Tuesday, December 12, 2006

In Public Service

Public Service is important. I know. I was once a public servant. It sounds self-serving and perhaps it is. But not as self-serving as some of the tripe that passes for wisdom on talk radio. You’d think that government is the root of all evil, listening to the radio or reading some editorials. Odd that every country in the world chooses to have one. And many would gladly trade theirs for ours.

We can argue about the size of government. I think that is a legitimate debate. It’d be a little more difficult to argue for bad government, although, I suspect you could find some that would. Assuming you aren’t one of those, it follows that, whatever size government you believe we should have, you’d like for it to be a good government.

It’s really hard to have good government when you put Uncle Joe’s half-wit son in charge of a department.

Government needs good people. Trust me. Government employees do some important work. From air traffic controllers to CDC scientists to Congressmen. Yes, even Congress. I can’t understand a society that thinks little-to-nothing of paying a CEO $20 million dollars a year to attract “the best and the brightest” but only wants to pay the guy that works for them -- a Congressman -- $165,200 dollars. If you were the smartest guy in your State which job would you take ? No, I don’t want to pay a Congressman $20 million a year. I don’t think our Representatives should be motivated mostly by greed. I don’t think they should be reduced to taking barely legal/moral handouts/bribes to enjoy some of the finer things in life, either. I suspect that somebody of the caliber that we’d want to represent us would like to buy their wife a nice house and send their kids to a nice college too. I think they should be able to do so, without feeling beholden to somebody else with more money than scruples.

I could go on about this subject for some time but I’m trying to keep these posts short. Besides, there’s always tomorrow. Do me a favor and try to think of government employees as they really are -- your employees. You’ve got a few bad ones but you’ve got some really good ones too. I worked with them. And the next time the political season comes around think about who you would like to hire to work for you. If they don’t apply for the job, figure out what it’d take to get them to come work for you.

Don Brown
December 12, 2006

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