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Of course these federal employees feel above the law, they're DC insiders, and DC insiders think they run the country. Think about it. In private businesses, don't the managers often get more special considerations from the business owners than the line workers do? Perks like company credit cards, stock options, earlier vesting in retirement accounts? Sure they do! Well, government employees think they are the managers of the nation. They laugh at the idea they are public servants... they see that as hopelessly "olde fashioned"; surely a "modern" nation needs a highly paid and well-perked management class to oversee everything. And they're just the folks to run things! So all those higher-than-private-sector paychecks, gold plated benefits and retirement accounts, and wink-n-nudge exceptions from everyday rules are just the normal perks accorded to the really "important people"... just business as usual. No, seriously now, these people are completely blind. They think today's citizen vs. government relationship is better than the old way, their degrees in Poli-Sci and Government Management are deep and meaningful, and they're worth their bloated paychecks. They'll have looks of stunned incomprehension on their faces when the knacker hammer comes down. It'll hit them out of the blue.
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The sad thing is, the New Class elites of the type Lasch writes about wouldn't think there is a difference between the two. They think they are the winners of the meritocracy competition. They think their ideas work, their take-over and management of the West has been a success, and their continued power to be the key to the bright future of humanity. In their eyes credentials equal ability, book knowledge learned in a classroom setting is the supreme kind of knowledge, and noblesse oblige means "license to rule" not "obligation to serve". The nations of the West under their leadership have shuttered their industrial base, grown their financial sectors into self-serving wealth consuming monsters, imported so much cheap labor as to impoverish their blue collar fellow citizens, and created an imperial public service sector large enough to bankrupt the most golden of states... yet they look in the mirror and see benevolence and wisdom peering back. I imagine things were much the same in the court of Louis XVI... just sayin'...
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Feb 17, 2010