/pontificating class. There is much to be learned and much to be gained by working.
The media tends to have us a service economy in contrast to days of yore, when we produced or made things. I’m not so sure working at McDonalds is the pinnacle of service.
As you indicate things are ever changing, and aren’t likely to slow down anytime soon, we adapt or rot.
...or attach themselves to a democrat party, and yet...
Imagine the impossibility of tracking all the UPS packages without a computer system...
New Family Facts Web Site Arms Conservatives
THAT is an indisputably excellent use for computers.
The conversation started out by citing how computers have added to employee sloth. Especially government employees.
My classic example is the Permitting Dept. The ones I’ve dealt with in Florida were horrible and inefficient BC and remain the same AC. And I don’t notice any fewer employees there either.
It’s still the County Home for the Mentally Ill and Retarded and most others I’ve heard of are the same way. (I don’t doubt there are exceptions but they have to be RARE exceptions)
Progressive government might be obsolete but the lefties haven't gotten the word yet.
They are still in the majority in Washington and many states; they still have the balance of power, the keys to the treasury and are still very effectively destroying the country.
It is an open question if we can return to a constitutional government or not. The trend is still in the other direction. The republicans are complicit and do not seem to have the resolve to even put up a good fight.
If Obama gets re-elected there will be no hope of turning the country from the racist based socialism he and the democrats are imposing on us.
I think its a fine idea and no method of restoring sanity should be left off the table.
They are not idiots. These people are hired and appointed by elected officials. And voters in New York are overwhelmingly liberal. Don't blame people doing their jobs for the wacko choices of the American public. Lay blame where it belongs.
Gracious benefits including, in many cases due to how overtime rules were written, six figure pensions were granted merely to secure votes. I remember mayor Lindsay negotiating and granting much of whats in place now.