Aren’t I just a regular Chatty Cathy tonight? I would assume that as a general rule IT firms donate heavily to Democrats anyway, but when I see stories like this one – knowing what a cynical, craven-to-his-donors man Obama is – I can’t help but wonder:
White House budget director blames old computers for ineffective government
By Ian Swanson – 01/14/10 02:56 PM ET
A big reason why the government is inefficient and ineffective is because Washington has outdated technology, with federal workers having better computers at home than in the office.
This startling admission came Thursday from Peter Orszag, who manages the federal bureaucracy for President Barack Obama.
I’m comin’ Elizabeth. This is the big one. Whenever anyone at the office is having trouble with the printer or whatever and starts grumbling about the “stupid printer” I always say, it’s a poor craftsman who blames their tools. We use that printer like paper grows on trees and the one time it jams it’s a piece of junk.
By its very nature, bureaucracy is inefficient. Show me someone who chose bureaucracy : efficient as Great Salt Lake : salty on the SATs and I’ll show you an Ivy Leaguer. Probably go on to edit Harvard Law Review. Maybe even something bigger after that.
The way to make it more efficient is to make it smaller, with fewer rules and regulations. I doubt replacing redundant workers with improved technology is the blueprint. They’ve got a union, pal, and it doesn’t look kindly on fewer bureaucrats. Anyone see them trying to truncate the Federal Register?
Honestly, who has a better computer at the office than they do at home? Some egghead editor, probably. Obama, maybe. Pete Orszag, almost surely. Most worker drones like me get relatively inexpensive networked desktops or a cheap laptop. It doesn’t take a lot of PC to run Office and Outlook.
“Twenty years ago, people who came to work in the federal government had better technology at work than at home,” said Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget. “Now that’s no longer the case.”
Twenty years ago computers cost a fortune. I think I knew a half dozen folks with home PCs in 1990. I bought my first PC in 1995 IIRC – and it was better than the one I had at the office. It’s called Moore’s Law and economies of scale. Funny how once freed from burdensome procurement regulations, minority sourcing outreach, overhead, and other various and sundry bureaucracy federal workers can access the marketplace to easily acquire more powerful computers more quickly and for less money than the federal government. How many people had GPS systems 20 years ago?
Don’t get me wrong, I want my employees in Washington to have adequate technology to perform their jobs. But let’s face it, to the extend the government’s technology is inefficient we can almost be certain those inefficiencies are the result of a Byzantine, self-imposed labyrinth of red tape. Washington obviously has some special requirements in the areas of security and redundancy, but there are managed service solutions available in the private sector that will allow us to actually make the beast smaller. No super size, no fries, no drink. Get people off the government payroll and into the private sector contributing to the GDP.
Oh how they’d squawk over the pay cut, though. It’s a class war alright, and it’s the governing class against the governed.
Obama is meeting with CEOs to solicit their views on how to improve the federal government with new information technology.
Two words: Government-allocated Stimulus Dollars. They want their money back, and they’re going to get it.