Can state-owned companies be saved from politicians?

Luc Williams

On July 2, 1888, US President James Garfield was waiting for a train at the Washington train station. A crowd of Americans greeted the president who was going on vacation. Suddenly a shot was fired, the wounded president staggered and fell.

Garfield died a few months later. His killer turned out to be Charles Guiteau, a mentally ill government job seeker. He resented the president for not becoming consul in Paris, even though he had no qualifications for it. He was hanged a year later.

Garfield’s murder, however, sparked a wide debate in the USA around the so-called the spoils system that had been operating in the USA since the 1830s. The president and his officials had complete freedom in appointing officials throughout the country, so after the change of government, several thousand people lost their jobs and several tens of thousands started fighting for jobs. After Garfield’s tragic death, a non-partisan commission was established which developed the principles of operation of the civil service based on the competences of the civil service. The loot system gradually disappeared.

The Polish politician carefully weaves a web

If a huge number of people in Poland who were promised jobs and did not keep their word wanted to shoot at politicians, the latter would quickly run out. However, if there was a Polish Charles Guiteau (which we obviously wouldn’t want), such a tragedy would make politicians think about civilized principles of personnel selection for state-owned companies. They have no motivation yet. Party nepotism, although it arouses public outrage, is thriving. It is an excellent tool for building a network of connections in the party, in the government and in the field, and this is the basic task of a Polish politician, and even a measure of his effectiveness. A person who does not systematically get jobs in state-owned companies will not make a career in Polish politics. In turn, the nominations of political opponents are a PR game. We appointed specialists and they…

Even if it must be admitted that some of “our” people were not specialists, “their” nominees are still worse…

The personnel carousel has already started, the president’s names are circulating on the stock exchange, where are the promises from the election campaign to depoliticize state-owned companies? Why is the Polish president like a May beetle? Will a trade union cure for HR diarrhea help? How to pay the president? Read on High voltage


Luc's expertise lies in assisting students from a myriad of disciplines to refine and enhance their thesis work with clarity and impact. His methodical approach and the knack for simplifying complex information make him an invaluable ally for any thesis writer.