Saturday, October 2, 2010

CRASH: No Worries Mate! Go Postal!


When I was naught but a pup, the first real job I ever had was a government job with the Department of Natural Resources as an assistant park manager.  It was such a cool gig I actually cut off my hippie hair to get an edge.   

I managed park operations, maintenance, and fire control for a 10K acre park.  The regional and park managers were awesome guys and we had a blast.  I loved it at first – then, not so much.

The maintenance crew were mostly old union guys. Heh.  Have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed pssn them off, making them actually work and getting the loathy stares – then they had to pretend they liked me!  Employee Performance Evaluation? (1 - 10):  Yeah, right.  Showed up = 9. I have no doubt those guys wasted $100 for every $1 I could save. 

Then there was the annual Cinderella budget fairytale for DNR HQ and the State House (A.K.A the Snake House).  First, you figure annual operating costs – then you pile 30 – 40% on the top of everything – then try to make up line item “requirements” for it.   

Page 21, Section 6, sub sec B, item 27:  Description: One (MOL) precision rotary landscape maintenance aesthetic enhancement apparatus. (That’s a weedwacker to you civilians.)

The bean counters downtown knock off 15 – 20% to justify their existance, so you end up with more than you needed.  But then, if you get to the third quarter, and are operating under budget, you must spend money like crazy on absolutely anything and bury it in “operations” and “unanticipated expense.” If you don’t spend it, they’ll cut your budget next year.  No big secret.  Everybody knows it.  That’s how Government works.

There is absolutely no incentive to be efficient, effective or innovative in government service – in fact quite the opposite.  So Federal Government  is expanding like a Rosie O'Donnel's backside, creating the greatest deficit in the history of the universe - and every other sector of the economy is in deep, deep weeds.  No jobs, no place, no how??  Nooooo problemo senior y senioritas! Heeeeeres Uncle Sammy!!!


You guessed it!  The Postal Service Needs You!  (And, yes, we know the Postal Service is quasi-Federal employment.)  Hey, if they’re hiring like crazy with full benefits, they must be rollin’ in stamp money, right?  Uuuuummm…

Washington - The U.S. Postal Service ended the third quarter of fiscal year 2010 (April 1 – June 30) with a net loss of $3.5 billion, compared with a net loss of $2.4 billion for the same quarter last year. Third-quarter mail volume totaled 40.9 billion pieces – down approximately 700 million pieces, or 1.7 percent, compared to a year ago.  The Postal Service has incurred net losses in 14 of the last 16 fiscal quarters. The fiscal 2010 year-to-date net loss is $5.4 billion, compared to a loss in the same period last year of $4.7 billion. 

The increase in operating expenses was attributable largely to higher workers’ compensation expenses due to a non-cash fair value adjustment and higher retiree health benefits expenses. Lower interest rates adversely affected the workers’ compensation liability, resulting in a $2 billion expense for the quarter – $870 million higher than the same quarter last year.
Ya think!!?!?  Volume/Revinue in: Down 20%.  Expenses: Up 20%.  Ah, what to do?  Why, hire more help!  Gotta love that union!
The Gross National Debt

Well you know, it must be the 8 years of failed Bush economic policies.  Yeah, that’s it.  The economy.   Nooobody could break even hauling letters and packages in this mess!

Huh.  Maybe it's something else?  Via USA Today:
  • An unskilled laborer starting at GS-1 starts at $21,500 with full benefits, or about 3 times the national minimum wage.
  • All Federal employees are virtually guaranteed to reach GS-10 ($50K to $65K) with full pension and health care for life.  This is based solely on seniority - no performance merit is recognized.
  • After the initial one year probationary period, it is virtually impossible to lay off or fire a GS employee – and certainly never for non-productivity.  We will pay these folks full benefits until they die. (Can you say...Greek Tragedy!)
  • On average, federal employees earned $71,206 per year -  to $40,331 in the private sector.
  • From 2007 through 2009, average federal employee salaries increased by 6.6 percent, while average private-sector salaries increased by 3.9 percent. Federal employees at the top of the pay scale received pay increases of 8.6 percent during that period.
  • The number of federal employees making more than $100,000 has more than doubled in less than two years. There are now more federal employees making more than $100,000 per year than $40,000 per year.
  • Just for comparison - The young, inexperienced but "qualified" (?) professional pilots who flew a perfectly functioning aircraft into a house in Buffalo, taking 50 lives, were making $17K.  No benefits.
Well, there you have it.  I think I’m going POSTAL now...Adios amigos!

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