I don't have the time or ability to read the blogs and delve into politics as I did in the days I worked from home. It is not that I goofed off so much more, but I had more access to the interwebz, I had no commute, I had far fewer meetings and conference calls. An extra fifteen minutes here and there spread through the day and you have an hour or two of spare time.
My interest in politics was flagging a bit anyway. I quit listening to political talk radio years ago, instead tuning in to sports talk when I toiled in my little bedroom office and history-based podcasts when on the road.*
I think my political philosophy is an anachronism in today's world. Who represents me? Certainly no Presidential candidate in the past couple of decades. I cast my vote far more often against as opposed to for. I don't think that is the way it is supposed to work.
I look at the current shutdown fiasco and I cannot help but think that the government workers still on the job should be paid. They are doing the work. Certainly it is hyperbole to view the situation as slavery as one of the government employee unions has argued, but one should get paid for his labors.
On the other hand, the government is doing right now during the shutdown the stuff I think a government should: protecting the borders**, keeping planes from flying into each other, making sure the foods we eat are food, not Soylent Green, keeping the military at ready. Frankly, things are running pretty well without those hundreds of thousands of idled government employees. Maybe we ought to take a hard look at stuff and not recall a significant portion of the furloughed workers. You know, get a little more lean as we say in the private sector.
Businesses have cut and automated their workforce, especially the indirect labor force over the past few decades. The job filled by three or four people in 1990 is now done by a single person. We read about how automation is, and has, decimated the factory floor. Let me tell you, that scythe cut through the front office with terrible effect starting in the late eighties. It struck the white collar community like the bubonic plague in the Great Recession of 2008-2010. Those jobs are gone, and they are not coming back. And no, they didn't move to China or Mexico, or anywhere else.
Maybe it is time we cut the fat from the public payroll. Maybe politicians should start looking at the bottom line like shareholders and management-types do their private businesses. The boss at your work has a financial stake in the company running well. Your elected pol doesn't care, he is spending your money.
And those kind of thoughts are what makes me the political anachronism I described at the outset of this way-too-long post. And I'll be damned if I can find very many office-seekers who understand they are spending money taken forcibly from their fellow citizens, at any level of politics - local, state or federal. I'm starting to give up trying.
And that attitude just may be what our elected officials hope for.
* Hardcore History, Revolutions, The British History podcast, History on Fire, to name a few.
** in general terms