by Rachel Marsden
Russian's non-Putin President
"And this is not because I dislike civil servants," Medvedev added. "On the contrary, their work is helpful for any state. Is this a prestigious profession? Not really. Is it well-paid? Well, (it pays) very badly."
What does Medvedev think he's doing? Having the populace employed by the state has traditionally been an effective way for Communist governments to secure their control over a people. Granted, driving kids away from the civil service toward the private sector within a Communist structure only shifts government expenditures from one pocket to the other. The Russian government still owns the large private companies. So then, what's the difference? Why is Medvedev bothering to symbolically make this distinction in denouncing the federal bureaucracy? The answer to this question is highly instructive to those of us in the Western world, particularly as we implode economically under the weight of public-sector costs, among other things.
Even in a Communist system, there is a difference between a civil-service payroll and a state-owned-business payroll. That difference is productivity. The Russian civil service and desk-jockey brigade aren't selling or exporting anything. The public sector isn't creating any value or wealth. By contrast, Russian state-owned businesses are producing things and selling them in the international marketplace. Kremlin-funded oligarchs are tasked with investing the profits derived from the riches of these companies in various Western interests, thereby profiting from our capitalist system. In essence, if you look at it this way, Western capitalism drives the Russian economy, and productive wealth-creation is not accomplished by public-sector bureaucrats. Even in a Communist state, they have figured out which pocket constantly needs replenishing by the other. The more workers they can have creating wealth, the better off they'll all be.
Compare Medvedev's drive to reduce civil-service bureaucracy with President
Working from home is one of those things that you only really ought to be doing if you're driven by survival. No one with a comfortable, reliable salary and without the constant pressure of having to deliver results should ever be allowed to work from bed -- and that especially means civil servants.
Even the legislators knew where this law was headed before they passed it, prohibiting telework when "the employee has been officially disciplined ... for viewing, downloading or exchanging pornography, including child pornography, on a Federal Government computer or while performing official Federal Government duties."
At what point did America and
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