Whether on a drilling job or in government, beware of whom you hire.

Imagine that you finally got that big bid you’ve been working on for quite a while. The job is bigger than anything you’ve ever done, but you’ve got good iron and good hands, so you know you can do it. The only problem: There are some parts of the contract that you just don’t do, either because they’re beyond your scope of work, or you just don’t feel confident doing them. It’s time to hire a sub. You look around and find a company that does what you need, and make a deal. You do most of the work, they do the specialty stuff, and you pay them out of your contract money. No problem, we’ve all done it.

I remember some years ago, I drilled a well for the government. It looked like a fairly simple well – about 120 feet deep, gravel-packed, 1-horse pump, that sort of thing – but when we got down to the additional specs they required, things got considerably more complicated! Among other things, they wanted a heated fiberglass pump house on a 6-inch slab with enough re-bar to hold up a small planet, and a gas chlorinator, along with enough controls to fly the space shuttle. The purpose of this well was to provide water to a guard shack that contained one coffee maker – no sink, no toilet, no shower – a coffee maker, for cryin’ out loud! We subbed out all the unnecessary stuff, and passed along the bill. That is your tax dollars at work. We did our due diligence, and got a sub that was able to do the job on time, and on budget.

This brings me to my point: I’ll bet you seldom think about another sub you’ve got, whether you want them or not. They are involved in every job you do, and everything you buy. If you did your due diligence, or even Goggled ’em, here’s what you’d find:

They’ve got more than 500 employees, and have the following statistics:

  • 29 have been accused of spousal abuse;

  • Seven have been arrested for fraud;

  • 19 have been accused of writing bad checks;

  • 117 directly or indirectly have bankrupted at least two businesses;

  • Three have done time for assault;

  • 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit;

  • 14 have been arrested on drug- related charges;

  • Eight have been arrested for shoplifting;

  • 21 currently are defendants in lawsuits; and

  • 84 have been arrested for drunk-driving in the last year.

Out of the 535 people in the company you have hired, a good number of them are low-life scoundrels – rapscallions, reprobates, backsliders and miscreants, no less.

‘Bout this time, you are starting to wonder what kind of sub you’ve hired.

Let me break the news to ya. You’ve got ’em, like it or not, ’cause you can’t break the contract. I’ll let you in on who they are – the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Yup, we’ve got ’em, whether we want ’em or not. We elected them, and we’re going to pay them – with most of your profits – no matter what kind of job they do. I bet you’re proud of your sub now!

This is an election year. We’re all supposed to exercise our right to vote, and hopefully, make a good decision as to whom to vote for. The problem is: I’ve yet to see anyone I’d care to vote for. I’m not counting local elections – these guys usually are some pretty good hands who just want to help their community. I wonder how many elections we’d have to have if there were a “none of the above” spot on the ballot. I’ve met several candidates running for elected office. They show up with a clammy handshake, wanting money and my vote. I ask them only one question: “Are you already in office?” If they are, I ain’t gonna vote for ’em. I want some new faces. There might be a chance of an honest man getting elected. I doubt it, though: Most honest men don’t want that kind of job.

Congress has got an approval rating somewhere below smallpox, but everybody thinks that the problem is with the “other” congressmen or senators. Everybody thinks their representative is doing a good job because he or she got somebody else to pay for that new bridge down the road – probably named it after some other grifter. Meanwhile, most of the unwashed masses are sitting around, wondering, “Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?”

In the coming elections, I can’t see much difference between either party. One wants a slow road to perdition, and the other, a little faster; the outcome will be the same, it’s just a matter of time.

I think it’s about time to hitch up our britches and make some changes. The Constitution was written by some pretty smart hands. Why don’t we read it, follow it, and run our country based on the principles that made our country great?

I’m ready to fire that sub!