Like reforming the spoils system of the 19th century, dealing with today’s incompetent, lazy, and corrupt public employees is a good deal easier said than done. As always with human affairs, self-interest rules. In government, last year’s reform has a bad habit of causing this year’s problem.
For instance, take the federal civil service, that vast army of government workers (in 2011 there were 2,756,000 employees in the executive branch). It has been much in the news lately, thanks to burgeoning scandals at the IRS and elsewhere.
The civil service has been around since the Constitution took effect in 1789, when there were 40 employees in the Treasury Department and only five in the State Department. But there were no rules regarding the hiring and firing of civil servants at that time. They all served at the pleasure of the president….To Read More….