People don't fail to disappoint. It reminds me of the Free Rider problem, as it is presented by Dr. Pakaluk. If other people don't pull their weight for the sake of the group, why should you? It is what law and virtue require, but there is the very real temptation to do the minimum (or even less) because of a perceived unfairness in the sharing of some burden. Similarly, why should you hold yourself to a high standard for behavior and comportment and industriousness, if others do less and do just fine?
I still think that it is a form of punishment when the mediocre and the unqualified are elevated to positions of authority. The bureaucratic state has overstretched itself, and reaps what it has sown.
Dr. Pakaluk's follow up posts:
The Free Rider Problem, and Aristotle the Whipping Boy
The Free Rider and the Dumb Ass