Here’s an article I put on GovLoop in 2010. It got a lot of attention on GovLoop and other a few other sites like Federal News Radio. On one site, there was a lot of comments that I would call hate mail if my email had been out there. Two years later, I still largely feel the same way although I have found it is a racially-sensitive day for some. (Some Native Americans view it as the beginning of North America being stolen); it’s also a day of celebration for others. Depsite this, I’m raising my glass again, two years later, to an unpopular opinion — Columbus Day 2012: The Joke Continues. Below is the original post and here’s the link to it.
If we were analyzing federal holidays in a Six Sigma class, we’d cross off Columbus Day right away.
How can the federal government get more bang for its buck? Well, easy…let’s work on Columbus Day.
Does this mean eliminating a national holiday? No. Just writing off Columbus Day as a federal holiday. Columbus Day would stick around, but we’d work.
The truth is we serve the public, and there’s a popular perception that we are insulated from the Great Recession. As with most things, the truth is in the gray area.
Lots of us get it. I was out of work for a long time. It was painful, demeaning and life sucked. Some of us earn less money than we used to. Some of us support tuition increases for children or help our elderly parents.
But some of us don’t get the pain.
Eliminating Columbus Day as a federal holiday is a small sacrifice. Sure, it doesn’t save $5.5 billion by furloughing most federal workers for 2 weeks. However, it shows the public that we’re making sacrifices too. I’m sure it’s not the only sacrifice we’ll be asked to make, but it’s a good start.
Besides, it’s Columbus Day. Who really celebrates Columbus Day?
I think Owen Wilson said it best in You, Me and Dupree: “Incidentally, what’s your policy on Columbus Day?”