Low pay, contstant criticism, bureaucracy. Where do I sign up!?

So, I haven't posted in a while. I could explain to you why, but that's just boring. I'll be posting more starting next week.

And you'll like it!

The FDA gave out bigger bonuses this year than last reports the WP, largely to the upper level management, despite criticism over a lot of public problems over imports and food (sometimes together). There are a couple of aspects to this that I'd like to point out:

1) the public looks at public servants as stuck in their jobs not as part of a larger national workforce that has options. Orgs and the media are always harping on the revolving door with FDA and drug companies but also get up in arms when they want to figure out a way to compensate people so they don't run away. As a corallary (I'm pretty sure I misspelled that), the public seems to think that public servants should be doing their job out of some feeling of duty, honor, and service. That's all well and good but they're human and looking at your education loan or the house or better day care you could afford working for industry can make one think twice about public service.

2) the public expects the government to run with business like efficiency on non-profit pay. Choose one, it can't work both ways. (example: they don't have enough people do all the inspections for the US yet are expected to keep tabs on imports, too. This is getting better soon it seems with the recent bill.)

3) Hey Congress, maybe your laws suck. (perhaps, for instance, you should have all food authority under one agency with some actual teeth).

4) A lot of the things people don't like about an agency are problems with the administration. Don't hurt the career people.

5) This is not specific to the government: People somehow expect management to be treated the same way as peons. Big pay, offices, better parking, a car, sense of entitlement and right to treat other people with little respect...ETC really rubs people the wrong way. Don't like it? Leave. This is the standard, however; Intels and Googles are special. Should the gov't also be special? I'm not sure. Again, if you have industry willing to pay these execs a lot more money, shouldn't they get a healthy incentive?

Less Science!

Since it's sarcastic this is probably sacrilegious to put on ScienceBlogs, but I love this song.

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Unless you're under contract with Intel, in which everyone in a peon, and non-managers are the peon's peons! Where does the money go? To a contractor that's doing stuff for contractors! AHAHA.

I digress. I think we ought to pay people decent money if they're in the public sector, because it's a thankless job and lots of people have quadzillions of dollars of student loan debt. Sure, my taxes will go up, but maybe your blog readers won't be accidentally ingesting lead-coated E. coli burgers at Mc Fast Food because they had to work overtime from getting sick previously.

To add a little nuance: I think we ought to pay people well in the public sector, IF they are performing a genuinely useful task, AND are within the bounds and authority of the government as authorized by the Constitution. Taxes wouldn't go up at all if those criteria were paid a bit of attention to.


By Philip Boncer (not verified) on 30 Jun 2008 #permalink

I digress. I think we ought to pay people decent money if they're in the public sector, because it's a thankless job and lots of people have quadzillions of dollars of student loan debt...