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Re: California State Employees' Initiative

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Kathleen A. O'Brien wrote:

> >>I've been reading a lot lately about the initiative proposed for the
> ballot by California state employees that would require consultants
> responding to RFPs for work for state agencies to compete on price to
> get the work.  Last I knew, this intiative was slated for the June, 1998
> ballot.<<
>
> They were actually calling this the "Taxpayers Savings Initiative" which
> reminds me of the Vietnam Era - "bombing a village in order to save it".

[...]

> To me this looks like such an obvious land-grab. Realisitically it will
> probably affect the bigger firms much more than us smaller guys, but it
> still makes me ill.

<sigh>  That's the sad part about this measure, in my book.  As a gummint
employee (albeit not in California) and as a former employee of a large
consultant firm, I can see merit to both sides of this proposal, and can
equally see negative consequences on both sides.  You've stated the
consultants' side of this in the message above and in your other, quite
informative post on the subject.  In that post, by the way, I find fascination
in the way that this issue now has become a potential racist hate crime.
Amazing smoke-screen tactic!  And now that the teachers' union is involved, I'm
sure we're only days from hearing syrupy claims that one must vote against the
proposal "for the sake of the children." :-)  Knowing that most subscribers to
this list work as consultants, and that very few government employees subscribe
to this list, I can anticipate the flame war I'd set off by making any
observations on the merits of the government employees' side of this one, so
I'll just let it go.

I don't know what the proper solution to this disagreement is.  I guess that's
for the voters of California to decide, but I do regret the public display of
vindictiveness in pursuing the debate on both sides.  I don't think either side
wins from engineers and architects fighting each other like this on TV, in the
newspapers, and in the halls of the state legislature.  In the public's
estimation of the profession, engineering will bear scars from this one for a
long time to come, regardless of the vote in June.

Nigel