Under the veneer of bustling government activity, a shockingly high number of federal office buildings lie abandoned. A series of figures have been unveiled recently, highlighting the reality that between 50% to 90% of these buildings, symbols of our government’s inefficiency, are glaringly empty. This wasteful spectacle extends to the farthest corners of our nation, even to San Francisco, where an astonishing 23 million square feet of office space sits unoccupied. That’s enough space to host a workforce of 180,000 – a figure that dwarfs the number of employees in many urban commercial districts.
Even the COVID-19 crisis, which triggered the exodus from these federal headquarters, doesn’t excuse the permanent, costly void that now characterizes these public structures. A federal audit reveals that up to 90% of 24 Washington-area headquarters are deserted, including institutions that govern federal office space like the Government Services Administration. Meanwhile, just six agencies managed to muster half their staff into their offices in the first quarter of 2023. This inefficiency, ironically mirroring the stumbling private sector, is ironically also mirrored in places like Portland, where city employees are reluctant to return to a downtown area overrun by fentanyl and homelessness. When the ones responsible for our cities’ upkeep can’t even bring themselves to return, what hope can we hold for the rest?
#GovernmentWaste #EmptyFederalBuildings #TaxpayerDollars
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