Sunday, July 11, 2010

France's Government Employees: "Fonctionnaires" are Dysfunctional

In this weak economy, millions of private sector workers have been thrown out of work, or forced to accept pay and/or benefits cuts. In the meantime, public sector salaries are out of control, pushing the states and the federal government to the brink of bankruptcy. Why should taxpayer-supported government employees be immune from the "magic of the marketplace"?

When someone like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seeks to rein in the bloated public sector bureaucracy, the unions and the media typically start throwing around scare tactics about reduced police safety services among other things. No one wants first responders to be taken off the grid; it's the jobs of do-nothing paper pushers that should come under scrutiny. For one thing, have you ever wondered about those "unessential" employees on the state payroll that are allowed to stay home following a snowstorm?

Here's an example from France via the London Telegraph in which a whistleblower puts the "dis" in dysfunctional:
A French civil servant who lifted the lid on the wastefulness of the country's state sector in a book describing a "five-hours-a-week" culture where people competed to take the longest coffee breaks has been suspended.
Zoé Shepard, her pen name, confirmed France's worst fears about its "fonctionnaires" – its 5.2 million civil servants – in a book recounting how they compete to see who will hover longest at the coffee machine, draw up sick notes to stay weeks away from the office or while away the day on Facebook.
In Absolument Dé-bor-dé (Absolutely Snowed Under), subtitled How to Make 35 hours Last a Month, nepotism is rife and taxpayer's money wasted, with one local civil servant even signing off his visit to a prostitute as "travel expenses".

1 comment:

  1. Sure sounds like Canada to me!