Why It’s Difficult To Fire American Government Employees

May 26, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

Michael Catalini took a look at why the government is finding it difficult to fire Lois Lerner, an official who admitted that the IRS targeted conservative groups:

  • Americans laws have been set up so that politicians can’t interfere with government posts. This is to prevent precisely the kind of controversy that the IRS is embroiled in today.
  • However the laws may be a little too effective. Workers in many government agencies are more likely to die of natural causes than to lose their jobs.
  • To fire a government employee requires a fair amount of paperwork and managers generally just don’t want to go through the hassle.
  • However this creates perverse incentives – government employees know that it’s unlikely they’ll lose their jobs and this may lead them to underperform.

Read more about the 1883 legal framework that affects the employment of government employees, and why taxpayers should be concerned over here.

Source: National Journal