25 February 2011

US Government Desperately Needs a Maintenance Shutdown

Machinery of all types experience wear and tear over time. Routine scheduled shutdowns for vital maintenance are part of any industrial plant's life cycle in the developed world. Such routine and profound plant overhauls prevent disastrous failures at future times. The machinery of large governments is no different -- it needs to be shut down periodically for crucial maintenance, replacement, and refurbishing.

The US government is in current desperate need of overhaul, requiring deep surgical cuts to prevent a far worse catastrophic failure in the future. Despite rampant quasi-superstitious fears over the thought of a government shut-down, the alternative of "business as usual" is the genuine cataclysmic alternative.

The government in Belgium has been shut down for 257 days, and the people there seem happy with the result. In the US, as long as the social security checks and other important entitlement disbursements continue during the shutdown, the people of America should be likewise content. Particularly if they were made aware that crucial maintenance was being done to the government, to allow it to avoid a massive breakdown within the next decade or two.

Fiscal policies of government are in particular need of overhaul, with no end in sight for a growing massive debt. Educational, immigration, and cultural policies are leading to a dumbed down Idiocracy which cannot support a high tech society for long. Current energy policies are leading to a terminal energy starvation whose fatal repercussions will rebound through the US economy and society in devastatingly short order.

The US elections of 2010 revealed a deep-seated dissatisfaction among the American electorate, with the direction of the Obama - Pelosi - Reid regressive government. Most Americans believed the nation was being badly mis-directed by its leadership. The election of 2010 re-arranged the US Congress as well as state-level legislatures and governorships. It was not a merely cosmetic overhaul.

There is an awakening at the American grassroots -- particularly among persons who must produce the wealth which the rest of the country lives on -- that the American government has grown a huge crop of freeloaders both within and around Washington DC and state capitals. It is an unsustainable crop which is choking off any chance of economic prosperity for the nation at large.

A few modest attempts to right some of these wrongs in the state of Wisconsin has led to a massive reactionary and potentially violent government-sector union response. President Obama himself has denounced the Wisconsin governor's attempts to balance the Wisconsin state budget -- using his campaign apparatus to bus in hundreds or thousands of outside agitators-for-hire in an attempt to intimidate the government and people of Wisconson into acquiescing to their own death-by-parasites.

What is happening in Wisconsin is bound to happen in many or most other US states, and eventually in the US government. No one knows how violent and bloody these standoffs can become, if the freeloaders of the public sector decide to go all out in demanding their special privileges and benefits. Mr. Obama has so far done everything he can to fuel public union intransigence, anger, and potential violence.

If something cannot go on forever, it will eventually stop. It is in the interest of government and public sector unions to accept the reality that a perpetual wild and exponential growth in their ranks and benefits is unsustainable. An orderly shutdown and overhaul -- similar to a deep maintenance shutdown in an industrial plant or a "controlled burn" in the wild -- is mandatory to prevent a cataclysmic collapse eventually.

Scheduled, elective surgery is always in the best interest of the patient, the surgeon, and the medical centre. It is time to schedule a deep surgical procedure on the US government.

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Blogger Bruce Hall said...


I'd like to see less rhetoric and more thinking with regard to the budget issues and potential solutions.

Although it is easy to target the unions as the cause of problems, the issue there is that the government and union officials essentially colluded in a votes for money scam... money that comes from taxpayers who don't necessarily support the government officials that get the bought-for union support.

The rub is the union members... teachers who are required to be members... are the pawns who get abused by both sides. Abuse because they get benefits? No, abuse because they don't necessarily get the best results as individuals. A young teacher with a masters degree and special teaching credentials such as special education, emotionally damaged, or physically disabilities, can start at less than $25 per hour. Compare that to a person with a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering that starts at 50-100% more. Sure, market dynamics. Well, no. More like making the system easy for the government and unions and screwing the best talent. The government elected officials and the union bosses win; the teachers get the abuse in the form of low pay and hatred for the benefits they get in lieu of higher pay.

Okay, so the system does protect bad, unproductive teachers. The consequences of government and union officials colluding to make their positions stronger. Still, by lumping the teachers into the role of villains and punishing them with significant pay cuts, the perpetrators of the problem get ignored.

While I agree that adjustments to the pension and benefits should be made, the question is whether cutting a teacher's pay from $45K per year to $35K per year to take over the government's obligations is being fiscally responsible or morally repugnant.

Rather than short-shrifting the people who we hire to teach our children... and then blaming them because the children who can't be disciplined or removed from classes for a variety of disruptive reasons due to "progressive policies" create an undesirable learning environment and poor results... perhaps the solution is to provide real support for teachers and remove support for society's parasites who think dropping out of school and having no skills and illegitimate children is the way to live. There has to be a lot of poor "investments" the government is making by establishing those permanent "safety nets." Maybe more than the value of teachers' benefits.

Friday, 25 February, 2011  
Blogger al fin said...

Interesting comment, Bruce. But are you certain that it fits with this particular posting? Teachers are just a spoke in the wheel of public sector union devastation of state and local government budgets. Public sector unions are just one part of the much bigger problem of government budgets. Think bigger.

But since you choose to focus on the plight of teachers, I will say that they have chosen their profession, and have been incredibly complacent about what has been done in their names to public budgets and public elections. They are far from blameless in that regard.

In regard to the abysmal state of public education generally, teachers are likewise far from blameless. They chose their profession, but want to be paid as much or more as persons who work 12 months out of the year and who are actually held accountable for their work performance.

Teachers live in a cocoon in part due to unions, in part due to public employment. It is a bargain they have made. But even caterpillers have to leave the cocoon eventually. The real world is beginning to eat through the walls of protection wrapped around public employees generally, and teachers specifically.

The more the unions riot -- and the teachers choose to stand with the rioting thugs -- the worse it will be for the teachers in the end.

They teach children. They are not supposed to be children themselves.

Friday, 25 February, 2011  
Blogger gtg723y said...

The problem is that todays law makers have forgotten the meaning of the word debate. After the Articles of confederation failed, the founders got together and debated the Constitution for six years. How to make the federal government powerful enough to keep the states from having trade wars, without it growing into a behemoth. The turbulence we are experiencing today has been in the making for a long time. Just like the sludge in a gearbox or engine that has never had an oil change. But parts that were once interchangeable are not once they have time to wear together, you can't just replace a few gears and expect it to work like new. Also during a system shut down you run into problems with backlash and then start up is never as smooth as it ought to be. The problem is that the Courts have been staked with "living document" rather than original intent justices, causing us to slide into socialism ever so slowly. "Can you name anything the federal government does not regulate?" ~ Judge Napolotono

Sunday, 27 February, 2011  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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