August 25, 2003

Land of the Free, Homeland of the Government

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that the new Department of Homeland Security has 1 in 12 federal employees. But wait, there's more: WASHINGTON -- The six-month-old Department of Homeland Security has 40 percent of its 160,000 employees working as "watchers" at airports at average salaries of $29,000 but also pays 324 funeral directors, 128 pharmacists, 55 general anthropologists, 41 fingerprint specialists and 30 chaplains. In the first public examination of the makeup of the new department, which constituted the largest reorganization of government since World War II, a research group at Syracuse University found that the fledgling bureaucracy already has at least one full-time employee in one of every five of the nation's 3,146 counties. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a data gathering, data research and data distribution project at Syracuse, said that DHS, one of 15 Cabinet-level departments, now employs one of every 12 workers in the federal government. Denning Comment: Maybe DHS can start hiring all the folks who've been laid off from America's factories. America's new competitive advantage: bureaucracy. And you thought it was just France who had a large civil service. Meet the U.S. Government, the France of the 21st Century. The article is hosted on the subscriber's portion of the Financial Times site. Here's the important graph: Instead of cutting 30,000 civil service jobs by replacing one in two retiring at the end of the year, Mr Raffarin is drawing up a more cautious replacement policy. As he prepares the final guidelines this week for presentation of the 2004 budget in September, officials indicated the total number of jobs cut was likely to be about 5,000, in a country where almost one in four people in work are state or para-state employees.


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