It seems like every time I check headlines or listen to the news, there are stories about jobs. People losing jobs, people not getting paid for their jobs, and people not being able to make ends meet while working at jobs.
Even the news about lower unemployment rates is tinged with qualifiers about the rate itself not being the whole story about how our economy is still lagging. There’s the under-employed and those who have completely fallen off the face of the measurable job market since the recession.
But then there are all the headlines about politicians not wanting to do their jobs, but wanting to keep their jobs and get paid anyway. Anyone think there’s a correlation between the two sets of headlines?
Of course Kim Davis of Kentucky and her stand against issuing same-sex marriage licenses is the story of the minute, but there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of them on the state or national level. Let’s start with a Congress that for two budget cycles in a row is incapable of producing a budget in a timely fashion. Last time it led to a costly shutdown, and one is looming again.
The best we can hope for is a short-term fix that leads to a repeat of the whole expensive affair in a few months. I’d like to think assembling a budget is among the most important basic tasks we expect our Congress to do. In employment terms, the budget is an essential job requirement not being met.
As it is for our state legislature, which faced similar struggles leading to questionable tactics regarding our state budget in the first half of the 127th session.
Which brings us to the catalyst for so many of our legislature’s issues: Gov. Paul LePage, perhaps the most honest in the “not doing my job” political trend. He refused to participate with the legislature on the budget process last year and announced he is designating Chief of Staff John McGough to handle them this year.
“And if they need me, they can talk to John, my Chief of Staff, and I will give him the power to do legislating because we have no power up there, it’s that simple.”
The statement is another example of his intent not to do his job. Just like refusing to issue bonds is not doing his job. And not naming replacements to boards and commissions is not doing his job.
The issue of politicians not doing their jobs is a plague on all of our houses, all of our collective ideologies. It’s no wonder so many issues, like quality jobs for the rest of us, stagnate. It needs to change.
In order for more citizens to achieve a more secure quality of life through their jobs, we need our collective of elected officials to be doing theirs.