Bill Bonner

We’re on zombie watch…

They’re everywhere…but especially here in the Washington metropolitan area.

Zombies get their money from the government – directly or indirectly. Or some other perk…some edge…some benefit.

Just open The Washington Post. Skip the international news, which is nothing but humbug and claptrap…usually having to do with Iraq, Afghanistan or Israel.

Go to the local news.

Let’s see…how about this: a little item. Martena Clinton made the news after her car was towed by the Secret Service and then lost. She had parked in a handicapped section. But wait…what’s this? Ms. Clinton isn’t handicapped. She’s not a half-wit. She’s not lame. In fact, in the photo, she looks pretty good.

So what’s she doing in the gimpy parking section? Well, her husband is said to be mobility challenged.

Special parking spaces seemed like a nice gesture when they were originally introduced. But the zombies quickly took advantage of them. Now, they’re used by friends and families of an invalid…often passed down from one generation to the next after the cripple dies.

That’s how zombies do it. They take advantage of an easily-corruptible system. Government salaries and benefits, for example, are typically about 30% better than those in the private sector.

You can see the difference here in Bethesda. The houses are all tarted up. The cars are all new and expensive. The streets and restaurants are full. Everything is modern, rich….

The editor of US News & World Report talks of a “great divide” in the US…those who have government salaries…and the rest of us. People who work for government – or otherwise are supported by the government – have made steady income gains over the last 30 years. Others have not. Government employee labor unions have grown while others have declined.

Being a zombie pays. And it’s likely to pay even better in the future. Because now zombies control the White House (it was the zombie states…those that owed the most money…and those that get most money from the government) that elected Barack Obama. They control the Congress too. Zombies have the time (what else do they have to do?) and the resources (often, direct contact with the government itself) to get involved in elections. They have a motive too – they can pass legislation putting more money in zombie hands. Military contractors, tax lawyers, “educators” and the handicapped – all have a keen interest in elections. The rest of us have our work, business, families, careers to attend to. Not that every tax lawyer is a chiseler, every military contractor is a cheat, and every person who can’t walk is a malingerer – far from it. But they have to be doubly honest and independent to avoid the corrupting gravity of Planet Zombie.


Bill Bonner
for The Daily Reckoning

Bill Bonner

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success in numerous industries. His unique writing style, philanthropic undertakings and preservationist activities have been recognized by some of America's most respected authorities. With his friend and colleague Addison Wiggin, he co-founded The Daily Reckoning in 1999, and together they co-wrote the New York Times best-selling books Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. His other works include Mobs, Messiahs and Markets (with Lila Rajiva), Dice Have No Memory, and most recently, Hormegeddon: How Too Much of a Good Thing Leads to Disaster. His most recent project is The Bill Bonner Letter.

  • Finbar

    What about banks. Is /every/ bank a zombie?


    No problem! Sure the Zombies will stagger about during the night, continuing to eat the middle class. Soon there will be no middle class and the Zombies will find the low class is untasty and inclined to bite back…

  • Dwayne


  • Whatever

    We government employees offer you a service that you will pay almost anything for – that is, not going to prison for tax evasion. Because we charge you so much less than you are willing to pay, your attitude is improper.

    See the link embedded in this comment.

    The caste system in the USA is as follows:

    1st caste: Politicians and elected officials. They enjoy the highest
    degree of legal protection and privilege for life.

    2nd caste: Government employees. They generally live comfortable lives with secure lifetime income at the expense of the 3rd caste. They also enjoy significant legal protection.

    3rd caste: US private citizens. This is the labor caste. Their work
    is responsible for all economic productivity. Every other caste is dependant on the taxes extorted from them.

    4th caste: Inmates. This consists almost entirely of members of the 3rd caste who were demoted by members of the 2nd caste
    acting under the laws made by the 1st caste.

    Know your place.

  • You Ungrateful Americnas

    We government employees offer you a service that you will pay almost anything for – that is, not going to prison for tax evasion. Because we charge you so much less than you are willing to pay, your attitude is improper.

    The caste system in the USA is as follows:

    1st caste: Politicians and elected officials. They enjoy the highest
    degree of legal protection and privilege for life.

    2nd caste: Government employees. They generally live comfortable lives with secure lifetime income at the expense of the 3rd caste. They also enjoy significant legal protection.

    3rd caste: US private citizens. This is the labor caste. Their work
    is responsible for all economic productivity. Every other caste is dependant on the taxes extorted from them.

    4th caste: Inmates. This consists almost entirely of members of the 3rd caste who were demoted by members of the 2nd caste
    acting under the laws made by the 1st caste.

    Know your place.

    google “we federal employees are worth double what you are worth” in quotes.

  • OSR

    Even out here on the outposts of Planet Zombie’s satellite moon known as Baltimore, the Zombie waves are still potent. I wrote a post about it a while back: click here

    I have had many friends who have recently fallen prey to the Zombie waves and some of there stories are enlightening. Not only are they making excellent salaries, but they often do little to earn them. Unless you count World of Warcraft tournaments, Tupperware parties, and watching teevee as productive tasks.

  • Mike Scooter

    Those of us in that third caste have ten whole amendments scratched onto parchment to protect us. When will we be using all of them? That is my real concern…they all will get used…or worse yet, the strange docile ungulate known as “US citizen” won’t have the moxie to assert them all when necessary.

  • Lucien Wagner

    A bridge too far. Lately your comments have been obnoxious when it comes to public employees. Teachers and government workers are about the only common people in this country who have kept up with inflation.
    The proletarians a.k.a. as inflation fighters have been srewed imperially by politicians, businesses, and banksters. As long as they could use their homes as ATM’s, they were very happy because they thought they had caught God by the big toe. You used to say: They (Chinese) labor, we think. Oh no, Bill, them (WV English) inflation fighters don’t think. They wanted something for nothing. I had too many of them as students and I know.
    Please, don’t blame government workers a and teachers for our malaise. They work, think, and don’t want to be inflation fighters! Why would they?

  • Eric

    “Please, don’t blame government workers a and teachers for our malaise…”

    Why do I blame them? Because we don’t need them. They are the monkeys on our backs with their hands in our wallets.

    Government employees are the only class of employee that are expanding… like a cancer.

    They are the parasite that eventually kills the body they feed on.

  • John Doe

    Every American citizen should be allowed to kill one bureaucrat every year. Of course as an alternative how about we rise up and kill them all right now? Let’s start with that Muslim criminal Obama bin laden!

  • John

    What a bunch of nonsense.

    For twenty years, I worked as a federal employee. I worked hard. The pay was OK, but far from what I could have made in private practice. Likewise, the benefits were OK. A part of my compensation package which partially made up for less than great pay. And now, I’m retired (at age 55). In any event, I never felt like the upper crust. Far from it. In the DC area, even at $100K or so, I pretty much felt like I was just getting by.

    Perhaps the author should try working as a public employee sometime. It’s real work and the pay isn’t all that great.

  • Ken JMR

    Dear Bill,
    “Don’t hate the player, hate the game”. Many large businesses have better employee benefits then what the government offers. A local example: on its “business campus” the company offers free daycare, a spa, flex hours, and work from home, etc. I don’t here any objections about the cost of these benefits. To clarify, the quoted $120K salary is really $60K with $60K added in government costs for benefits and retirement. Yes Government spending is out of control and Federal Government is too large and invasive, but that is a separate issue from workers who have chosen to serve.
    Ken JMR

  • Bloomer

    Government employees earn more and have better benefits then private sector employees on average. This is because they are unionized. Once these unions are busted up like the private sector unions have been, government workers will be able to enjoy a lifestyle with no medical benefits, a dismantled retirement plan, poverty level earnings and no protection from employers who treat them unfairly. These tax savings will then be passed on to fat cat rich folk who can then use this found money to finance new ways to screw over working people.

  • wawawa

    I work for FED gov. and I believe I and my coworkers in my office are overpaid by 20% . One day I said that to my coworkers and they gave me the nastiest look ever.

  • Richard

    I must agree with Neal Boortz on this one. The teachers unions are (and have been for quite some time)the greatest threat to the survival of our republic. As a nation, we throw more money at education than all the other developed countries, yet the product of our educational system is less and less productive. Anything wrong with this picture? I am not disparaging any teachers on a personal level; it’s not them. There are many dedicated individuals that honestly believe that they can make a difference. Perhaps some of them do. But there is a more basic underlying problem. The system is broken and no amount of money will fix it. Mandatory public eduaction does nothing to “educate”. It indoctrinates, and the teachers unions are in it for themselves and not for the betterment of their students. Read “The Underground History of American Eduacation” by John Gotto. It speaks volumes about how unions come into power and once in power, they are virtually impossible to stop.

  • Bubba

    I find it interesting that many if not all of the “pro-government workers” crowd have some direct tie-in to government work. A bias? Of course not!… You aren’t factoring in your pay and how you’re going to buy sh** for the rest of your life into your opinion I’m sure (utterly sarcastic right now)

    I commend wawawa for his honest comment that he might be overpaid.

    I know some workers in the DC area that get paid big time FAT pensions that give 125% of final salary!? That is not very fair in my opinion and when that happens over and over again it puts a REAL strain on the fiscal solvency of the USA! What the hell are you people smoking.

    What it all comes down to is how much should someone be paid for doing government work and what some group of people (with the purse-strings) are willing to pay for said work.

    Now don’t get me wrong, lots of government workers do a fine job and deserve a fair wage. These include but are not limited to the greatest teachers out there who ac tually care for children and try their hardest to make them succeed. Those who don’t deserve it are the crappy teachers who just do it for a paycheck and they have no ambition to do anything else but do the bare minimum to fit the aoften broad performance “guidelines” that have been created.

    The buttery Golden Age days of American financial dominance are coming to a peak, and these buttery pensions are something that needs to be discussed. Some jobs are just fat and help spin American beauracracy even wilder and must be aborted for fiscal solvency.

    Debit over Credit

    (btw I may disagree with Bill sometimes but I know second hand from trusted braggarts that some government jobs are overpaid (I have concluded through comparison) … To undo those salaries are tantamount to treason so what do we do!?

  • Curious

    I feel that the author is reflecting the general phenomenon, majority represents the whole true picture. There are in particular or in isolation of rare few good species, I am sorry that their rare unique sincere and honest personalities are being overshadowed or tarnished by the murky dark atmospheric undercurrent. So, in this connection, to cleanse oneself off the contamination of the whole flock of zombies, the answer is to keep a great great distance away from the evil source.

    Mr BB, by the way, are the zombies planning to live in the 5-sided condo?
    Are zombies now ready for a hardcore sex revolution?

  • Citizen

    If you can read this thank a teacher.

    If you can read this in freedom, thank a soldier.

  • Thankful

    I think it may be “thank a veteran” but either way, it’s fine.

    Get ready for Class Warfare, folks, it’s here.

    Want to complain about “educators” (cute to put that in quotes, Bill), then complain about professors who get their $40-50K for teaching 8-9 months a year working a few hours a week. But don’t complain to the ones laid off at SUNY Buffalo, or to the French/Italian/Russian/Classics/Theater professors (regardless of tenure) that were told by the Provost to go seek new professions. The jobs aren’t that secure.

    Oddball classes are filled by adjuncts at about $3K per class. So… if you can get 6 or 7 classes per year you can almost earn enough to pay for healthcare… in between working your other jobs, commuting to and from this college/university, preparing lessons and grading papers.

    Same for educators. Thousands are laid off in Cali, New York and Florida. Class sizes are up. Kids will have to work harder, behave more and parents will have to buck up. Got a gripe with education? Home-school! Let’s see how many are up to it. My friends gave up as it became too much. They are thrilled with sending their kids to public school (after a failed attemped at parochial school).

    Educators cost too much? Try daycare. For my two kids it’s $1200 per month, almost three times as much as my SCHOOL/POLICE/FD/GARBAGE property taxes! School is too expensive? It’s MUCH MUCH MUCH cheaper than daycare, and that’s a fact.

    I’ve done it all, pump gas, auto mechanic, janitor, pool repairman, construction, carpentry, college professor, university professor, K-12 teacher, newspaper delivery… well, maybe not quite all. I haven’t worked on Wall Street or in a science lab. I haven’t sat in a gov’t welfare office, but I have done a lot.

    There are zombies in every job. Some are protected through political connections, like custodians that don’t scrub toilets or empty trash. Oh well.

    It’s all coming to an end anyhow. The schools will be undone. Class sizes will shoot up, teachers will be laid off. People will figure out new businesses. Life will be expensive no matter how much money is cut.

    The gov’t will continue to overspend on reckless military campaigns and finance them “off balance sheet”.

    The gov’t will continue to meddle in the State Right of education through wasteful and idiotic programs like NCLB and Race to the Bottom.

    People need to start spending more time with their children (or stop having them) and teaching them themselves. That’s the most important job in the world. Most people aren’t willing to do it and think by paying their taxes for schools that is enough. It isn’t. Although there are exceptions, the best students have parents at home that are positive, good role models and that encourage their children to be successful.

  • Taxpayer Fool

    Nothing wrong with government jobs or government employees, USPS excluded, though there’s just too many of them.

  • LS

    I am a government contractor at the moment, and I for one agree with this article. Every day I work with GS employees who 1) have no education beyond high school, 2) they make over $60k per year with automatic yearly increases, 3) they take cigarette breaks every hour, and 4) they always whine and complain about how much work they have to do and can never get caught up (go figure). I have also worked in the private sector, and with a college degree and years of actual work experience, have never made that much money, and worked 3x as hard, and would have never been allowed to take smoke breaks so often. And as a contractor, I still do not get paid as much as these people or enjoy the same benefits, and I am doing the exact same job and more qualified.

  • arrowrod

    Bizarre. Do any of you know of a “competent” government worker?
    I retired and moved to Florida. There are many retired NY city public employees. Their pensions are beyond belief. How is it possible for their pension fund to pay these people.
    Now, New Jersey public employee retirees are starting to get concerned that their pension fund is empty. After all of the years of them explaining to me that New Jersey state law made pension payments the number one priority in state budgeting.

    Most of these people are unconcerned with living a “frugal” life style, spending every dollar, knowing that a cost of living raise is coming.

    Then, government employee health plans….

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