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Government incentives

In the Opinion page article "Let's Give Government Incentives to Productivity," Sept. 21, the author fails to recognize the differences between private and public sectors. The author correctly states: "No one knows better what is wrong with an organization than those who actually do the jobs, who experience first-hand the capabilities and shortcomings of those they work with." Annual appropriation and authorization statutes demonstrate that Congress refuses to permit the executive branch to play its role ; Congress mandates specific procedures, organizational structures, positions, pay, travel rules, studies, reports, gifts to favored sons, and otherwise micro-manages all levels of government.

The merit-pay concept for mid-level managers and the executive service neglects one thing: Funds for incentives have been absent year after year, so managers continue to fall behind private-sector counterparts. Although individual politicians may mean well, efficiency is not in their self-interest, and they have insisted on using the legislative process to set the rules. Richard Wojciechowski, Springfield, Va.

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