Thursday, March 25, 2010

Our first class government 

I am an executive in a public company, so according to many Democrats my compensation ought to be regulated because I cannot be trusted to deal fairly with my supposedly powerless stockholders. But here's the thing: Neither I nor any other executive in my company flies first class, even to Asia. Coach all the way, even for the CEO, because we know that first class is essentially impossible to justifyy as anything other than a hidden perk.

Apparently, however, the federal government believes that first class is justified for its bureaucrats. Why, precisely, they cannot wedge their fat rears in to coach like the rest of us is beyond me, but there it is.

So, who is more accountable to their constituents: Me to my stockholders, or the jet-setting regulators to the voters?

What a joke our government has become.

CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.


By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Thu Mar 25, 11:17:00 PM:

You make money in a morally reprehensible way, not like an executive at a nonprofit or a clerk at Barnes & Noble. That you make good money at all shows that this is a terrible country with false values that deserves a complete overhaul. The Democrats, for all their high-living, are at least willing to stand up to contemptible people such as yourself, and so I forgive them their trinkets.

An alarming number of people operate on exactly this sentiment, as you can find if you just let them keep talking. They don't believe this about themselves, but that bass figure ties the rest of their composition together.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Thu Mar 25, 11:30:00 PM:

Today, while walking near the UC Berkeley campus a nice young lady approached with a clipboard and asked if I would like to sign a petition THANKING PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR OPPOSING NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

I told her nothing less than a dozen roses would be appropriate.

Were going to have to get through a period of very insane and foolish ideas of what government should be doing.

Work the room.


By Blogger JPMcT, at Thu Mar 25, 11:43:00 PM:

"It is called wine," said O'Brien with a faint smile. "You will have read about it in books, no doubt. Not much of it gets to the Outer Party, I am afraid."

Remember when 1984 passed and we all had a nervous laugh that Orwell's bleak predicions were so far off base.

We were premature...  

By Blogger CMT, at Thu Mar 25, 11:49:00 PM:

As a middle management guy I travel, and mangae my arrangements as if it were my house hold budget. I'm happy at a courtyard or flying 5 different airlines or using cabs instead of renting cars.

WHy? Because it's not my money. I owe it back to my company. It is my responsibility to spend wisely and not frivolouisly. I am appalled by co-workers who book $1,000 flights and 4 star hotels.

Doesn't anyone else get that? COngress doesn't that's for sure.  

By Blogger Lynn, at Fri Mar 26, 12:58:00 AM:

Be aware we plebeian normals at the bottom end of the General Schedule have to make our travel plans according to the GSA Federal Travel Regulations , a vast tome of arcane regulations designed to ensure that even if we are to find a quarter in our Coach seating, we shall be required to fill out form GS-ABC-1245-4A to ensure the Government is reimbursed for our windfall. It is rare indeed (and short-lived) for some group of government employees to be able to approve their own travel. More normally it is a lot like having Scrooge McDuck make your travel plans.

Now that being said, Feds can pay out of their own pocket for upgrades, or for additional days spent at the destination. And Vegas is one of the cheapest places in the country to put on any kind of training/meeting. AND for employees of Commerce or SEC, they are best utilized by sending them where their business contacts are going. EPA however would be much better off taking a bike from D.C. to Vegas.  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Fri Mar 26, 06:29:00 AM:

Related, on government pay:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 26, 07:59:00 AM:

The USA is kaput. Statism has won out. Nothing but decline is left.  

By Blogger joanthequilter, at Fri Mar 26, 11:32:00 AM:

Ten years ago I used to fly to India from the US. Business class was standard in my company for trips to Asia, and for good business reasons. Business class meant that it was possible to sleep on the plane, and that meant that adjustment to the 12 time difference was much faster.
Do you want your executives to be thinking clearly when they get to Bangalore, or to be punchy from lack of sleep and lingering back pain?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 26, 01:27:00 PM:

My husband was a salesman. He always ran his territory like he owned the company.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 26, 03:04:00 PM:

This was on "Issues" (CNN Headline News) last night. Here is how our government is spending tax dollars. WTF. the LINK http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2010/03/25/jvm.horse.round.up.cnn  

By Anonymous Candide, at Fri Mar 26, 03:52:00 PM:

"Business class meant that it was possible to sleep on the plane, and that meant that adjustment to the 12 time difference was much faster."

Or you can fly one day early and sleep the night in a real room with a good bed for $100 or $200 extra. Airplane "bed" costs at least $1000 or $2000 more.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 26, 04:13:00 PM:

TH, Your blog is one of the first I go to when I get the time, but this article you linked to by Stossel isn't anything more than an OP-Ed piece sprinkled with a few semi-facts. Lynn's post has it correct for the vast majoriaty of the government workforce. I've traveled over 300 thousand miles with the Fed Government and the only time I was paid to be in Business Class was the few trips to Australia ... even Chicago to Japan trips didn't meet the restrictions.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Fri Mar 26, 09:55:00 PM:

@Joan - In theory, we would like people to be better rested. Problem is, the cost of the flight is much higher than just going a day earlier and getting a good night's sleep.  

By Blogger Simon Kenton, at Sat Mar 27, 10:36:00 PM:

When I was a ranger, the national park service got a Dracona as our chief of administration. The first thing she did was require that if the airline wanted to clear an overbooking by offering a flight coupon to us in return for accepting a later flight, we had to turn the coupon over to the park service to be used where it thought best. I thought it interesting she could reach that level of the Senior Executive Service without ever learning the first management question: What behavior am I rewarding here? and its corollary, Is that the behavior I want to reward?

We split about half and half - some keeping the coupons in silent defiance, and the rest no longer accepting later flights.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Mar 28, 09:45:00 PM:

Unless the rules changed, there have always been very strict rules not only on the type of travel (what class) but also on whether or not an American carrier must be taken. I very much doubt that this was authorized travel; it may have been an upgrade (now allowed); but I'd like to see proof.... like a report of an inspector general or the GAO.

Dubious, highly dubious, at best.

Oh, and I'd say that Asian trips justify business class, for your fat ass at least.  

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