I doubt the survey, but it would be funny if true: Large percentages of federal workers claim they would leave their jobs if Trump were elected. He ought to make a campaign spot out of it.


74 (William Powell) said...

That would be a feature, not a bug.

Cass said...

OK, I realize this is a joke, but you'll have to forgive me if it rankles more than a bit.

I guess that would be fine, so long as no one in the civilian world expects the DoD to help out in situations like Hurricane Katrina.

Or an actual man-caused disaster, like a cyberattack on our energy, communications, or water infrastructures (things local and state governments have exactly zero plan for dealing with, but that the military can and does plan for).

I keep wondering why, after 30 years in the Marines, my husband still works 12 hours days pretty much every single day as a civil servant (that's "federal worker")? I guess nothing he does is important.

Wish I could believe that was true. It would certainly make our lives a hell of a lot easier.

Still, it makes me wonder why he still cares enough to work so hard. He should just quit. God knows, neither of us needs the money.

Grim said...

Does your husband work on EMP/grid issues, or still mostly cyber? I'm trying to smarten up on the grid protection situation.

MikeD said...

Actually Cass, I have to say that if someone working as a GS-13 or higher (as the article indicates) says they're willing to walk away because they don't like the President (again, regardless of who it is) that my reaction is, in the vernacular, "Bye Felicia." A.k.a. don't go away mad, just go away.

Because much like in the military service, when you salute an officer, you are not showing respect to that person, you are respecting the rank. I don't care how stupid, churlish, and obnoxious that 1LT is, you still salute him, because his rank deserves that respect. Someone who is willing to walk away from their job rather than salute isn't someone I particularly want doing that job in the first place. Were I still in the military, and Hillary Clinton was President, I would still respect the office, regardless of how repulsive and unfit for the position she may be.

And for the record, my dad was a DoD civilian employee from about 1974 until he retired in the 90's (after getting RIFed out following Vietnam), and my eldest brother is a GS-15 in Korea right now. My sister is in the State Department and has been since the early 90's. And I would expect that same professionalism from each and every one of them.

So the "joke" such as it is, comes not at the expense of all government employees, but at those so faithless as to take their ball and go home in the event a politician they don't like gets put in charge of them by the voters of this nation.

Cassandra said...

So the "joke" such as it is, comes not at the expense of all government employees, but at those so faithless as to take their ball and go home in the event a politician they don't like gets put in charge of them by the voters of this nation.

FWIW, I got the joke. And I apologize for the reaction, but to be honest I see so much of this stuff on conservative sites and it really *does* rankle sometimes.

I get the argument that govt should be doing less. But I also believe that a lot of that rhetoric isn't based on a solid understanding of what the federal govt. does in the first place.

I also believe people don't really understand (because they don't see) how much really important work goes on, yes - even at the federal level - that benefits all of us. It's simply taken for granted, like so much that goes on in my own civilian firm (the Keebler Elves show up at midnight and frost the cookies - it's magic! And easy! And cost free!).

To answer Grim's question, his group deals with everything from offensive/defensive operations to disaster planning to supporting the combatant commanders to service wide network design/maintenance/security to coordination with the other services to a million other things I can't remember or he can't talk about. It's truly a staggering amount of work.

I doubt most of the mostly former military civil servants would walk if Trump were elected. But I don't happen to agree that it would be a good thing if large numbers of civil servants walked away from their jobs.

Just like I never agreed that cutting defense spending (when the real bloat was in entitlements) was either smart or any kind of "victory" for conservatism.

Government's core function should be doing things individuals, families, and the private sector lack the ability to do for themselves. National defense is (IMO) chief among those things.

Cassandra said...

Perhaps this will help. It's from one of my favorite essays (one of Tom's sources that helped shape my political views):

When James Goodfellow gives a hundred sous to a government official for a really useful service, this is exactly the same as when he gives a hundred sous to a shoemaker for a pair of shoes. It's a case of give-and-take, and the score is even. But when James Goodfellow hands over a hundred sous to a government official to receive no service for it or even to be subjected to inconveniences, it is as if he were to give his money to a thief. It serves no purpose to say that the official will spend these hundred sous for the great profit of our national industry; the more the thief can do with them, the more James Goodfellow could have done with them if he had not met on his way either the extralegal or the legal parasite.

Let us accustom ourselves, then, not to judge things solely by what is seen, but rather by what is not seen.

The problem is that "what is not seen" is, almost by definition, hard to account for and thus, often left out of these discussions.

My quarrel lies with broad brush generalizations that conflate the first example (a genuinely productive use of tax dollars) with the second (wasteful govt. spending). National security generally entails spending a fair amount of money on preparedness for events which may well never occur - but if they do, pose existential threats to the polity.

Defense spending isn't a sacred cow and shouldn't be exempted from rational review, but as the nation has grown (and we as a society become more dependent on technology), the work involved has grown too.

Gringo said...

Recall all those who said that if Bush were re-elected they would move to Canada?
Cassandra, have you seen this link on reaction to Ta-Neishi Coates as book club selection.

raven said...

We could hope- the selection bias would be in our favor.

Cass said...


Boy, I am cursed with responding to you today! Yes, I saw that a while back, but then lost track of which post the comment was on and so never responded. My apologies!

It was a great post (for several reasons) - I agreed with pretty much everything he said. Can't recall if I already mentioned this - work has been fairly insane and I'm having trouble keeping track - but one of the women in our book club refused to attend or read past page 30 for many of the same reasons.

Thanks so much for reminding me - I hate when I can't recall where I saw something. I meant to respond, and very much appreciate the reminder.

Grim said...

"...one of the women in our book club..."

Anyone want to wager which one? :)

Cass said...

Nah. I actually read it (and attended). And I was glad I did - it was my sense that most of the women who read the book were angered by it, but were also hesitant to say why. Especially since the hostess obviously agreed with Coates.

I worried a lot about being to argumentative, but... well, you know me. So I settled for attempting to present my arguments civilly and concede that on some of his opinions, reasonable people could disagree.

I was less conciliatory wrt to his treatment of historical events.

Gringo said...

Cassandra, I will read Ta-Neshi Coate's book, along with some reviews. From the reviews, I take it that he blamed whitey for all the black thugs who beat him up while he was growing up in Baltimore.

His father was a Black Panther. I will assume that his father did good deeds as a Black Panther. Nonetheless, I have a not-so-positive view of the Black Panthers. Decades after it happened, I found out about the murder of Betty Van Patter.. Betty Van Patter had been a bookkeeper for the Black Panthers. No one has ever been arrested for her murder, and as she was murdered over 40 years ago,it is unlikely that anyone will ever be arrested for her murder. Nonetheless, indications are that Black Panthers murdered her after she brought some bookkeeping irregularities to their attention. While I didn't know Betty Van Patter, I knew her kids- though I last saw them several years before their mother was murdered.

Texan99 said...

Cassandra, I apologize. I can be too cavalier about federal workers, I know. There are too many of them, and way too many performing ridiculous tasks, but that doesn't mean there aren't many I'm very grateful to. It's like my attitude toward the federal government in general: being in favor of limited government doesn't mean believing in no government at all.

Still, Katrina and the BP oil spill left me with at least as much distaste for the federal intervention as gratitude. I'd like to think the feds had a legitimate role in a truly widespread disaster, but their performance in recent years has been dispiriting--a good idea overrun with bad management and political corruption.

Cass said...

Tex, you don't owe me an apology. I'm likewise sorry if I upset you.

It was just a joke - I reacted strongly for two reasons:

1. It hit at a time when I was already worried about my husband working too hard.

2. I'm not a libertarian. I believe our current govt. is too big, too ineffective, too hard to manage. But more people and more technology and more crowding naturally cause government to grow. There's just more "stuff" and people. "Bigger" govt. doesn't bother me so much as "govt. doing the wrong things" does.

When government starts trying to interfere with our freedom of association (selectively, of course) or starts taking things from one group of people and giving them to another (or measuring how much Citizen A has, relative to Citizens B and C and declaring that Injustice Has Occurred if we don't all have the same amount of wealth or the same paycheck), then government needs to be smacked down.

I think we agree on most of this - we just draw the balancing line in a different place. Anyway, I apologize for any undue heat in my earlier comments. It was not directed at you personally, but I certainly failed to make that clear.

Texan99 said...

No undue heat! I knew where you were coming from. It's a bit the way I react to lawyer jokes.