Letters to the Editor

Bureaucracy, not people, served by government

The asylum is being run by the inmates. Whether it is federal, state or local government, the people are now serving the bureaucracy.

In the past two years, private sector workers have been laid off, suffered pay freezes or cuts, lost health insurance and have had their 401(k) accounts cut by 30 percent or more. During that same time period, most governments have added workers, paid cost-of-living increases and secured generous taxpayer-funded retirement and health care plans.

Even before considering retirement and health care benefits, average federal pay is 20 percent higher than private-sector pay for comparable positions. I am confident that similar disparity exists for state and town employees versus the private sector. Am I envious. Yes. But more than that, I know this situation is not healthy, should not exist and cannot be sustained. Adding insult to injury, government staffs (especially the Town of Hilton Head Island) have become obstructionist to the very people they are paid so much to serve.

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln finished his Gettysburg Address with the words we all learned in school: "... government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

In the 147 years since Lincoln's address, things have changed. Today Lincoln's words would read "... government of the bureaucracy, by the bureaucracy, for the bureaucracy."

That form of government should perish from the face of the earth and be returned to Lincoln's vision and the people.

Jim VaughnHilton Head Island