On 4 Oct 1957, the Space Age began as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, into orbit. The US was in a race with Russia to get a satellite up; obviously, they won. We were originally using the Navy’s Vanguard Rocket to launch our attempt, but the Vanguard couldn’t do it–we switched to the Army’s Jupiter C, and ultimately got ours into space. The crew working on the Vanguard caught a lot of, well, crap. First the rocket was nick-named the Rear-Guard, later the Civil Service Rocket–it won’t work and you can’t fire it.
There were very good reasons for all the protections that were built into the Civil Service system when it was begun over 100 years ago. I think, under today’s circumstances, it’s time to revisit the employee protections. The Great Civil Servants should be able to keep their jobs when there are cut backs, despite their longevity. The poor ones should be able to be turned loose easily–they are, after all, public SERVANTS, our servants, not our masters.