Believe it or not, there once was a time when Republicans and ultra Tea Party conservatives (yes, they are different) had not yet convinced the American public federal employees were the functional equivalent of the Taliban. Of course, there are many contributing factors that negatively influenced the negative public perception of the federal workforce over the years. For instance, the American Labor Movement (ALM) contributed to the negative public perception as it became increasingly involved in polarizing social issues, distancing itself from its core mission of representing labor interests in conditions of employment and wages while allowing incompetent and corrupt leadership to emerge at the local level of union operations. Then of course you have the federal government itself, that allowed false perceptions of federal employees to go unchallenged and unchecked to such a point, the American public actually believes federal employees cannot be fired (removed from federal service or terminated during probationary status). Finally, though not inclusively, federal employees are to blame as well. Approximately two million employees, potentially an incredibly formidable voting block, has not been able to coalesce into a single cohesive voting group representing their own interests; actually voting in many instances to give themselves cuts to pay and benefits. This is just a brief description of how the federal workforce devolved to the state it now finds itself- groveling over a one-percent raise after years of pay freezes and benefits cuts. The American federal workforce is undergoing “Walmartization.”
The following video, produced by the AFL-CIO and AFGE in the 1950’s, seems to capture both the importance and altruistic context which once attracted and retained employees.