Metaphor of the Moment: “Essential” Federal Workers

October 2, 2013

Because of the “shutdown,” the Obama administration has been forced to identify those government services, and corresponding workers who deliver those services, who are “essential” to running the government. (For example, according to Reuters, less than 7% of EPA staff are considered “essential.”) This leads Andrew Malcolm to ask an interesting question: “If 900,000 federal workers can be furloughed as ‘non-essential’, why employ them?”

To deal with the recession and subsequent slow growth economy, the private sector has been forced to reorganize, to go “lean and mean.” Productivity is up, the trade deficit is down, the stock market is strong, and (as President Obama likes to point out) hiring is improving. Why can’t the federal government, with its $17 Trillion of debt and annual deficits in the trillion dollar range, do the same?


One Response to “Metaphor of the Moment: “Essential” Federal Workers”

  1. […] improve efficiency. (What did we learn from the “shut down”? That’s right – 900,000 non-essential federal workers. What did we learn from “Sequestration”? We can make budget cuts, even poorly planned, […]

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