Draining the agricultural swamp

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.
Swamp dwellers are unhappy.   They are going to have to go to flyover country if they want to keep their jobs.   This will make it more difficult to work the system, and make it more difficult to collude with their pals in the activist community.
This is exactly the sort of remedy that I have been hoping for.
But outside observers, current employees and members of Congress have pushed back against the plan since it was first announced last year.
Kevin Hunt, acting vice president of the ERS Union, condemned the move as “cold-hearted” and that it “highlights his disregard for the rights and well-being of employees.”
The relocation plan has drawn opposition from House Democrats, who included language in their budget banning USDA from using funds allocated by Congress to relocate either agency outside the capital. A group of Democratic senators have also introduced legislation that would bar USDA from moving the research agencies.
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23 thoughts on “Draining the agricultural swamp”

  1. The outragey article I quoted is from CNN:

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/13/politics/usda-employees-relocated-kansas-city-perdue/index.html

     

    It concludes with this lagniappe:

    Other agencies within the USDA are also experiencing uncertainty.
    Last month, USDA announced it will cease operating the Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers, which help train low-income, rural students to respond to national emergencies, and will transfer them to the Department of Labor. Nine out of the 25 centers are expected to close as part of the move, according to the announcement, and a union spokesperson from the National Federation of Federal Employees told CNN that the move will cut more than 1,000 jobs.

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  2. Robert A. McReynolds:
    It’s interesting that we can’t even move an agency or department let alone decrease its size. Why the determination to keep this in DC

    Living in the D.C. area would be a giant pain.   It is expensive and has bad traffic congestion.   Also, the tap water there is of such a bad quality as to be a national embarrassment.

    But if you are climbing the bureaucratic ladder it is the place to be; you can submit on all sorts of government jobs in other agencies.   This is how the denizens of the swamp network and burrow into safe niches from which they can create little fiefdoms.

    Also, Washington is the place to be if you are seeking to advance some Leftist cause like saving the planet or crushing conservative organizations or harassing Christian schools or creating large amounts of worthless paperwork for businesses.   You can network with the thought leaders from all the Leftist activist groups.

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  3. Curious how the DoA managed their job in the first place while living in D.C.

    Hey MJB, think we could instigate a similar plan for the UN ? Let’s send them to Somalia.

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  4. Seawriter:
    We need to move Housing and Urban Development to Detroit.

    Giggle, although there has been some important gentrification happening on the waterfront across from Windsor thanks to the private sector. A lot of techies recently graduated from MSU and U-M don’t feel like moving to Chicago and NYC as I did and are beginning to start to build a fledgling Silicon Valley there. Recently visited and was delighted to see the impact these kids have had on a part of the community and the other businesses they’re beginning to attract: Farmer’s Market, Starbucks, Whole Foods, etc.

    The gentrification won’t happen as quickly as it did in NYC because there are fewer citizens and backers and no Donald to speed up the process. 🙂

    Still, I feel it’s headed in the right direction and I like the fact that Detroit may not be a one-horse town anymore driven by a single industry.

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  5. EThompson:
    Detroit may not be a one-horse town anymore driven by a single industry.

    I did not know they were drawing automobiles by horses in Detroit nowadays. Doesn’t surprise me. Socialists used electricity to light their houses before they started using candles. Horse-drawn cars are kind of the same thing.

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  6. “Kevin Hunt, acting vice president of the ERS Union, condemned the move as “cold-hearted” and that it “highlights his disregard for the rights and well-being of employees.”

    So, not only do they have a right to a job for life with zero expectations or accountability and salary & benefits far in excess of those in the private sector (who actually produce goods and services as opposed to impediments); that also have a right to have the job where they demand. Only in (modern) America!

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  7. EThompson:
    Curious how the DoA managed their job in the first place while living in D.C.

    Hey MJB, think we could instigate a similar plan for the UN ? Let’s send them to Somalia.

    Actually I think it is a good idea to keep the UN in a place where we can keep an eye on them.

    I was thinking of moving EPA to Dallas, IRS to Cincinnati, and Dept. of Labor to Atlanta, for starters.   Putting Agriculture in Kansas City is a very very good start.  First move two bureaus, then two more, and the next thing you know those activists and lobbyists in Washington can just talk to each other.

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  8. Seawriter:

    EThompson:
    Detroit may not be a one-horse town anymore driven by a single industry.

    I did not know they were drawing automobiles by horses in Detroit nowadays. Doesn’t surprise me. Socialists used electricity to light their houses before they started using candles. Horse-drawn cars are kind of the same thing.

    Apparently you missed the entire point of my well-informed comment. But I suspect that was your original purpose because it’s so much more fun to make all the boys laugh at nonsensical scenarios and at my expense.

    MJBubba:
    Actually I think it is a good idea to keep the UN in a place where we can keep an eye on them.

    If we moved them and rescinded our financial support it would be the best guarantee to keep them out of trouble. Unfortunately, “keeping an eye on them” has done little to minimize the waste.

    Just take away the donuts.

    They would not only lose their fiscal ability to wreak havoc, they’d open up billions of dollars of valuable real estate that when de Blasio  leaves would help the city immensely and open up a very tight and competitive NYC apt market.

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  9. Here is the letter from Secretary Perdue to the troops in the bureaus to be relocated.

    https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/061319-AAE.pdf

    I want you all to know that this decision was not entered into lightly. And having recently undergone a major relocation of my own, I understand that this decision creates personal disruption for some of our colleagues and their families. But I want to make sure that this transition and the coming months are as smooth and as minimally disruptive as possible.

    None of this reflects on the jobs being done by our ERS or NIFA employees, and in fact, I frequently tell my Cabinet colleagues that USDA has the best workforce in the federal government. These changes are more steps down the path to better service to our customers and will help us fulfill our informal motto to “do right and feed everyone.”

    Finally, taxpayers stand to receive significant savings as we will generate nearly $300 million nominally over a 15-year lease term on employment costs and rent. This will allow us to redirect more funding for our research of critical needs like rural prosperity and agricultural competitiveness, and for programs and employees to be retained in the long run, even in the face of tightening budgets.

     

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  10. EThompson:
    Apparently you missed the entire point of my well-informed comment. But I suspect that was your original purpose because it’s so much more fun to make all the boys laugh at nonsensical scenarios and at my expense.

    Now  I am really confused. I do believe the gentrification on the waterfront across from Windsor is a nonsensical scenario, but I thought you believed it was a good idea.

    Not that it is. The end if it succeeds will either be San Francisco or Silicon Valley – a feudalistic fascism lacking the underpinning of a solid working and middle class. The alternative (and more typical end is a failure which leaves the area more desolate than it began.

    Given what Silicon Valley is doing to impose censorship and conformity, I don’t know why anyone would want to replicate it. Telecon Corridor in Dallas or high-tech paired with agile manufacturing like you see in Houston seem a better solution.

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  11. Seawriter:
    Now  I am really confused. I do believe the gentrification on the waterfront across from Windsor is a nonsensical scenario, but I thought you believed it was a good idea.

    At the risk of getting this comment pulled, pls just shut your little uneducated mouth. You’re less interested in facts than snark. I’m too smart to tolerate your kind so pls do not ever respond to a single comment I may make again.

    Ricochet re-visited. No thanks.

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  12. EThompson:
    do not ever respond to a single comment I may make again.

    That’s not your call.  Part of not being Ricochet is that criticism of one’s comments isn’t arbitrarily cut off by a fit of pique.

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  13. Phil Turmel:

    EThompson:
    do not ever respond to a single comment I may make again.

    That’s not your call.  Part of not being Ricochet is that criticism of one’s comments isn’t arbitrarily cut off by a fit of pique.

    It is if it is specifically meant to create discord, snark and disrespect and not a mere debate of thought. I purposefully posted my reactions to both Seawriter and MJB together so you could differentiate between the two

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  14. MJBubba:
    Actually I think it is a good idea to keep the UN in a place where we can keep an eye on them.

    If we put some really good spy satellites over Somalia would that be ok?

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  15. Damocles:

    MJBubba:
    Actually I think it is a good idea to keep the UN in a place where we can keep an eye on them.

    If we put some really good spy satellites over Somalia would that be ok?

    I like where you’re going here D, but this means we still have to spend money. I don’t want to! The UN has become a bureaucratic hoax.

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  16. From a column by Joshua Sharf:

    https://amgreatness.com/2019/06/17/hell-no-we-wont-go-to-kansas-city/

    It’s not necessarily how easy it is for a farmer to get to D.C. that matters; very few will make that trip. It’s how easy it is for the bureaucrats to get to the farmers, and in Kansas City, they’ll be only a few minutes’ drive from the fruited plain itself. In this case, going native isn’t an unpleasant byproduct, it’s the point. In those interagency meetings, maybe one of those agencies will see itself as representing the farmers and ranchers whose lives the government is trying to run.

    Despite all the claims of loss of efficiency and having to move to a place with decent barbecue and jazz, it’s hard to escape the belief that what they’re really afraid of is a loss of status, which is Washington’s real currency.

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  17. 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.

    This is an example of that civility thing they keep talking about, right?

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  18. TheReticulator:

    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 halfwThay across the country.

    This is an example of that civility thing they keep talking about, right?

    TheReticulator!   How good to see your name again.   You have been missed at Ratburger.org.

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  19. MJBubba:
    TheReticulator! How good to see your name again. You have been missed at Ratburger.org.

    I check in sporadically. It’s good to see your name and the others again, too.

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