This picture got quite a bit of publicity during August and September, but seems to have made a comeback via email, albeit with the twist of alleging it to have taken place here in Massachusetts. As many may already know, this is actually the Connecticut House. But I want to use this viral email to make a larger point. A copy follows–
Nothing else need to be said. This is one of their THREE DAY WORK WEEKS that we all pay for. I am ready to start from the beginning by voting out all elected officials and not letting any of them stay in office for more than two terms. No more lifelong healthcare, retirement, voting in their own pay raises, taking perks on our taxes, etc.
The guy sitting in the row in front of these two… he’s on Facebook, and the guy behind Hennessy is checking out the baseball scores.
These are the folks that couldn’t get the budget out by Oct. 1, Seriously!!! So, we’ve got a 30 day budget extension. Well, guess what, 30 days from then Massachusetts will be in the same boat. I guess this makes it easy for the news ‘reporters’ as all they have to do is recycle the same headlines from this week and from 2 years ago. And these yo-yo’s will still be playing SOLITAIRE!!!
Let me dispense with a bit of the obvious silliness. How many people play solitaire, check Facebook, browse the internet or check their personal email from work? Pretty much everyone but folks who work on an assembly line. Further, I’d guess that many of the people who have blogged about this “issue” were blogging from work, or were forwarding a link to this story from work. So, should we also take those people to the gallows? It is a simple fact that people waste time at work doing all sorts of things.
But the larger point raised is the notion of elected officials (and this argument usually extends to all government employees) are inveterate scofflaws, draining the lifeblood (taxes) from hard working Americans. I am not here to claim that all government employees or elected officials are hard-working and diligent. That would be just as ridiculous as claiming that all members of any employment group are. There are bad apples in any bunch. This should be obvious to anyone with even an ounce of sense.
Further, the notion of a three day work week for a member of any legislative body is silly. Sure, the legislature might only be in formal session three days per week, but that does not include informal session, committee meetings, and constituent-related duties. The vast majority of legislators that I have known (in Massachusetts and New York) commonly put in work weeks greater than 50 hours. They field phone calls from home on weekends, they attend civic events in the evenings, etc. As above, anyone with even the slightest bit of sense knows this already.
But the same people who make the laziness argument about government employees and elected officials are the same ones who pretend that teachers work only 6 hours per day and have summers and school vacation off. Talk to a good teacher and find out just how much time she spends preparing lessons, writing curriculum or grading papers on her “off” time.
Better yet, maybe people should go into the workplaces of the complainers and log every bit of time they waste and demand recompense in the name of the shareholders.