But What Do They DO All Day?

I am reading in the newspaper about a crime wave in the little Welsh town of Denbigh. There is an establishment of six police officers, they say, but in practice the station is mostly unmanned. Yes indeed, and we know of similar situations elsewhere.

The public sector sometimes seems like a machine that has no output. It seems like an oil refinery that uses its entire product to fuel and lubricate itself but sends none out of the door. The question, But what do they do all day? may thus be answered in terms of internal maintenance.

In the age of neo-Soviet administration by Targets, one supposes that doing nothing must still generate a lot of paperwork. What, for example, is the health and safety impact of not manning the police station? What is its carbon footprint and compliance with gender, ethnic and disability quotas? That is, are minorities allowed to do nothing equally, or not?

For the organisation to do nothing correctly, therefore, individuals have to sit in front of computers quite a lot, and be paid for it. In one way they are working quite hard, in another way they are rent-seekers. Perhaps not exactly in the police, but in other bureaucracies it is the alternative to paying welfare, and gets the unemployment figures down. But people with practical skills need not apply, only “managers”, whose skill set is centred on shifting the blame.

We should remember this next time a socialist revival tries to persuade us that state employment has a role in combating or offsetting the accelerating neo-feudal paradigm.

Posted on December 23, 2011 at 16:14 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!, Resistance Is Futile, Miscellaneous

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