Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Sunday, July 17, 2011



By Domenick J. Maglio PhD., Traditional Realist

A person with compassion is someone who gives something of himself. This voluntary act can be in the form of kindness, time or money. Whatever is given to another has to be the person’s to give. A government official telling another person to do something to assist someone else is merely using his power with public resources. It is not in any way a compassionate act.

A government official making a decision to disregard or bend the rule of law is not being charitable. Arbitrarily picking who is eligible for a handout while denying others is an abuse of his position and a waste of government funds.

Two million dollar lottery winner, Leroy Fick, was told by a Michigan bureaucrat that he was entitled to continue using his food stamp card. Mr. Fick complained to a reporter that he only received $850,000 after taxes and that the free food he chose to accept only added up to $200 per month. He expressed it was not unethical or immoral to take this assistance since the state said it was legal. With a smirk on his face he said he was not gaming the system, he was just getting what was his.

Government does not seem to have any compassion for the 53% of the citizens who pay taxes but certainly seems to have a lot for the 47% who do not pay taxes. In two years the food stamp program has jumped almost 20%. One out of every 7 Americans is receiving food stamps. There are 44.2 million recipients of the program, many, like Leroy Fick and affluent college students, have no shame in fleecing the system.

Our national flood insurance program, NFIP, is not another government program assisting in time of an emergency. It is another boondoggle of government encouraging stupidity. This program has grown to cover 5 million people. It has encouraged people to build on coastal and flood prone areas like the Mississippi. The charge for the insurance is artificially low for high-risk areas and is being subsidized by everyone else. The NFIP is more than $18 billion in debt. One billion dollars has been paid to 10,000 properties that have experienced two or more flood losses. This is not insurance but another give away program for often affluent people who choose to take a risk and live in a flood prone area yet expect to be bailed out when the inevitable happens.

The infamous Bell, California debacle where local government officials awarded each other exorbitant 6 figure salaries is not isolated to this locale. Government workers are making almost double that of the private sector employees when you factor in the benefit packages. In many local communities throughout the United States, audits are showing over 20% of the employees are cheating by making their hours greater than they have really worked. Falsifying time on the job is a crime. This cozy: “I scratch your back, by voting for you and you will go easy on my workload, evaluation and infractions,” is epidemic throughout the nation.

Employees who choose to view pornography, send it to others or shop on the Internet while working on the job are committing more than indiscretions. These are unethical behaviors. When a government worker is performing personal business from his office while on the payroll time clock, it is more than merely unethical, it is stealing from us, the taxpayers.

A private employer who allows one of his workers to break the rules of his business is putting his business in jeopardy. He will absorb the financial loss and personal hassles. This decision is his to make since he is the one who will suffer the consequences of money out of his pocket or possible loss of the business. These real business consequences in the private sector do not exist for a government official.

When a bureaucrat does not address his subordinate’s misbehavior it is more than just being a “nice guy” to his good-old-boy network. It teaches others they can also beat the system without any personal ramifications. In the private sector employee disregard of the rules often leads to being fired and prosecuted, while in government it becomes a contagious behavior, an example of “beating the system.” This dereliction of duty snowballs into higher taxes, which eventually results in undermining faith in government.

A government supervisor excusing misbehavior of fellow workers may appear to the delinquent party to be “compassionate’ to him but he is not sacrificing anything of his own. It is politically expedient to avoid a confrontation that would produce enemies. By being a “nice guy” with the deceitful one he gains allegiance from his staff. The official will talk tough to the media if the allegations become public but will do nothing. It is the average citizen whose taxes increase to pay for these inefficient workers that are the victims.

A government official who turns a blind eye to infractions of subordinates should not be considered compassionate since it is the citizen’s money, not his, that is being wasted. Not following the law in dealing with unethical, immoral or illegal behavior of his subordinates is not being kind hearted, it is being an accomplice to unacceptable or even criminal behavior.

Political positions such as commissioners and heads of agencies should be questioned by the public about what actions they have taken for transgressions by the people they are supervising. We cannot continue to excuse these incompetent, or worse, greedy managers. We need to hold them accountable. Ignoring unethical or criminal behavior cannot be dismissed. Citizens can no longer afford to be abused under the guise of phony politicians use of compassion.

Compassion comes from people voluntarily helping people like we have seen in the recent tornadoes and the floods . Compassion is not a politician declaring taxpayer’s money be used indiscriminately, given to some and not to others to win political favor.


Post a Comment

<< Home