Dumb Governing

If the general public can be sold on ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ as their best entertainment choice they can also be duped into putting dumb and dumber politicians into office if enough money is poured into marketing them.  The question is who would be putting up that money?

Aside from the politicians themselves who see elected office as some prize to enhance their egos there are people out there who benefit from having the inexperienced and easily-gulled in positions where they can approve the expenditure of tax money.  Specifically, the people who get that money for doing little more than asking for it.

This hit home in reading an analysis of the role of collective bargaining in health-benefits reform for public employees in New Jersey:

The question of whether — and how — public-employee unions get to negotiate over health coverage is a critical issue in determining whether state and local government workers will pay more toward the cost of their health insurance. Christie held out for legislation setting health-premium contributions on a statewide basis because he believed veteran union negotiators would run roughshod over volunteer school board members and part-time municipal officials and push most of the costs onto property taxpayers.

In this context the words ‘volunteer’ and ‘part-time’ are euphemisms for ‘dumb’.  But then how did those board members and municipal officials get their jobs?

They were effectively chosen by the people who directly benefit from their uninformed acquiescence.  Two stark examples are provided in Union County where about 600 county employees were provided free lifetime health benefits in retirement and a law firm that gets over $1 million dollars in revenue from county sources funnels $30,000 each election cycle to freeholder campaigns.

Those county employees who get low-show jobs with generous benefit packages or vendors who get sweetheart contracts are not going to volunteer to work on or fund the campaigns of anyone likely to cut the waste they survive on.

That would be really dumb.

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