Morale, pensions, drug testing and the observations of a nonfed are subjects of today's Monday Morning Quarterback letters. If you want to join in, write us c/o The Monday Morning Quarterback, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071.
This is what some of your friends and neighbors are saying:
* "Attached is a copy of part of a letter one of my colleagues recently sent to a young man soon to graduate from an Ivy League school with a master's in economics and international affairs. He wrote the student who had inquired about possible government employment.
"The advice my colleague felt compelled to give . . . is the inevitable result of the kind of treatment federal workers have received in recent years . . . . It won't be long before the only people willing to work for the government are those who lack the qualifications to work anywhere else.
"Here's what my coworker (a senior PhD economist) wrote the student: 'Since you are asking for advice, I am glad to give you a few observations. If I were you, I would not look for federal employment in the first instance. A government career is no longer a very attractive prospect and is likely to get worse with the provisions already introduced by the administration and likely to be adopted by the Congress. Therefore, look in the private sector.' " Fed in D.C.
* "I'm a mid-level manager. Four years ago my pay allowed for saving and some modest investment. Now my pay no longer covers my family expenses. My wife is working, not to prepare for our retirement or buy a new car, but just to pay our bills. We are not alone.
"An increasing number of my employees are now working a second job just to survive. Employee moral is low and employees are beginning to openly demonstrate fear and anger. Like the commercial says, 'I work an honest day and want an honest deal.' " J.C.M., Fairfax
* "If the president wants to 'privatize' parts of government, he should start with the civil service retirement system. It would take the system out of the political arena, and retirees wouldn't have to beg politicians for fair treatment. Also it would produce a higher investment return in the private sector. A good model is the Teachers Assurance Annuity Association and College Retirement Equity Fund." R.R.F., Strasburg, Va.
* "On the subject of drug testing: Why federal employees? Why not Cabinet members, or candidates for elective office, presidential appointees or members of the President's Commission on Organized Crime, or defense attorneys, jurors, computer operators, movie producers or entertainers? Why did it start with civil service employees?
"Perhaps my understanding of the threat of organized crime is misguided. For the record I don't use or condone the use of drugs." V.F., Arlington
* "After watching on TV a group of federal parasites marching in front of the White House complaining of budget cuts, I am moved to write.
"Those whiners seem to feel programs should be retained or not cut for the sole purpose of keeping them employed. These same whiners constantly complain they are paid less than private industry. Are they willing to assume the risks of private sector employees? Does GE keep plants operating at a loss merely to avoid firing employees? Of course not.
"No needed employee will be terminated. Those that are released because of program redirection will not be missed. So tell them to get back to their jobs and be glad they have jobs to get back to." C.H.T., Fairfax