We seem to agree on most of this except on the idea of contracted work helping reducing governmental "waste".
1. You hit the nail on the head. Congress, since they don't have to try to enforce the laws they pass, typically pass laws that apply to everyone but their home district whenever possible. This is a prime example of how "wasteful" Congress is, but then again, any major corporation that had some yahoo who won a popularity contest every 2-6 years take over as CEO, CIO, CFO, etc, would likely be as poor at managing as the government in general is.
2. From what I have seen of public workers (no, other than the military I haven't worked in a federal or state job), no wonder the best and brightest get out. Would you work for some idiot who only got a job because he'she looked good on camera? I know this happens in the private sector as well, but public jobs seem to attract a lot of people with the "work my 20 years and retire" mentality who don't really care who they work for as long as they get a check.
3. Another major problem. I think I have hinted at this, but here lies one of the major issues I have with these jobs; people get the job and may do a good job at first, may even do a good job their entire career, but the vast majority "seem" to realize they can't be fired and do as little as possible and keep collecting checks. This is a HUGE issue to me and is essentially the basis of my argument, along with idiotic people being elected based on popularity not achievements or abilities. People in the public sector SHOULD be held to as high or a higher standard because most of them don't really PRODUCE anything other than a service (we're talking other than vital service like police and firemen naturally) and most services can be done more effectively in the private sector from what I have seen. At least in the private sector the dead wood (forest?) can be cut.
4. Here is our main point of contention I suppose. Are contract workers better? If they have GOOD management then yes, but you seldom get that when all the contracts go to either the lowest bidder or to the flunkies of the mayor, govenor, etc. If contract workers aren't checked up on then of course they fail, but the same can be said of government workers. As an example I seem to hear about JUST as many security SNAFU's in the airports since all the screeners were made "federal jobs" as I did before, not less.
As for what I do for a living.. PC support with a side delving into networking, etc. Don't know why that matters, but there you go...
Heh, let's not get started on how labor unions started as a good idea but are essentially "government jobs" int he private sector in that they are almost impossible to get rid of, are just as corrupt, etc. Affirmative Action is simply some guilty feeling legislator's idea to appease their conscience, etc... As mentioned in another thread people should be hired and fired on their job performance, not skin color, religion, sex, etc. Maybe if more people worried about how well this person can do the job instead of this half-assed "everyone must get equal treatment and opportunity even if they have an IQ of 10, can't lift the 50 lbs. they must to do their job, etc" mentality that seems to have pervaded our country in the last 50 years.