Gov. Pat, those twenty-somethings and the big salaries

pat sideIt pains me to even come close to being on the same side of an issue with Chris Fitzsimon and the gang.  They raised a stink about salaries paid to a couple of 24 year olds in the McCrory administration, and the sycophants in the state’s mainstream media picked up the ball and ran with it.

The stink of hypocrisy fills the air when the same crowd  — who demands people be hired into jobs and admitted into colleges based solely on their race or gender — complain about the current Republican administration’s personnel decisions.  I’ll admit it sounds strange for two guys — two years out of undergrad — to get senior government positions and nearly $100,000 in salary.  I can’t imagine there are many private sector opportunities out there where someone two years out of undergrad can be hired into a position near the top of an organization chart and be paid nearly $100K.

You haven’t had much in the way of life experience when you are two years out of college.  HOW do you have any credibility telling other folks how to live their lives or run their businesses? Can you seriously expect us to believe that a guy two years out of college is the best candidate available for setting policy for the state health bureaucracy?

Likewise, how can the lefties claim someone who has been lobbying, hanging out at UNC Law School, working on legislative staff, or working with various Raleigh or DC non-profits has enough awareness of the happenings in The Real World to make sensible decisions?

During my time in politics and journalism, I’ve discovered something that a lot of people out in the hinterlands may not realize:  There are a hell of a lot of twenty-somethings running the government bureaucracies in DC and in our state capitals.  

On Capitol Hill, it’s not unusual to find a 25 year old House chief of staff or a 24- year-old whispering policy advice into the ear of a senator.  There’s not a lot of opportunity for growth in the congressional bureaucracy.  The hours are long and the work is tedious.  It’s a great jumping-off point for bigger-and-better-things, and many folks with a few years on The Hill under their belt take advantage of that.

In North Carolina, the GOP has been out of power for so long that it doesn’t have much of a bench in the way of experienced government types.  The best and brightest and most qualified in the GOP camp tend to be out there in the private sector running businesses and making ungodly amounts of money.  To pull one of those folks over into government service, they would have to wall themselves off from their businesses or divest entirely.  Who’s excited about doing that? 

Kieran Shanahan was a great choice at the Department of Public Safety.  His successful businesses forced him to make a tough choice between government service and his life’s work.  In the end, North Carolina lost out.

John Skvarla, over at DENR, is still hanging around.  But he’s getting beat over the head and shoulders regularly by McClatchy and the leftist screech owls. Skvarla is arguably the most qualified person ever to take charge of state environmental policy.  His devotion to serving the state must be amazingly strong for him to sacrifice business opportunities and to tolerate the leftist nonsense in the media.

Over on Jones Street, the legislative schedule makes it tough for ANYONE who works for a living, runs a business, or has kids at home to serve there.  It would be great to have the insight and expertise of entrepreneurs and others currently in the workforce interjected into the legislative process.  But the lengthy schedule, and all of the red tape, pretty much excludes everyone short of retirees and the independently wealthy.  Who else can spend so much time away from home? 

With these limits on the pool of people available to serve in the ranks of government, it’s no surprise we get the wacky regulations and legislation we do. Getting more people involved, who have actually had some life experience in the real world,could go a long toward improving the quality of service we get from our governments.