From the August 2003 Idaho Observer:

“Just doin' my job”

Human nature demands that we defend our less-than-honorable actions with excuses. In school, something besides our own laziness was the excuse for homework assignments not completed. In a government workplace the job, not the person performing it, is commonly blamed for unwarranted pain and suffering inflicted on society and individuals.

The role of representative republican government is to protect the rights of an individual to live his life in freedom and accumulate property. A three-branch form of government with checks and balances to prevent any one of the three from becoming too powerful was designed to protect the rights of Americans from other Americans and the agencies of government. If government agencies and their employees were “just” doing their jobs, they could say with pride when people thanked them for their efforts, “I was just doin' my job.”

But government agents have been progressively superceding the constitutionally-prescribed parameters of their jobs. As of August, 2003, the nation's some 17 million federal, state and local government employees enforce laws, statutes, ordinances, rules and administrative policies that diminish the individual's ability to live their life in freedom and accumulate property. When confronted by members of the civilian population who are being injured by the actions of government agents, they commonly respond by stating, “Just doin' my job.”

Because 17 million of our countrymen have forgotten what they learned about our form of government in school, the government they represent has been empowered to ban books, inhibit free speech, disrupt peaceable demonstrations, imprison Americans without charges or a trial, seize property, papers and effects without due process, kidnap children without just cause, force invasive medical procedures and consumption of experimental drugs.

History may describe the “Just-doin'-my-job” mentality of 21st century government employees as the single most contributory factor to the death of the American dream. Read this edition of The IO with that concept in mind.


Millions just doin' gov't jobs

As of March, 2002, there were 2,426,476 full time federal employees whose combined payroll for that month was $11,599,033,843 -- According to the U.S. Census Bureau. Census Bureau figures for total state employees as of March, 2001, was 4,173,400 full timers with a combined payroll of $14,136,252,478. In March, 2001, local governments paid out $35,126,123,762 to 11,205,524 full time employees. The number of combined full time government employees at the federal, state and local level is 17,805,400 who claim some $60 billion per month in wages. Dividing $60 billion by 291 million Americans (2001 Census figures) equals $206 per month each American contributes to government payroll costs. Dividing 281 million Americans into 17,805,400 federal, state and local employees we find that 1 in every 16 of us take home a government employee paycheck. To continue taking home paychecks, government employees must do their jobs. Today's government employee must enforce increasingly invasive and abusive laws, administrate increasingly idiotic regulatory schemes and zealously collect fines, penalties and fees and generate revenues to justify their public employee existence.


From the Editor's Desk:

“Just doin' my job”

The facade of benevolence is quickly crumbling away from Americans' institutions of governance to reveal the most invasive and abusive technotyranny the world has ever seen. As the technotyrants become more brazen and intensify the violations of due process, civil rights and simple decency in the name of war on everything from drugs to terrorism, legions of administrators are more and more often prompted to excuse their official support of despotism and treason by stating, “Just doin' my job.”

“Just doin' my job,” the police officer said as he gave the driver of a pre-1976 pickup truck a ticket for not wearing the seatbelt his truck didn't have.

As we begin a new volume in the annals of American history, any agent of government who justifies the enforcement of wrongful policies by telling those whom their activities abuse that he is, “Just doin' his job,” is akin to admitting, “I am willing to use my authority to persecute innocent people for a paycheck, vacation time, sick leave and medical benefits.”

“Just doin my job,” said the social worker as she seized the newborn before her handcuffed mother could even hold her baby.

But it's even worse. Think about it. Every time a malicious prosecutor sends an innocent man to prison; every time a lying child protective services caseworker places the child of loving parents into foster care; every time an unjust tax is collected or private property seized for nonpayment of it; every time a law abiding citizen is fined or jailed for noncompliance of an unjust law (which is any of millions of laws against something that does not harm another or his property), our country and the Republic it once was, dies a little more.

And now it's almost dead. “Just doin' my job” will be etched in the marble of our national tombstone in the graveyard of fallen empires.

What would happen if even 50 percent of those “just doin' their job” stopped “doin'” it when it required them to enforce policies not becoming of a free Republic?

If the administrators refuse to administrate the bidding of the kleptocratic technocracy, its wishes cannot come true; if the adult administrators who grew up in this country (just like we did) would simply revert back to sixth grade long enough to remember what it means to be an American, the injustice would stop -- dead in its tracks.

“Just doin' my job,” said thousands of laborers who mindlessly removed the rubble from the Murrah Federal Building and the World Trade Center and the Pentagon before investigators had the chance to analyze the carnage.

“Just doin' my job” is what people who are ashamed of what they do say in defense of themselves. “Just doin' my job” is what shiftless nere-do-wells say to deflect responsibility away from themselves and onto some unaccountable, inanimate, nebulous concept like a “job.”

“Just doin' my job,” say the U.S. soldiers who have been shooting unarmed Iraqi women and children who hadn't fully recovered from the last time Americans volunteered to fight a phony war in their country.

Every last one of us has a stake in this “just doin' my job” problem: Those who say it as an excuse for their behavior are fooling themselves into believing they will not be held accountable for their actions just because they can recite four empty words in their sleep or at work; those who hear someone sheepishly justify their actions by stating, “just doin' my job” and fail to call them on it are tacitly encouraging them to continue “doin' their job” to others.

Recently, a jury was “just doin' its job,” and acquitted a woman of tax evasion. “The government didn't prove its case,” they said (see page 1).

I look forward to the day when “just doin' my job is no longer a four-word phrase akin to a four-letter word; I look forward to the day when the four-word phrase, “just doin my job,” means, “I did the right thing and helped make the world a better place.”

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