A recent article in the Seattle P-I highlighted numerous incidences of America’s politicians and lawmakers with spouses, children and other relatives on the same payroll. The article merely highlighted the incidences and included the justifications of having family on the payroll.
With the recent accusations on campus concerning good-old-boy scenarios among whites, the unfair circumstances whites have over everyone else, etc, there’s surely some hand wringing and “I told you so’s” going on at the very time this article is being read.
I did not go searching for a racial breakdown of the names in the article, that course is a foolish one to get on, and I refuse. Overall, as long as the hiring is justifiable, and it saves taxpayer dollars, it seems reasonable.
The article comes out in answer to the recent findings that Senator Tom Delay hired his wife and daughter, and they were paid $500,000 since 2001.
Break that down and it amounts to 125 g’s a year, divide by two and this results in $62,500 a year for each. This is a normal salary for a college-educated person, which it seems the greater percentage of those highlighted in the article are.
To be fair, the Delays are on the higher end of the reported earnings of relatives, but it seems that the salary amounts, as reported, increase with the status of the politician. A similar situation is found at Eastern, as there are several married couples with dual employment with the university.
In fairness, the two situations have parallels, but this is mostly the fact that employment with Eastern is by a husband/wife team. That is about the only real parallel here.
In the first case, the payroll comes from campaign and taxpayer money, and the boss is most often one of the spouses. In the latter case, it would be assumed each individual went through the hiring process, which is merit based for the most part, and the boss is someone other than the spouse.
The article mentioned more than once that, in many cases, the spouse recieved a much lower rate of pay than if an outsider was hired. Now that to me is good financial sense, and anyone finding fault with that scenario should have his or her head examined.
Reading the different cases of spouse and family hiring’s, many were college-educated in the field that they are employed. The Delay case seems to be making the news these days, and the amount of money earned isn’t so much in question as is the travel and such that went on.
If there are, or were improprieties then these should be handled in a just manner. It should not bring an end to the hiring of family members at the same place of employment, nor should we look for nepotistic features that are not there. The government spends too much money as it is, and if lawmakers can verify that the hiring of a relative saves money, as taxpayers we should be all for it.
If there are cases of abuse with the system then deal with them accordingly, but like the old Harley saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”