The government hates change because people hate change. The government is made up of people. Simple right? Actually…no.
Let’s break this down into two categories: government employees and politics.
First, government employees:
They HATE change. Just the same as any big corporation hates change so I don’t mean to just pick on them. Sometimes you can change a big corporation, but many experts say one thing MUST be present to do so…”a burning platform”. Or in other words, your business is going to fail if you don’t change and everyone will be fired and broke (at least this was true pre-2008, post 2008 the government might bail them out and let them continue to not change, but that’s a different post so I won’t digress). So, if you have a huge crisis you may be able to change a big company…may, or they may just go out of business. Doctors say most people when told them must change a habit to avoid death won’t change. Even facing death, in a majority of cases, people won’t change.
The federal agencies themselves, meaning their leadership, may want to change, talk about change, and sometimes even scream change…but they don’t change. They never have the “burning platform”. The leaders may have the “burning platform”, but until you start firing civil servants en masse the employees don’t have a crisis. They tell them they must change, and they aren’t going to change. They just wait. Civil servants are the most patient bunch in the world. They will wait out any supposed crisis. They have seen every crisis before them and they are still standing, unchanged. They pass this wisdom onto the younger set, “don’t worry, these things go in cycles”. The mentorship of government employees facing crisis usually begins and ends with that line. And the closest thing the government has to crisis is funding problems. This will motivate leadership, but not the masses. To them it is just another cycle to get through.
The latest thing to happen to federal employees regarding change, and by latest I mean in the last decade or so, is their agency is always giving them new computer programs to “increase efficiency”. This is the worst thing you can ever tell a civil servant! The last thing they ever want is a software change. It doesn’t matter if the current process requires them to walk a document eight miles, wait for 12 hours for two signatures, and then fight off alligators in a swamp to submit it they don’t want new software. That’s how much they hate change. They would prefer to keep things the exact way they are no matter how much they suck. I mean if things didn’t suck anymore what would they complain about? Actually, I can answer that question. Eventually the new software will arrive, usually a year or two later than scheduled, and they will have to use it. At this point, it is impossible for at least six months to know if the new software actually works or not because the civil servant just complains about how they have to do something different and you can’t get ANY useful feedback out of them. The only feedback is just moaning about whatever bugs are in the software and how it makes their jobs worse than ever.
This is the strangest thing. Voters are always unhappy, at least half the country is always unhappy, and the most reliable platform a politician can run on is change. Hell, sometimes even Republicans or Democrats will run on change even if it just means change from the currently in charge Republican or Democrat. Obama hit the “change” motherload in 2008 and got elected President. Everyone was giddy because we were finally going to get some change. Today, barely three years later what does everyone want…? Change.
The most maddening part of all this is when a politician runs on change and actually purposes some semblance of real change what do we do? Shout them down. Doesn’t matter what party, everyone, both parties, will shout them down. Media, opponents, bloggers, their wives and children, foreign countries…. Case in point, Ron Paul. That dude talks about real change, and if everybody isn’t busy trying to ignore him they are yelling about how stupid, naive, whatever…you pick one, he is and why his ideas will never work. Another example I have already mentioned on this blog is Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. So, as a politician the BEST thing you can do is run on a platform of change, yet don’t actually purpose any change. Sure you can talk about moving this around, moving that around, but if you want to change much more than the decor in the Oval Office you’re asking for trouble. That’s what the “establishment” wants and the “establishment” is what will determine if you get elected or not. Voters have very little to do with it. Voters won’t even know you exist if the “establishment” doesn’t want them too.
Just to illustrate how much politics hates change I will give you one example: Climate change. For a gazillion years the climate has been changing…little ice age here, warm up, big ice age here, warm up again, up down, up down. Everything has survived fine…even flourished, but put the current political establishment in charge and what do you get? Climate change…NOT ON OUR WATCH!!!
Yes, I’m cynical