Now that took guts. I imagine that most of these employees are raising families, yet they so strongly oppose this destructive move by Republicans that they are willing to put their livelihoods on the line.
I worked two summers in a vegetable canning plant in Eastern Washington and, trust me, the USDA keeps us safe. If it weren’t for them, we’d have no idea what’s in our food. Their inspectors were top notch and kept the company I worked for honest, canning wholesome, clean, safe food – without the USDA their canned goods would have been none of those things. The USDA that I saw at work delivered excellent value for our tax dollars. This move involves researchers, not inspectors, but I’m just making this observation to convey how much I respect the agency.
These researchers need to be close to lawmakers so they can have one-on-one communication with decision makers. Moving them a thousand miles from the center of power is obviously a way of marginalizing them. Anyone who has telecommuted knows that, although it has many advantages, one inevitable downside is that you have less clout at headquarters.
We have to put a stop to the Republican dogma that all “gubment” is inherently evil. Yes, the government can be wasteful and can needlessly interfere with our lives – we need to be ever vigilant and root out and correct those abuses wherever and whenever they occur, but simply slashing government infrastructure is not the answer; it is just plain destructive.
Employees from two Department of Agriculture research agencies stood and turned their backs to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at an all-hands meeting Thursday to silently protest a decision to relocate the agencies halfway across the country.
Perdue announced earlier Thursday morning that the Economic Research Service, which provides research and statistical analysis for lawmakers, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which allocates federal research funding, will be relocated to Kansas City from Washington, DC, the final announcement in a process that began last year.
The department says the move will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, but many employees view the change as politically driven and a way to disrupt climate research and other work their bosses disagree with. Both agencies recently voted overwhelmingly to unionize to push back against the move.