Have public servants become like the medieval clergy?

Certainly in some places around the world, public servants have become like medieval clergy, rapaciously enjoying benefits paid for off of the back of the serfs:

A medieval society can be defined in a variety of ways. In terms of class, there is more a pyramidal culture. A vast peasantry sits below an elite of clergy and lords above — but with little or no independent middle class in-between.

I think California is getting there quickly — with the U.S. soon to follow.

For our version of the clergy, think public employees, whose salary and benefits are anywhere from 30-40% higher than their counterparts in the private sector. In California, the security guard in the symphony parking lot makes minimum wage and has no pension, even as he faces as much danger as his counterpart in the state police. And like medieval churchmen, our public-employee clergy positions are often nepotic. Families focus on getting the next generation a coveted spot at the DMV, the county assessor’s office, or the local high school. Like the vast tax-free estate of the clergy that both nearly broke feudalism and yet was beyond reproach, so too California’s half-trillion-dollar unfunded pensions and bond liabilities are considered sacrosanct. To question the pay or the performance of a California teacher or prison guard is to win the same scorn that was once earned from ridiculing the local friar. If suggesting that the man of god who was too rotund as a result of living freely on his tax-exempt church land was worthy of stoning, then so too suggesting that our teachers or highway-patrol officers are paid incommensurately with the quality of students in our schools or the safety on our roads is likewise politically incorrect right-wing heresy

The Renaissance freed us from the deprivations of the clergy…no such renaissance has yet occurred to free us from public servants:

The Renaissance marked a lessening of the intolerance and censorship of the medieval clergy. Art, literature, science, and philosophy were freed from shibboleths of Aristotle, Church doctrine, and formalistic conventions. But California has of yet had no such renaissance. In our closed, anti-scientific, and deductive way of thinking, Solyndra was a success. Drilling for cheap natural gas in the Monterey Shale formation would be seen as failure. When our governor told Rick Perry that Californians did not need to cool off in 110 degree heat through “fossil fuel”-fed air conditioning, he did not mean that solar panels were energizing green air conditioners in Barstow, but rather that our elites on the coast have natural air conditioning; it’s called the Pacific Ocean. And although wind and solar provide miniscule amounts of California energy, it matters little, given that coastal elites enjoy 70 degree weather year-round and keep their power bills low. PG&E’s and Southern California Edison’s astronomical energy costs are for “little people,” the middle classes in the hot and cold interior and mountains. The aristocracy sets the regulations that make power soar, and the interior pays far more of the costs.

In medieval California, certain thinking is off-limits, just as during the tenth century in France or in the eighth century in Constantinople. I once wrote, on these pages, that one could not any more determine exactly the racial and ethnic heritage of millions of intermarried and integrated Californians, much less could universities easily determine why particular California ancestries qualified for affirmative action and others did not (e.g., was it due to ongoing racism, skin color, historical claims against the majority culture, purposes of “diversity”? etc.). The next thing I knew the Stanford Daily was calling for me to be disciplined by the Hoover Institution. Indeed, these monthly reflections on California earn on occasion an angry op-ed in a California paper, dozens of hate emails — and even now and then a phone call from an irate state official.

You see, in medieval California the orthodoxy of the clergy and aristocracy must remain unquestioned. Wind and solar are superior energy sources to natural gas or other fossil fuels. The blue-state model of high taxes and big government has been redeemed by the public-approved tax hikes of 2012.


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  • peterwn

    “Families focus on getting the next generation a coveted spot at the DMV, the county assessor’s office, or the local high school” NZ used to be like this – Bob Jones started off in the public service at the behest of family until he got itchy feet and told the staff clerk he was leaving ‘now’ and got the response ‘you will never get another job in the public service again’.

    There was an old guy on TV who as a youth was filling in an application form:
    Dad – What is this?

    Son – Application for a [railways locomotive] cleaner ( the first step to engine driver)

    Dad grabbed the form, screwed it up and heaved it in the fire “if you want to work for the Railways you will get a ‘Class 1’ job (ie the career clerical/ executive/ management group). 50 or so years age placing your son (daughters were expected to be telephone operators, nurses, ledger machine operators or lunch hour tellers and leave when they got married or had kids) into a ‘career’ job in the public service, local bodies, banks or insurance companies was seen as a priority – the passport to a 40 year career plus ‘defined benefit’ superannuation.

  • unsol

    Have they become like the medieval clergy? That question can only come from someone who hasn’t see first hand what a pack of bludgers they are.

    Short answer: an emphatic yes. They get too much pay & too many benefits (training, trips, morning teas etc etc etc) with very little to show for it.

    And it’s because they never have a budget per se. Sure the taxpayer purse strings have been tightened post Labour, but it’s still far too loose.

    No one in the private sector would ever be able to operate like they do as if they did they’d go under before you could utter wastrel!

  • metalnwood

    I get the jist of the article from the first couple paragraphs and would probably agree that it’s bizarre that public employees got more that private.

    I pretty much turned off when he suggested a parking lot rent a cop should be getting the same as a police office working LA. There is in fact a reason for this.

    • Hazards001

      I suspect you miss the point then. The article is about the ability of sinecure sycophants to use their nepotistic positions to retard progress, in this case in the interest of leftist liars to continue feathering their nests at the expense of the truth by using the green bullshit to pander to emotions whilst comfortably living in areas that aren’t being taxed to death by stupid fucking wind farms and wasteful solar energy projects.
      Anyone that speaks against these projects as the author has found to his/her peril is deemed a heretic and should be metaphorically burnt at the stake (lose their validity and/orcareers)
      A well known tactic of the toxic greens as they protect their holy turf!