'Tis the Job Hunt That's Ruining America

Author: Dick Bolles

Needless to say, I am not a politician.  I'm only an expert about "the job hunt."   But this does cause me to stay riveted on all that goes on in our nation's capital, because I've never seen a place more screwed up by The Job Hunt, in my whole life. In the legislative and executive branches of our government, the job hunt is their obsession.  They try to conceal that simple fact by giving it a more high-falutin' name.  They call it "re-election."  But beneath the facade of that language,  it's still their job hunt.

It's breathtaking to watch how, in the interests of their next job hunt, they will do, say, or promise,  almost anything. 

They all have what we in our industry call "contract jobs" -- jobs that they have only for a set amount of time, and then they have to get rehired.  This keeps their eyes riveted on the people who have the power to hire them again,  and if they think  it will improve their chances of getting rehired, they will say one thing when they're trying to get the job, say the opposite thing once they have it. Once rehired, they will completely reverse their decisions on the job, from week to week:  they will sponsor a bill one week,  vote against that very same bill the next week.     They will even say No to everything, if they think it will help them with their next job hunt.

Why do they like this job so much, why do they want this job so badly?  Well, for one thing it has a great health plan.  For another, they get some mouthwatering special benefits and favors.  And, probably most importantly, the job gives them a lot of power, for as long as it lasts.  In an organization with 100 employees, (the Senate) one man or woman can thwart the will of the other ninety nine. 

They don't need to take a Dale Carnegie course; this job, from beginning to end, depends on their being able "to win friends and influence people."  That's the skill that most determines whether or not they are successful in their next job hunt. It is the sine qua non of the job.  

So, what does all this add up to?  Simply this: their obsession with their own job hunt is ruining America. It's causing things not to get done that should be done.  It's causing things that should not get done, to be done.   It's corrupting the fight to make this a better and more compassionate country, toward its own citizens.

I know what you're thinking, of course.  You think I'm talking about one particular political party. Nope. Wrong.   I'm talking about how, decade after decade,  the whole Congress and the Executive Branch, decide altogether too many of their policies, decisions and votes by one criterion above all others: "will it help my next job hunt?"  "Will it help me get re-elected?"  Until, of course, they're ready to retire.

So, I have this comforting thought for you: if you are unemployed, and worrying about how to find your next job,  don't worry. You have friends in Washington,who know exactly how you feel, because they are in the same boat as you are.   They may be employed temporarily for the moment.  But they're just as worried about their jobs as you are.

Friends?  Well they would be, if they ever saw any connection between their situation and yours. But I wouldn't hold out much hope.  They are so obsessed with their own situation that they never stop to consider how similar it is to yours.  "You're looking for work?   Sorry,  I don't have any time to help you.   I'm up for re-election."

P.S. In the interest of full confession, my grandfather was a congressman.  He was a noble man, and never worried about his job hunt.  He died peaceably, while he was still in office.I know of course there are other noble men and women in office, to whom none of what I have said above, applies.   I hope their tribe increases.