Sunday, January 09, 2005

About my government job

I'm tired of reading that I'm a hypocrite because I work for the government.

A few blocks from where I live there's a big public monument, and on its interior wall it says the the United States is a "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

I'm people too, which means I have the same right to work for the government as anyone else! Even if I disagree with the agenda of the people running it! If you want to live in a nation where there's no freedom of speech and only party insiders get to be on the government payroll, then move to a communist country like China.

10 comments:

Tom said...

I am a School Board Chairman for a public system but also a libertarian business owner. "Hypocrit", or worse is a popular moniker we carry. I rather like considering myself an infilltrator trying to better the system. Keep hammering and improving what would be a worse government without you.

Adam said...

Hope you don't mind, but I'm using this little whine-ssession people are having about your job to write a rant about libertarianism. I'm not one for long titles: Oi. Basically: "People are confusing anarchists with libertarians, and they're not the same. Libertarians want LESS government, not NO government."

Just don't let them get to you, or distract from you blogging about regular stuff.

EZE said...

Adam makes a good point. One of the limitations of the Libertarian Party in my mind is that it is subject to periodic capture by groups claiming a monopoly on the libertarian voice. While it is clear that someone who supports taxing people at 30-50% of their income is clearly not a libertarian, I don't think it is at all clear where the philosophy or the party should stand on issues such as pre-emption and abortion - to take two. Even if you worked for the IRS, I for one would not have a problem with it so long as you were assisting people in finding some iota of justice in what is otherwise a complete wasteland of oppression.

Charles said...

If everyone in the government had to be the same political persuasion, then there would be no civil service, just a bunch of party flacks every 4 years reversing decisions constantly. Thank goodness we support diverse political views (just no active support of tearing the place down, thank you, if you want a security clearance) in the workers. I don't see any evidence of being a hypocrite. LG, if you were saying something along the lines of "I have a government job, and the policies are completely wrong/illegal/immoral but I like having money so I support them," then I might listen to the hypocrisy comments. Or if you were paying lip service to carrying out your duties because you disagreed with them. But being libertarian and working for the USG? I don't see it.

bob d said...

If you live in the Washington DC area, you pretty much have to work for the government or a government contractor, or not work at all. There are NO OTHER JOBS around here.

I hate working for a government contractor, but moving to a different city where I don't have a job and don't know anyone is a pretty difficult thing to do.

Dan K said...

I disagree with any one who would call a libertarian who does public service a Hypocrit. There is nothing wrong with working for the government since you are, and this is the important bit, WORKING. You not simply taking money from the taxpayers willy-nilly, your performing a service which is needed, otherwise there wouldn't be a job for you to do. Think of it this way, when a libertarian gets elected to the presidentcy, will they be a hipocrite for taking pay for that position? Are we libertarians supposed to sacrafice our time and sanity to fullfill a public office simply because our politics prescribes a great reduction in government? I think not.

BTW, great blog, keep it up.

EZE said...

There should be a distinction based upon what one does for the government. I would have a hard time defending someone who worked in the repo unit of the IRS or someone in charge of a narco unit. There are however many grey areas that are more defensible such as my example of an IRS agent who assists people with in obtaining information about the law. And furthermore, a huge chunk of businesses take on government contracts, and I don't think that just because you work for such a company that that is immoral. For instance, Delta Air Lines flies lots of troops and government employees around at discounted rates, but I don't think an airline employee is necessarily acting against their beliefs. But the point is that it is not the receipt of government funds that provides some delineation of potential hypocrisy as much as it is the actions one does while working for/with the man.

Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

I wish all government employees were libertarians/Libertarians -- they are less likely to try to grow the power and budget of their offices.

Jeremy said...

I agree, it doesn't make you a hypocrite. However, it is information you volunteered, so... I would advise against that in your blogging future :-)

R.P. Garrett said...

As a fellow government worker (US Military), I feel your pain. Yes, there is a lot of crap that needs fixing but not all government workers are lazy, no-gooders waiting for their check and 3:30 to roll by. We need more, good government workers to help run this country.

I need your help in explaining libertarianism to me. Help me understand how you are different from a Republican. This is not meant to criticize; I truly want to understand.