I am reminded of the times of the Great Coalition in Austria where the two establishment parties had agreed amongst each other, in writing!, to distribute all management positions in the public sector according to the results of the last election. And the managers then followed this very same principle in their own personnel policies.
The following saying became a phrase-of-the-day: “You need 3 people for every position in a public sector company: one Black (Conservative Party), one Red (Socialist Party) and one who does the job!”
In the late 1980s, Austria’s public sector began crashing under its own weight resulting in major bankrupties and huge losses for tax payers. Most of the companies were subsequently privatized and the majority became extremely successful. Voest, the steel company, was the most prominent example. Chancellor Kreisky’s unforgettable announcement to Voest-workers had been: “A few billion more debt doesn’t nearly cause me as many sleepless nights as a thousand new unemployed would!” Well, not too long thereafter, Kreisky could worry about both – debt and unemployed.
Incidentally, Voest is today one of Europe’s most efficient steel companies.