A combination of the Mystery Hunt, EC’s Bad Ideas competition, my research, and a revival of my squash playing habit have conspired to keep me off the blog for the past ten days. As amends, I bring to you one of the most thought-provoking pieces I’ve read this week, from the latest edition of The Atlantic. Tim Kane (not Tim Kaine) discusses personnel policies in the U.S. military, and finds them depressingly sclerotic. I have the suspicion that if Tim looked at personnel in our educational system, or in our federal bureaucracies, or in any of the failing state governments across America, he’d find a similar problem: our government is not a meritocracy. It advances workers on a tenure system; sit long enough in a chair, and they’ll move you to a better chair.
If there is a single issue that Republicans should tackle in this Congress, it is bringing free market principles and meritocracy into our public services.