Monday, December 19, 2016

Another Vote for the "Fargo" Solution

Another great thinker comes up with a plan to reform government by moving it's permanent bureaucracy out of Washington D.C.:

A Modest Proposal
. . . And yes, it is absolutely reasonable to expect that every single one of the government employees regards Trump and his people as illegitimate interlopers, and those employees will do everything in their power to hinder and obstruct any agenda of reform.

So, what to do about it?  The obvious first answer is, fire these people and hire new ones who will do your bidding.  Unfortunately, that is likely to be a poor answer.  The so-called "civil service" protections for career federal employees go back to the 1880s.  Do they violate the constitutional provision that vests all executive authority in the President?  I would say they do, but you could litigate that issue for the entire next four years without getting any definitive result and without getting rid of a single person.  You might even lose outright.

So here's the modest proposal: If the government cannot fire these people, then it can assign them to other tasks in other places.  By fortuitous coincidence, the recent several years have seen downsizing in two sectors known for having very large buildings, many of them located in remote and out-of-the-way areas.  Those two sectors are manufacturing and retail.  Places like rural Ohio, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Arkansas, and upstate New York -- not to mention northern Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and even Alaska -- are littered with abandoned K-Marts, JC Penney's and Sears stores, as well as abandoned factories of all sorts.  These buildings can be leased for a song.  Hundreds of federal employees can be assigned to each such location.

Send each such employee a memo:  "Starting Monday morning at 9 AM, your job will be located at the former Sears Hometown store, 2308 11th Avenue West, Williston, North Dakota.  If you report for work, you will await such assignments as may be given to you at that location.  If you do not show up, your pay will be continued until your unused vacation and sick leave are exhausted, and then your pay will stop."

Inside the former Sears or K-Mart, there can be row upon row of hundreds of desks and chairs.  But I highly recommend that these employees not be provided with any computer or cell phone at taxpayer expense.  Why waste the money?  They can communicate with headquarters in Washington by U.S. mail.  It's not like they are doing anything productive.

Something tells me that the incoming Trump team will stop short of adopting my proposal.  But they should adopt it.  For the next four years, essentially every federal employee in Washington is going to be conducting an unrelenting guerilla campaign to undermine everything the administration wants to do.  If the administration only pushes back a little, it will be steamrolled by the permanent government Blob.  Time to act decisively!  If anyone can do that, it is Trump.
Why allow them to use up their sick leave? I didn't get to.  Anyway, read the whole thing.

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