There was a time when all agents were well paid, all technology in HQ worked, and members of the PPC had so much free time that they didn’t know what to do with it. In the early days, when the Mysterious Somebody ran the PPC and the Evermind was Head of Finance, many things were different.
Those days are no more. A series of events involving the Department of Internal Security and a PPC subsidy called Bioengineering, Inc. led to the time know as the Reorganisation. Many of the PPC’s sources of funding, discovered to be instrumental in the creation of the very Mary-Sues it was founded to eliminate, were shut down. The budget was slashed, and to make matters worse, those members of the old order who were removed from their posts managed to take much of the money from the PPC’s accounts as they left.
This, combined with the fact that the PPC is now run by a Board of Department Heads who often disagree on what requires most funding (the Ironwood, Department of Sufficiently Advanced Technology, and Tiger Lily, Department of Internal Affairs, consistently argue that the upkeep of their departments is more essential to the running of the PPC than paying the agents) has led to drastic cutbacks all through the organisation. Many agents believe that they alone have been targeted, but this is not the case.
As to the lack of free time, this is a result of several factors. Firstly, related to the Reorganisation, we have reason to believe that the primary players in the dictatorship that the PPC became in those days relocated to the Factory (a previous source of funding, revealed to be creating Mary-Sues from a form of liquid energy) and stepped up the production rates, flooding the Multiverse with these our adversaries. At the same time, Earth’s addiction to the Internet began to increase, and online fanfiction sites grew in number.
However, even then agents knew what it was to have free time. The true explosion in badfic was due to the actions of one man: Peter Jackson. As a result of his Lord of the Rings films, fanfiction became a widespread phenomenon among hormonal teenage girls, who proceeded to write ’Sues by the thousand. HQ was thrown into confusion, reassigning as many agents as it could to the LotR divisions. While the Harry Potter fandom has since attracted its fair share of ’Suethors, it seems fair to say that LotR is the primary reason for the high rate of missions.