« The Weeds

You can't eat your principles for dinner

2019-01-18

Sarah, Dara, and Matt analyze the prolonged shutdown's impact on the future of the federal workforce

Reference Articles:

The shutdown threatens the promise of government jobs — and a way of life

FBI, federal agents see cases hampered, lives rattled as shutdown continues

The American Action Forum explainer on the Anti-Deficiency Act

How the Border Patrol union became Trump’s closest shutdown alliesby Dara Lind

Why Don’t Unpaid Federal Workers Walk Off the Job? 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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We are open abba. We must talk about that I've noticed over the past few days as sort of change and the temperament among people I know who have been followed, which was you know, despite all the seriousness Willie, when people first went on for allow it was cut alike stagnation. At least for the people. I know. Obviously there there is somebody boy in word, dire economic circumstances and but lot of folks were like ok, we ve been through shutdowns before, like this is annoying, but it's fun kids know got on long enough where people are looking at missing. A second paycheck that you know middle class people. People who are doing well are starting to fail This is not good. I would really like to get paid. People are turned from amused to genuinely annoyed and by
periods, you know that raises the prospect of of this having a sort of real impact on people's lives and the government in a way that the past sort of Trump era mini shut down, or even this somewhat longer above Arusha. just didn't do yeah? I mean I've. I've been fascinated by this. Obviously, as somebody who's on a b where people are less late, to be followed and more likely to have been working on paid for the last month, but you know I deaf and I think that we really have had a point, not just where the individuals who like are themselves affected, have kind of shifted, but it seems like be debate round the shut down, not just the kind of political dynamics but like whether the shut down itself, in ok or sustainable things, kind of shifted, Part of that is because we don't have. any obvious way of how the hell we're getting out of this, like it seems you know I think a lot of people who kind of assumed this would be a doable because quickly,
down or kind of like well. Every thing that I thought was going to happen to get us out of here has happened and we're not out, but I think it's all. Because the First, the duration of this was kind of a fiscal responsibility like individual fiscal responsibility. Debate where you know conservatives were saying if you're living paycheck to paycheck. That's it. sponsible anyway, so it actually shouldn't be a huge problem if you miss a paycheck but we're now, you know the first. Mr paycheck was a week ago. The next miss paycheck as a week from now Lake, the idea that we're not talking about living paycheck to paycheck but living. You know to pay tax, to pay check or having a cushion b doing everything right by individual budgetary standards and still not being able to pay rent or mortgage or put food on the table. That's a problem, and I think people you know kind the Pandit class, regardless of their ideological leanings, kind of realises,
to something that is harming eight hundred thousand households. Anyway, I think that gets shaped into this idea about fiscal responsibility and individuals. on stability. It gets shaped by who is having debate and kind of like how we understand who is a federal employ, because I think there is often this conception and like Cushy John, you! No longer Zen like hard to fire, but the people you're talking about unity. People who are facing either being followed or working unpaid are often in a low wage workers that you do Folks, here in Washington, who are working on policy jobs and agencies who you'd have fun interesting careers, but you also of you do if you look it's dead, on the federal workforce, their low paying jobs, are food preparation and their about a half million people who work for the government making about twice four thousand dollars annually, which is a very, very
hard salary to accumulate any sort of savings on when you know when you're making significantly more- and it is true that bedroom please, on average, are making more than private employers, but that really mean asks, a lot of variation in the salaries that federal plays are making and Israel heard when you're making twenty five. You know, three thousand dollars a year, actually a mass those kind of savings. I would get. You threw one paycheck, possibly there to an entire month worth of Miss savings. Like that's, that's a big deal right. The last time we talked about shut down a couple of weeks ago in a mountain Jane, and I we got into a little bit. The idea of you know what is being constructed as essential work, but that is much less focused, who are the good employees and more water the functions of government that liberals or conservatives like now that we're it wait where the question isn't, who are you forcing to come into? Work But how long are you forcing people to have jobs
still not be paid the question of who, a government worker becomes much more important and a few pieces of kind of gotten it this a lot. Of government employees or would be government employees questioning the idea that this is a solid pathway to middle class life after a half century where the American Middle Class has been largely hollowed out, even though what he thinks of themselves as middle class, and when you know the public sector has been buffered from some of the trend indeed, innovation, etc. That have struck the private sector. The idea, that you know having a not just a job, but a career in government is a good steady way. Make sure that you'll, make enough to support your family and have a middle class Lifestyle has been really powerful, and so in the big quest Jen for me in this episode, is kind of what does this shut down do for them like is that endanger, even if the government were to reopen tomorrow, who people already suffered enough? Yet
I don't want to think of a related aspects that it did. It's only sort of coming to view in the last week ourselves. The shutdown is how Trump is playing the essential non essential thing differently from the above, an illustration that poor booklet, before that or even Donald Trump, previously in previous shutdowns, had been initiated by Congress Summers Republicans. By Democrats, but it was always Congress who, at a certain point, pull the plug said we're not gonna. Do a sea are we'll get a debate on policy concessions and so that the president's approach at all those cases was make the shut down as annoying as possible.
for ordinary Americans within the realm of conscience. So you know shut things down like they. They put like closed sides above the Liberty Bell and add the washing abandonment right. This is a presidential initiated, shut down, so Trump keeps trying to bidder, buys the burden adorable people of the shut down and the biggest example of that is that you know they were stories about. How will the IRS is? It could build a process. Tax returns right and people would hate that so he's cleared that some of those irish workers are going to be essential and they're gonna have to come back was talking to somebody who works are burger review, and you know I was told that she was sort of given to understand that look if a big verger were to be applied for that heard, department would be declared essential again rights
there followed right now, but it would be a huge problem for american business if it was possible to get a burger approved at their current thinking is There are furlough now, but if it becomes really important to corporate Amerika that they go to work unpaid, that can be called it to do that and we did for american citizens, where there is suffering happening in the country, because recovery closure, but less suffering. That would be happening with a more rigorous definition, but it's also jerky glee, please around a different kind of way simultaneously saying that, like we dont value your work as essential in the same way that we value like the cops right, we're like yours, central all the time
if it becomes like a problem for somebody who I Donald Trump personally care about that, I'm gonna call you back in and you get to work without pay at the whole thing is like that. What's the leverage boy right that the fury seems to be that Democrats will respond to the complaints of the federal civil service by giving it to him on the wall or or something like that, right that, like he's trying to shield ordinary people from the paid, not native Americans but like inflict the pain of the federal civil servants, while sort of being like both sidedly disrespectful of their like essential, are not essential status. Where you can come in, you can go home, you're not getting paid their tweeting stuff about how or there was a administration official rota like a database peace for Africa rose federalists are calling on all they were like. Oh it's good that that these people are getting paid right in its it's a really different approach, because.
we ve, never had a shut out initiated by the president before so. The Billy Cholera Bed, despite not having much of a splash lake. It wasn't. You know it was something that was kind of in the ether, but it was like the focus of elite discourse really does seem to have gone around federal employee circles, lake, the number of folks I've talked to over the last week and in a shout, to everybody who responded to my half hearted crowd sourcing on twitter about this, but like I, Had so many federal employs bring up to well. You know either there are either saying yeah that call her up had confirmed what we felt like all, along that these people are just trying to get rid of us or said yeah. Whatever leg it was anonymous, screw them. If they don't want me, I'm just gonna stay, there are the more and that, like it, gets the big problem here for the kind of the idea of federal employment. More broadly because whether you're one of the civil servants who is currently being painted by conservatives,
non essential, useless like it's better if they say home anyway. Although not you know it's it's interesting to me how even the like Grover Norquist type, aren't kind of cheering that there are not like out here. Saying yes, government is drinking, it's just this one anonymous dude or what you're, the kind of employee who is being deemed essential and is like having to come in every damn day doing time level hours and not getting paid. You know what, like the one in your forty percent office, who asked me doing the job of forty people like in Theory, you're, being told the your work is so essential that you have becoming in everyday despite not being paid, but you're not treated as an essential enough human being to get paid. It's really calling to attention the fact that. Going into government is for many people the low income option like they do necessarily They aren't necessarily doing it because it's the most lucrative thing they can be doing or like it's the you know now.
the least demanding thing there can they can be doing there doing it, because they feel a certain amount of dedication or duty and that's true. varying extensive among different people. But it's not if an infinite thing like you can't eat your point. Peoples for dinner? And so what are you a sort of employee who, like is being attacked in that anonymous up at or the sort of play like Donald Trump is making a big deal about how brave you are to be on the front line, you're, still not getting paid either way. So the rhetoric is kind of bumping up against reality and with it I think, is forcing a lot of individual people to call into question like how much do the people who are supposed to be running the government actually care about me. The person whose job it is to like you know to do the work for them and get paid gets. I think this kind goes. This big question of these episode is like what does this mean for the civil service? Long term, and what is this means, I think, typically, we can look at the gun
and pretty stable pretty that employer, that is like not gonna, go out of business. You're, not gonna like deal with significant like shutdowns, Tom all they could you go into a government job. It's probably a pretty safe, steady job I am in animals. get into a few different categories of workers, like I think about the people there, who you know you're talking who are interested in public service, who think it's exciting and interesting to work for government, like maybe the doing policy work you know maybe they're doing something interesting in Washington. They have already are the taper people who have made the session that they're gonna earn less than they could and consulting and possibly you know the type People who have more of a financial kasza until I am I'm sceptic, like a there, because I think people like that of already decided. I'm ok with you. Financial aid. They financial hit I'll, take working for the government because it's a career. I m interested in you Don T a person I kind of wonder about as like, let's say someone deciding between a job with as a team,
and airport or some kind of job in private security, and they could go their way and I'd very kind of wonder what it looks like to someone who thought about becoming a ts age. At this particular moment, watching ts agents, work unpaid for four weeks now and even I don't, I don't know how it affects. You know what is a pretty significant function of the federal government, unlike at that level I don't think we have great research on it either because we just don't have let me This is the longest shut down that we ve had, we don't know what it means for the civil workforce when you have shut down of this length in terms of like the long term exploiting this also, I think I got a bit of run of people write like there are a lot of lawyers working for the better. government bed, necessarily at the top policymaking whirls. But it you don't white collar professional jobs, where you are good salaries their attorneys, but usually less than what a private sector lawyer bakes, but the others
they are Digg. Is that you get to work a boar, reasonable schedule. Oftentimes fright, like that's what we said a lot of people do those jobs Don't you know, of course they like it right. This is a lot of different areas. People go into areas of of law and policy that their interested, but necessarily like political people per se. Their ghetto educated people looking to do skilled work, but not to have the sort of crazy schedule of private sector. Quiet service type work right, This really undermines the big value that the government can offer people, which is stability and predictability. In those terms, like because you're now, suddenly you know your food for fur Lou bright, it's like These shuttles had become this thing. That happens like a bite or annoyance, but now it's like Odo. This is actually really bad right, like I actually dont have a stable paycheck, thereby family could count on right.
That underlines that a lot of this is that I am also know people who worked in the private sector. The management consulting world and have God they work for the government. They do things like, purchasing management, which it get it's a similar thing like they ve taken lower salary, storm, ok salaries, but less than what they big, but in exchange they do less travel, they work more doorbell hours, but now you situation to get. This is like people do a lot, but they have kids right. They they rethink their priorities like like what we really need. But do you get your to situations like? Maybe this wasn't such a good decision right, like people who were not like fanatically committed to do a government work, but who are competent people at it just seemed like an attractive job proposition, Maybe doesn't seem like such an from just approach here like what's the what's other like options on the table there you know, like you still have, is not like a high powered law. Firms are getting more flexible shore. It seems like
this is like a less like when you know that a high powered law firm, you gonna, have these crazy hours. It still seems more reliable that way, but I really think it just happened at the margin. You know, there's there's not profits of their smaller firms that you, I don't know happy which that happens with Trump, like I think we just don't know exactly until we know how this story ends This is like a four month shut down than cycle that doesn't seem like of airlines. Could, in theory, added Toolbar. I think people who I've talked you actually like are in this position in this definitely was something that came up and in the couple of the message that I received from people that link- and this is people- been in government for like ten years a dozen years like they definitely thought that this was going to be there like mid career, and yeah you're. It's not like. You are going to have better hours somewhere else, but you thought that the reason
You were giving up a certain amount of not just salary but like flexibility like, after a certain amount of time in government, its harder to get hired outside government and so you know You were essentially giving up a lot of things. That you would consider career ambitions in order to be able to like leave for the office go into work, come home at a reasonable hour and play with your kids, like that idea of the mill class lifestyle not as being defined by income but is being defined by like you know that, Job is there, but the job is not always haunting. You seems the alien to me as a journalist, especially a journalist and the Trump error, because, like literally last night, at ten thirty, you know Buzzfeed broke what could be the biggest story of the trumpet ministration? Who knows like? That's, that's session, really good, its yea. We we too, you know, that's exactly like that, and that's just how, but that's how life is for us, like it is kind of our job to constantly beyond. Just in case, big news is happening there,
not the way. Most people want to live their lives and to the extent that you can actually segregate work from life and still be able to make a decent living like. I think that that's an underrated aspect of the mid century middle class, ideal that people of kind of fallen out of with like less security and jobs. Less rely, able hours needing to work, multiple jobs needing to do gig work like a lot of what we consider prick It is really lack of control over time and you're saying that yeah, you could be making more money in the private sector, but you ve decided is that you value time. Instability like that is app Lately, it's not just that shot down as a month. It's that people kind of feel like this is demonstrated that this could kind of thing could keep going or even like some of the folks. I talked to her like look. Between the fact that we are operating on sea ours for the last year and
this. I don't even know if you know like my contract will be renewed. I dont know if this thing is going to continue to work going. Word like I dont know how we're gonna be able to hire anybody. So a lot of the promises of predictability that, like are reasonable thing to make a career decision based on our getting your ro by view dear of well, who knows when the government shut down the next surprised that we haven't heard more from federal law enforcement personnel, because it's a pretty obvious fudge ability between like a career at the d a and a career in state police force? Or you don't this, there's a million these agencies of the United States wait and I think the federal ones are generally considered prestigious right and like jobs. You would want to get if you're into policing. just being told to do it dangerous job without pay like for no reason
by it, in particular, in this case by a president who does say he values, your work seems like we're ever that the gun, sucks, like wire de agents are paid, but quite what is? What is the point of that? You know I mean it, I even heard but person. This was a joke. I think, but you don't. Trust, has been paranoid for throughout his entire presidency by the idea that the deep, state is leaking against him, and now here is just like that, paying the whole FBI their salaries, like that's crazy, like why are you doing that? as you know there, there's like very obvious career alternative and I've never heard of a city just like not paying its police department for an extended period of time, can like what. Why would you do that right? It's completely ridiculous. Just the idea arose that this would be a useful political tactic. For some reason, even They know that, like this
Kennedy, reason to think that it is right and as far as I know, people don't do it at other levels of government, I mean I guess they could. Just say like well we're not gonna pay any police officers until I get my way on something about bus lathes but like it never happens because its absurd, and now it's gotten clearly normalized and federal government, a very strange what right light. Maybe I think this kind of very weirded city level to say we're, not payment. One, but, like you, people are essential. Also you stay on because there's no norms around that! You can easily see in that case, like I don't know, if I'm like ball more decided data weren't budget issue. You know City employees are offer now, because we can come up with a budget for police officers. You'll still be on the streets tracks. I think, like you have to pay people it You see, I mean there's like known norm around it, but you know, I think one things. They had a good point. You ring up. Man is wanted,
We are seeing right now this shift in essentiality to make things run. Lovett smoother, associate INA like prisoner, lessening mentioning with mergers the FDA, bringing some people back to do inspections, because I'm worried about safety even in a way You know it's gonna, make a fool of short term, less pain. For the rest of us, hopefully like less food outbreaks, which will be like a thing I value as someone who its food in the United States. But long term. You know it just makes it easier for this, this to last you, don't think for a while. There is a bit of a theory going around the place where the shut down, would end as if ts agents or ensuring work and you had massive lines, and I want to be so frustrated with air travel, particularly like being of people in positions of power. Who travel a lot that that would kind of ring this to occur Oh- and I remember saying, there's a CNN reporter who had like this viral video of a crazy long line in the Atlantic Airport, but it hasn't really Plato That way at all, you know, used
have been. You been looking at some of the stuff with tears, a college and sick days. It doesn't we too are actually down like they were. Has I think, a lot of the kind of press around this happened when they put out the stats for Monday but Monday for a lot of major east coast. Airports was like There was also a mighty good weather related reason not to show up to work so, like collaborates are now they're here. Here than they were this time last year, but not by a ton. We're talking like five percent versus for three percent, like we're not talking about the kind of like me, ass if sick out, the people were worried about this. With a lot of, I think, like slippery thinking about this like every time a twitter I see like a journal, go swimming airport. This an unusually large security, live like a baby. The shutdown do you think about like the hundred largest airports in the United States, right like I did, he give a day. Fifteen of them could be experiencing like one stage deviation than normal level of secure
scared like it's gonna happen like they're gonna, be some unusually large lines? There's gotta be some places right. Where in America there's an unusually large number of sick people today right cause like that's what happens? Is a big country and it's interesting like that without the hut abyss, legislator, you know in one of these newspaper articles who was Ike the only way to bring this to an end, is for the tea essay to go on strike ed You know it's such a wild thing right because it's it's illegal for them to go on strike right, which I think why we on the other. The other thing where we should talk about when you talk about local police forces like the it is- literally I mean it's in some states. It is illegal for certain kinds of public complaints to go on strike but like it is not, as a general rule illegal for any public and play to strike, but he had become normalized in the Sixtys and Seventys for federal workers to occasionally stage illegal wild cats
strikes and it was mostly tolerated by the federal government and then very famously right. In his first year at office, Ronald Reagan responded to an illegal wildcat strike by air traffic control. Workers I firing about it. You know they had thought at the time like. What's he gonna do, is he gonna fire all the air traffic controllers at America it? He did. You know
it was a big disruptive problem for about a week, fifty percent of flights were cancelled. There were some people who didn't go out on strike. Even if the union called the strike, there were some bad mergers and staff who had the technical skills. They brought some people and for military air traffic control. They had people work extra shifts, they started hiring more people and they got the system back up and run it. They they broke. The union and the US are such a big, powerful message to you, kids in the private sector and the public sector that, like the government, was not gotta, be kidding around that this was a do: republican administration that lasted twelve years and fundamentally change the the culture in the United States, and now you have Republicans themselves Qaeda's, saying quietly that, like they were kind of like to see an illegal labour, at
should to forced out of troops had because they personally don't wanna risk their own jobs by taking Donald Trump because they be rescued priorities? If you think about it, read it's like look. If you're republican senator, could you go up against out of trouble and you lose your primary worst? scenario. If you get a huge pay, re stuck obeyed, MSNBC host Jeff Flakes life is so good. It is united. We like it, is outrageous like how high the hog you get to live by just like tat. Get your career, as Republicans editor like the lowest bar is held out free ride like shore. I didn't do anything to stop any of these bad things, but I did complain about in a high profile away public all you such a hero, Jeff
like it's, it's amazing right, tier, say, worker or air traffic controller. You stagey illegal strike. You get fired by Donald Trump, you get barred from renewed federal, pointed forever Ivy Bill Clinton eventually reinstated, but like there's, no guarantees their nobody's. Given you a book deal or a cable, do show you. How can I get a lobbying job like this big, big, big risk? I would be supportive of some kind of militant labour action like that, but that's to say like I would supportive of firing people for doing like, I would have your back ex, but I also totally understand my pupil. I want to do it like its attitude by power to save your job right. It would be up to Donald Trump and furthermore, like. The people who would be organizing such a strike would be government unions who, like as in decisions, have a tonne to lose. If the government plays Hardball Lake, they you know, if you,
or literal union existence is being like. The association of federal government employees, rights and their veterans government decides that it's going to a directive. Ninety was a union because you engaged in illegal strikingly coop by coordinating all your employees like. That's not good for you, exist, but it, but that literally, what unions are like you know, if me there were some kind of institution that could coordinate among federal employees and get them to stay home. Lecoq, re
please. So what do you? You have this situation where, unfortunately, a lot of things have been done between banning strikes, rig it sort of putting teeth on that tribe, using the essential mystic actually keep things running mostly that have cushion the blow of all this on people, but I'm afraid it makes catastrophic failure more likely. You don't be like if you had a situation where the day after the first get pay check that he is a workers or walked out with confidence that they could be fired you would have a big to day disruption of american AIR Travel and the governor would reopened and we would have nobody would dump it a scenario like that. But if you said have a situation where everyone is really try and the whole thing is being held together with like spitten glue
and everybody mostly is doing their job, but maybe some people are getting other jobs or just vague or doing what ever but like nobody spoke of the world's nobody is staging like a big symbolic like this needs to stop. Then you risk egg like something that nobody wants to see go wrong does go wrong at like that's fortune, one away reminds me of the sequester into thirteen where you know we have this if you think back to than there are supposed to be Big Murray Ryan Budget Deal and the dear, was if they couldn't reach a deal than you have this terrible thing called this I don't know, just be really across the board blunt cuts and the sequester was going to be the thing that was going to force congressional ACT and because it would just be so terrible to have this cost cut. Happen and in indelicate way in a way where everything is getting caught. But then a deal didn't happen. The sequester took the place, but in a
across the board, but the cuts were not so crazy, dressed like that. They cause people like Q charm that requirement ok like what, like Mr Clegg, irresistibly, there's like huge bludgeoning too, but it? But it's unusual in that it feels a little bit like this. A question shut down that we're not sequester right. So what this quest her head was a problem at airports it happened was. Is that like air travel is fascinating because link? If I think about it, I was going through my twenty eighty right I went to San Antonio twice. I went to Brooklyn Bay and I went on vacation in Madrid. I went off dead. I went to Rochester, I went to Syracuse at that's me, seven fights! That's me thinking of myself as some it was really cut down on travel. Since I had a kid, the meeting, American takes zero played fights per year so
a very skewed distribution at which, like you, don't need to be part of like hyper elite to fly a lot, but it's it's a it's like a Basle II flies over time, as it were, there's problems at airports. It's like people who batter like really flipped out and that happen during the sequester right and what was supposed to happen was like a ha the paid is hitting. Now we have to really sequester, but instead, Congress did patch specifically for the airports and so, like other thing, that's kind of like the real centralizing our agenda, but also into things that are more insidious like a loss of pre school places for low income. Children just went down because that was considered tolerable because a fixed the sword, most acute thing. That's what we have got here. Rightly, if you had a big that like corporate Amerika, was saying weight. without can be able to do anything right or like tax, we
aren't gonna go out, and the retail sector is gonna crash that a bike reopened. But now it's like quota quote only the native American Health Service, that's being totally disrupted. It's just hundreds of thousands of people not giving their paychecks wait, it's not anything like too bad and it would who really matters can have their problem taking care of and that just like devastating for the interests of the lots of people who don't have the cut a pole and wash that you know people who did their mergers. That right I mean this is a fundamental question, and public policy right like there are on policies that are matters of concentrated, benefit and diffuse costs, and there are some policies that are matters of diffuse benefits and concentrated costs, and like these, shut down, as we have seen it so far has been a matter of Somewhat concentrated costs that are being addressed by concentrating them by lake by a kind of slushing off,
some of the people who are bearing costs and reducing the number of people who are bearing those costs more so like it's, not that employees are more screwed than the people who not getting better more screw than they were at the beginning of the shutdown except in so far as like their spending down their savings. But they are in? a position where it is more likely that they will continue to be screwed, because there aren't a whole lot of other people who aren't federal employees, who are also in the back. Of o this thing that I really need isn't happening, it's not agree situation for policy making is especially not great situation, are you making when those people dont have the kind of levers to pull that other groups too like if they don't have the You know the same labour rights that are private sector employed or if they dont have the kind of public cachet to be able to come out and say? Look our jobs really are important and we do care about them and that's why we're not leaving Why are showing up to work? But there's only so long, we can do this for, like
I think I want to circle back to their law enforcement point, because right now between the first and second Miss paychecks lake. I hearing a little bit of Ino concern people like we don't really know, what's gonna happen once the first Miss paycheck heads and then after that it was kind of like while people, are weathering. Does there like ridding their teeth and bearing it better than expected, but the second paycheck is really really gonna hurt like and this it disappears to be an attitude shared across. But our law enforcement there's a really good Washington Post peace that digs into the federal law enforcement agency. We're talking about math, like you know the FBI, folks, who you know for one thing: ah doing FBI investigative work is not just a matter of salary. Lake apparently of people are complaining that they, like can't pay informants because had the money that they don't have also somebody generics without whose working without pay in the budget realm of that was telling me that, like that,
They ve got some extra money, but but it may run out there's the end. There is a definite rallies up there, and this is- and this is something that the USA tried to do- that. I think I think there are a lot of you know mid to highlight all bureaucrats in eggs in shut down agency? Is right now trying to figure out what the hell they can do to like get? need to their frontline p all who are doing the work and not getting paid, and you know like because the bureaucratic die level, bureaucrats believe in the mission of the agency. They want to make sure that people carrying out the agency's work be respected, but these sense. There is really like getting worse, but it's getting worse in a much grad. Much more gradual sense like be harm of this is being individualised in a big way like individual people are working out, like how do I make my family's budget or making in the case of the FBI, requests for external work which, like traditionally, the bureau has declined, but like now, they're trying
facilitate so that people can actually keep their efforts. I jobs or making some money on the side when it's that individual, did a process you're. Not thinking of it is a political problem, you're thinking of it as an individual budgetary problem, and so you. Don't even have the time to be like calling your member of Congress and saying hey, I'm a constituent and I'm not being paid. Please end this you're busy try to make sure that you have enough money to you: no pay your monthly fee other we clearly, the FBI Agents Association has called for the government to be reopened. oh yeah no end ends the day and the and other federal unions are currently suing the government in a case like they, they didn't at the injunction that they wanted. But that's gonna continue to go through the courts because, as it turns out, there is in fact a federal statute with criminal penalties. Mind you that prohibits government officials from making people work for free, essentially So let me it's called the inefficiency actors are really good primer on this from the american Action Forum, that all output and show notes is
going to be very interesting. When and if government reopens to see if reporting gets made on the inefficient, out from people who have been made to work with, pay during some of this lake are you. central or aren't you stuff, but it's not like beef I employment associations aren't doing anything, but in visual the individual people who are bearing the brunt of the concentrated costs can't necessarily do as much to take DR action as they would if they were just totally furlough, but political centre of gravity of this is with the Border Patrol council rate, because
part of this set up to this whole scenario across twenty eighteen was republic in congressional leaders did not want to go down that shadow path, and so they work too with Democrats to get appropriations bill structure such that a shut down, if it happened, would involve defending the Department of Homeland Security, which does it make sense, logically or politically, because the people who are trouble sort of validating cars are the border. Are I got one quite they're, not the political pointy isn't my revolver security? They are. The union leaders who putative we represent,
the views of rank and file border patrol agents, and they have been standing by Trump on that subject right. If they were to foot flop and say, look like you, don't we want more body, but, like all things considered, it would be better to reopen the government in Khartoum negotiations. then Trump would really not have like a leg to stand on any particular. Also congressional. Public kids, who kind of baby. What a turnout tribe would have a great leg to stand on, but they have it done I have heard from a lot of people who are not in a position to know just like red the liberals have like wish cast at their head. The idea that lie probably these you re leaders, don't represent the views of brake and file border betray giants. I guess that could be true, but I have not seen any indication that its true unions have internal leadership. Politics at a thing that does happen sometimes is at a dissident movement arises inside the union, were somebody says: hey the lead
ship is not representing the interests of the rank and file at the kind of scenario. This plague out is actually quite typical. One right, like sometimes union leaders, are seen as selling out the concrete material interests of rank and file members in exchange for political influence right. This happens in public accurate habits of the private sector to right, because you know you yields where many different hats in world right, and so it's a very typical kind of complaint against a cupboard leadership to sail look. They are baking nice with important politicians in ways that benefit them personally, but don't benefit you would be so that's all we needed. Executive council. I just don't see that happening right like it could happen. I assume that the that happens forever like that, that their sub limited point at which somebody says like hey guys like this, doesn't make sense. But I read it
if there's been a peep of it like I have missed. There is no dissident border council. Twitter feed that, like this, no there's no active organizing against the current leadership in the union and the current leadership of the union is seems to feel that it is fine for its members to not get paid. If that's what it takes to get a five billion dollar appropriation for steel slats. Here I mean I don't have it honey, more insight into national border patrols. Council dynamics, then you do matter like I genuinely dont know one way or the other. If there's any like grumbling on private, maybe maybe they're secretly, but what I will say is the way. that the and No. We talked about this little bit two weeks ago. I've written about this. The wave the envy pc leadership. Has you no kind of managed to go from now
just in ITALY. A lot a fairly ideological union leadership, but to a very close ally of the current president of the United States, is that they ve traded on the fact that borders old generally, has fairly low morale and they gave you no kind of unified bread and butter concerns in that morale, with the idea that the border patrol agents weren't being respected by DC bureaucrats, were telling them how to do their job, and this and part of that makes it very appealing to support a president who says I really want border patrol agents to be able to do their job, but there haven't. A lot of circumstances where that's cutting against the bread and butter interests like there was a bit of bet, you know it lol hypocrisy. Kerfuffle. Last week, when somebody pointed out an old paid out on the border between website, that said, we don't you border walls which, like it, was much more aid. We need personnel and technology as much as we need border walls, but also yeah there's no bread and butter
union interests in a border while per se, but there is as a Briton, Butter union interest in their continue. To be a lot of emphasis on people, staffing, the border, and so, if those things sleep cut against each other. In so far as a lot of border patrol agents. Are you known again, like coming up, but missing, the second paycheck, even people who are aligned in aligned in general with the President and with union leadership like this is where you know it comes back to you can't eat principles. I think there is as any institution. There is a spectrum between people who are just doing border patrol work for the pay check and people who are like add salute the Super Gung HO would do this for free if they cut the law I shut down, goes on the more of those people start seeing their lack of getting paid, not as a political battle, but as a paycheck battle, and so I dont think lake I dont see
and any pc coup happening anytime soon, but I do think it's worth noting that, after that, like the big, you know, Whitehouse Press Conference with union leadership was two weeks ago at this point like they haven't been as much out there you're, not necessarily you're, not seeing the same kind. The visibility backing up Trump now that it's an actual paycheck plus on the line feels like you, don't over five hours in the day to get everything done, might because you're missing out on three where those we're screwed up how we fell into a deep dark abyss that opens up when we switch between work. Add those three hours to all the productive time we miss out on thanks to at home, distractions, disorganization fatigue. It's no wonder the days future work should work with clear up. It does look up as a flexible productivity formed the things all you work at one place. That's all you chats apps docks and ass. One centralized place like mission control. Companies like
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I dont know that it's moving anywhere, especially quickly, but that is definitely a place where I think these Workforce challenges could end. I would to contracts, are a huge part of petrol coverage of people sitting in federal buildings who are not in place of the government, but employees of some kind of contractor they ve bought in to work with. I feel a contract work becomes a like a federal government, work becomes a little less repealing working for contract worker becomes a whole lot less appealing you dont, not just with this being out of, but with literally like losing your paycheck, send away. The federal government isn't, going to end enemy there their different versions of this wedding Billig? There are people who work for, like food service, outsourcing companies right and you know, low skill, low wage workers and those guys seem to be just like as well. This situation right.
and then they are people who do they were like computer program is work for companies that do contract work for the federal government. Those contracts are put on hold but that the companies have to decide like they could do what did pay people a major cities? In most cases, they have simply continue to pay people baby, finding them something else to do. Maybe not because you want to lose your staff right, but that situation becomes a terrible at a certain point, you can't pay people to just not do anything:
secured DC. Why nobody is telling places that serve ledge downtown that they can't big body. But if people don't show up to work and the people who are showing up to work are needed to pitch their petty is a little bit more. You just don't go get blood as yourself songs. Do you sell to pay when to your landlord, like nobody is going to pay back like the same shop ride like as a prospect that they're just sort of random casualties of euro of it's done, from himself this was this was the day after Christmas, when not a lot of people are focused on the shut out, but that he explicitly said on Twitter. Do Debs realise that most of the people not getting paid or Democrats so like the shutdown find by him, because that the people suffering are members of the opposition party I don't know you don't like every once in a while, like a total reared dough and twitter will state would have said something and twenty seven to you'd like
these red states are get what they deserve. A from takes their healthcare way like everybody would do doubts, and we have heard this for my leader of a political movement that, like the interests said well being of people who live in the District of Columbia, nor the Virginia don't count because, like equal logically, these are democratic party voting members of of of the country, and each is a signpost of like really how I just think fundamentally depraved louder than the leadership in the current republican party. Is that like that's it considerable way to think about your job as it as a government, political leader. I why a wretched in that regard that the absurdity of this. This congressional delegation cancellation- the Trump has offered here, because you know This is what they were like. We can argue
I suppose like how important? Is it really that members of Congress be able to visit american military installations abroad? But it's a theme that However, it is traditionally seed is important. Debilitating installation certainly exist. American farm policy is important. Congress is like an important part of the government of people, but want to know, what's going on a trap, shut that down for dough click for no reason at all. Right I mean it. I dont the heathen gave official rationale for white has to be done. Like obviously, we know the reason is like the kids for debts. He policy pulling. This study will save. You did, but, like the defence Department is funded right, if there's no about the has the legislative ranch right about the shutdown required this right. There is no explanation given its. I guess, within the president's authority, is the commander in chief to to do this, but like it's crazy
at? Like you know, the idea that it hurts Adam shift is very misguided. This is like a very troubled thing right and, if you think about it like this, he proceed out of sheer were actually to tough situation as of two days ago, which was it's probably not actually great. Look for democratic members of Congress to be like a warm tore, the middle, the shutdown, but is also about Wait till I cancel your trip to go meet with the troops. A great thing to do would be to just have the president for no good reason force you to cancel your trip to beat groups, because now you wanted to see the troops, but you couldn't, but also your town working on the shut down and then with the administration, not having thought this through started. Getting questions about the treasure departments proposed junket. At Davos, Switzerland, that they sheepishly what I believe to cancel that too. Just it I'll look like assholes, but now it's like Steve Don't you know I've never been to the World Forum in Davos, but I've told you invited
Other states should, because I am told by people who go that even though it stupid is actually quite fund. That is why people go. I assume. That is why the trumpet illustration had all these people who wanted to go, and I also like their vacation is cancelled, and it's like it just like a sort of unfathomable that you would have decision making just shoddy yeah, I mean I would love to think that Adam chef at our like, not going to care about the cancellation of their junkets in with all due respect to the electorate. jewels. My understanding of members of Congress is that they are all Devos who consider any lake slight to them. Personally, as the this tantamount, to a slight against every one of their constituents by you know. I I want circle back a little bit to what you were saying about contractors Matt, because I think that this kind of it does
striking to me that, despite the kind of occasional folk saying it doesnt matter that their democrats like there hasn't been the principled small government defence of what's going on right now, because most of the people, who are private law principles, more government defenders either a that this wasn't supposed to be. How is supposed to go like you know, a lot of Donald Trump supporters think that the obvious outcome years for Damn Democrats to caves, that Trump can get well money and the government can get reopened again like there rooting for continued stalemate, but also because people who will eve in that small government for the sake of serving business. You know- and we were getting into two weeks ago- I believe in the government running predictably and as efficiently as possible, which means have to have a small number but Lake Competent and telling that employees you have to you know, to the extent that it's cheaper to one person, a good salary than to pay to people like slow
less good salaries that you still have to pay that they pay for benefits, for you actually do have a certain premium on hiring talented people in being competitive with private sector jobs, the reason that the kind of mule liberal tax interest types I've started kind of talking about, like smart government, and thinking about public private? You know getting people into public service and there was this wave under the Obama administration of getting young digital employees into government. Was that a lot of you? No sir, first business type interests understand the value of having a small. a government that run smoothly and efficiently and part of that is having contractors do a lot of that work is contractors. Give you flexibility, that lake committing you to a whole hiring infrastructure if you're world where contractors are being so bad. Jerked around that. There's a good question about whether you continue to go up for federal contracts. That's not
No, that's not good for the continued flexibility of the federal government. If you have the people who are talented, getting offers from the private. Der unlike updating their Reza maize. That is not good for a like a small but efficient, federal government- and so you know obviously no one is trying to remake the federal workforce from scratch, but it's definitely worth thinking about. You know from the perspective of just a good and efficient government, if it does what it is being instructed to do by the political debate the political officials. Well, no one wants anything that we're looking at right. Now it is just everybody worst case scenario, and it's gonna continue until something happens to break the stalemate. Something is we believe it is still early days, are visibly Donald Trump steadily following a priority may I don't know I mean I just don't know, there's something was going to be airport disasters like this.
something it is becoming increasingly loose. Maybe it is falling I mean no one. Actually thinking back to you know what we are seeing at the beginning of the episodes that there really does seem to be. A change at this point like there may be something that is like that. You know this is where we ve started, noticing the fading approval ratings. We are starting to hear the kind of white House from analogy stories. Would like unnamed advice there is telling the president. This isn't a messaging work, anymore, you're playing with live ammunition like it does appear that even as and I think, a lot of the fiddler federal employees of God well this week proves that, like this is gonna go on forever that the fatalism about. While we don't know how this is going to end. Has panicked people into saying. Oh, it's actually odd, slick nothing is going to happen unless we figure out how to stop people from just being not paid indefinitely where'd. You go ideas: let us from the very good sure, phaser group, that a city bath, give us some tweets other.
I see that we will have just have to see what then said, Sir: it's an endless series of wonders here as they are transparent and it just really never stops I'm. So you know what that, thanks to all you at effort for less like, I think you do. Sarah, with letting on a Friday episode thanks here, Jeff Gout, our producing the weeds, will return to if their friends and family members you wanna talk to an awhile, don't worry it's never too, to reconnect to help. Eighteen to you, offering deals in the latest smartphones. It's complicated. Everyone deserves something new, so eighteen is giving new and existing customers their best deals on every smartphone, even the latest ones Restrictions on exemptions, apply visit. Eighty Tita compress details,
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Transcript generated on 2021-09-11.