Government employees move up the ladder through educational credentials rather than merit. People are given jobs and promotions based on seniority, race and gender rather than ability or talent. Such a system often overlooks the deserving and rewards the incompetent. There is no payoff for achievement.
But I will say, I think there are some Democrats that don't want to address pension reform. I have taken on the issue of seniority and tenure. I think we have to address entitlements and the president has done that in his budget. I think we have to extend Medicare and the president has done that. But also reinvest in that program.
Germany's hierarchical reverence for seniority may have something to do with the fact that everything here happens relatively late. Germans start school at six, graduate in their late 20s, and get their first proper jobs in their 30s. Adolescence can go on a long time. It is rare for anyone to achieve responsibility before their 50s.
In 2008, Barack Obama did get Democrats hyperventilating, whipped up to a creamy froth, while John McCain creaked ahead like a cranky granddad whom Republicans let move to the front of the buffet line, deferring to seniority, as they had in 1996, when Bob Dole turtled to the top of the ticket.
I think the speaker of the House in Congress should be like the Massachusetts speaker: all-powerful. He should appoint committee chairmen and remove them if they stray from the party line. He should be answerable only to the caucus, which can remove him at any time. I'd throw the seniority system out on its ear in Congress.
Thomas P. O'Neill
If your firm gives you a choice of departments, think carefully about which practice area will best suit your personality. Keep in mind that your specialty will affect not only the type of legal services you'll perform, but also the skills and knowledge you'll develop. And it's important to remember that at a large firm, you'll likely only get one choice. There are very few attorneys at large firms who have more than one specialty, or change specialties down the road. As a result, the first choice you make is likely to affect the work you do for years to come. If, for some reason, you get stuck with a specialty you don't like, make a change as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it is to jump to another specialty. For one thing, as lawyers gain seniority, their firms may resist the change for fear of a loss of expertise that took the firm years to nurture and develop. Even if your firm does let you change specialties down the road, it may reduce your seniority or salary to reflect your newly acquired inexperience in your new practice area. Changing specialties further on in your career can also impair your marketability in the legal community. After all, if you make a change when your salary has reached a high level, other firms who culd hire you might choose not to, feeling they can get attorneys more experienced in the specialty for less money. Because your future potential in your new specialty is less valuable to a new employer than your past experience in your old specialty, it's very easy to get 'pigeon-holed' in a particular practice area after just a few years in practice.
WIlliam R. Keates
If a legislator is safe from competition, or if he represents groups with the same economic and political beliefs, he does not have to change his ideas or respond to the needs of the broader population. He can rest content with a mediocre, absentee performance knowing he will be returned to office. And as he is returned year after year the seniority system gives him immense control over people from other parts of the country whose views he need not heed at all.
We were no longer, technically, children although in many ways I am quite sure that we were. Childish has become a term of contempt. "Don't be childish, darling." "I hope to Christ I am. Don't be childish yourself." It is possible to be grateful that no one that you would willingly associate with you say, "Be mature. Be well-balanced, be well-adjusted." Africa, being as old as it is, makes all people except the professional invaders and spoilers into children. No one says to anyone in Africa, "Why don't you grow up?"... Men know that they are children in relation to the country and, as in armies, seniority and senility ride close together. But to have the heart of a child is not a disgrace. It is an honor. A man must comport himself as a man... But it is never a reproach that he has kept a child's heart, a child's honesty and a child's freshness and nobility.