Vol. 7, Issue 4, October 27, 2009
Experts Say Economic Recovery Hindered by Competence
Economists are warning that the Obama administration's new hiring patterns are causing a ripple effect that is seriously contributing to the economic downturn, and that a return to Bush-era tactics may be necessary if the White House is to avoid worsening the situation.
"While perhaps they could be forgiven a bit of naiveté in making their initial appointments, it should be clear by now that they need to adjust course," said Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman. "The system just isn't set up to handle an excess of competent people."
Apparently, a significant number of government workers have been put into place to assist various appointees who may not have had much experience relevant to their appointment, such as former FEMA director Michael Brown, a racehorse administrator put in charge of the nation's federal emergency response team.
"We had nineteen people assigned to help Brown get through his day - someone to read his mail, someone else to respond to his mail, someone to pick out his ties, and so forth," said Harris Tyler, a laid-off FEMA employee. "There was even a guy whose job was to find New Orleans on a map for him. Then Obama brings in Craig Fugate, and what does the guy do? Head directly to New Orleans, without asking for a map - and he picks out his own ties, too!" Tyler shook his head. "That man put fifteen people out of work the minute he showed up."
"I was in charge of verifying voting records," added former 'loyalty worker' Kevin Fulmer. "Every prospective appointment I was supposed to make sure they voted for the President and a variety of other indicators. I was sent packing as soon as Obama was sworn in. Is this any way to run a government?"
According to critics, the Obama administration's heedless appointment of people based on expertise and experience is not only causing chaos among civil servants, but may actually be setting up the administration for a dangerous backlash.
"All this is doing is increasing the sense of distance voters feel between themselves and the government," said Krugman. "If government can be run more efficiently, it puts pressure on everyone to do likewise, and that can only engender resentment."
"The new subdirector has an actual degree in forestry," fumed Forestry Service employee Lowell Grift. "I used to do my annual Northwestern Forest leaf surveys by picking up leaves in the parking lot outside. Now I actually have to go to goddamn Oregon."
"He brought donuts on his first day, too," chimed in fellow employee Janice Knellen sullenly. "That was my thing that I did. I got the donuts. I'll never forgive him for doing that."
"There is no one Americans trust less than an expert," warned Krugman. "The sooner the White House lowers its standards, the better off everyone will be."