Public Servants

The term has often been one that garners respect, as though the public servant is someone donating his or her time out of a sense of duty and purpose.  “Serving” the public and milking the public are somewhat different concepts though.  Someone who makes over $100K in a small town public school, for example, with a nice medical insurance policy and a nice pension is a “servant” while someone doing much the same thing in the private sector for half the pay and no pension, supporting himself while paying the taxes to support the Public Servant, is not a servant at all.  The private entrepreneur is “greedy”.  Right?  Greed and the profit motive are one in the same thing, right?  That’s what you’ve been taught, I bet.

What do you call a group of public servants, coercively funded, that has been organized, has huge political influence, and is currently helping to bankrupt several states?  Is that public service, or is it something else?

Some state governments are starting to realize that the gravy train for the selfless public servants is running dry– that something major needs to change.  The response from the selfless servants is that they’re taking to the streets.

I’ve been saying for years that public education, by its very nature and structure, was destined to become a de facto political party (which of course it is) with one of its goals being the indoctrination of the students to a certain political and world view amenable to the desires of the government/education complex.  It’s a given.  It’s an inevitability.  A guarantee.  A system based on coercive funding, that would teach and promote the principles of liberty, and the protection of property rights that are fundamental to liberty, would be in a perpetual conflict of interest.  That cannot last.  I did not last.

That has been considered an ultra-extremist point of view by many.  You just don’t say those things in mixed company.  I’ve also pointed out that the fastest way to lose a friend who’s complaining about his “small budget” or “low pay” in a public position, is to tell him he can always quit, get a job in the private sector and find out exactly what he’s worth.  You’d better step back before you say something like that, because violence will be on his mind.  Who’s more “extreme”; the person stating a simple truth, which is obvious to anyone who’s operated a business, or the person who wants to punch you in the face for saying it?  If a simple truth is now to be considered extreme, what does that say about the current state of our culture?

So it has came to pass, that the teachers have taken to the streets, bringing their students with them (and you said public education was never about indoctrination.  No; couldn’t be.  That would be bad, and we all know that teachers are saints) to demand more goodies from a state that they helped bankrupt.  To hell with the state government.  To hell with the governor who’s trying to keep the state out of bankruptcy.  To hell with everything and everyone; we want more goodies!  To hell with the public!  (Look at the signs they’re carrying)

These are our sefess “servants” who care about nothing in the world but the common good, and we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this sort of thing from them.  It is an inevitability, where ever and when ever we have the arrogance to believe that WE can get away with having a coercion-based system, because WE can afford it, because WE are so very, very smart and compassionate.  This is going to keep happening as sure as you are reading this, and it is going to escalate.  This is the result of our “Compassion“.


10 thoughts on “Public Servants

  1. What do you call a group of public servants, coercively funded, that has been organized, has huge political influence, and is currently helping to bankrupt several states? Is that public service, or is it something else?


  2. I can imagine that if more parents didn’t treat public schools like daycare, got involved in their child’s education, and understood what was being preached to their kids, thinks would change.

    For instance, would a teacher, who generally fell on the low side of the average GPA in college (that would be MOST of them) be happy to recieve the median salary of the population of the town they live in? What if it was only the average of the parents whose kids attended that school? Wouldn’t the teachers then have a vested interest in educating not just to the minimum state standard, but actually trying to encourage further growth? Maybe instill a sense of civic pride, hoping that these educated kids will want to live and trive in whatever place they happen to live? Would a teacher teach in the public system if their retirement was locked at 50% of their salary after 20 years, with no more than a 1-3% raise every year? Without a taxpayer funded or matching donation 401K, either?

    Public Service, for the most part, should not be a career. There are some things that truly need multi-decade workers, like the military. Someone has to run the place, and we have to continuously rcruit new talent as well as grow existing talent, while cutting the fat. The military, however, has force-caps, set by congress, that only allow us to grow so big. The federal gummint, state and local gummints, don’t. Their organizations exist, for the most part, to grow themselves into ever-more powerful sinks of sycophants and eaters at the trough.

    If teaching paid a good wage, we’d have better teachers. If it paid commesurate with having to baby-sit the latest generation of delinquints, teachers would be paid like pro athelets. But it doesn’t. Public school teachers by and large spend thousands on their educations to get one of the lowest-paying public sector jobs. And they are supposedly the smart ones.

    1 in 3 federal employees are in a union. That number ratio rises drastically when you remove the military from “federal employees.” They have unions, apparently, so they can hold the taxpayer hostage. I agree, Joe. If they want unions, better pay, benefits, retirement, etc., let them go out in the private sector.

  3. I am continually frustrated by teachers unions. On one hand, I see what happens in districts without them, or with weak unions – the teachers are treated like crap, in ways that make it difficult to impossible to perform their jobs at any reasonable standard above “babysitting.” On the other hand, the union’s lack of priorities, understanding of fiscal restraints, and “no compromise” viewpoint is abhorrent to me.

  4. It’s for reasons like these I want to home-school my children. I have come to the conclusion that home-schooling is the best way to pass on the values of liberty and independence to the next generation.

    That, and it’s a duty I owe to my children! And they have the duty to learn those things that will help them in their life.

  5. Did each and every child at that rally have a filed, parent-signed letter agreeing that the kids could go on a field trip? I see a fantastically large class action suit by parents against the teachers’ union in the next weeks, for kidnapping their kids.

  6. Hmm… If the kids were supposed to be in school, wouldn’t the teachers be guilty of “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” for convincing them they were allowed to skip (or that it was the right thing to do even if they knew they weren’t allowed)? Say, 20 or 30 counts for each teacher?

    Wouldn’t just one conviction for that permanently disqualify a teacher from ever teaching again? Problem solved and example set.

  7. “I can imagine that if more parents didn’t treat public schools like daycare, got involved in their child’s education, and understood what was being preached to their kids, thinks would change.”

    This is a common theme that came down from the 1960 and ’70s. It is also pure politics. I can tell you from personal experience that as a general rule, they DO NOT want those stupid parents, as they see them, questioning their behavior, motives or curriculum. When my son got into some trouble, the first thing I did was show up at the school office the next morning. As a well-known businessman, property owner and parent, I was dismissed completely– they didn’t even get ’round to having a conversation with me.

    There are some individual teachers who appreciate the historical information I’ve sent in with the kids, but they are in the minority. This is one of the top rated schools in WA State we’re talking here. Gawd I’d hate to see the lower performing ones.

    Chuck; You’re offering well thought-out tweaks to a system that is fundamentally ill conceived. That is my whole point. Get the coercion out of education (separation of education and state) and it will begin to reform itself. It will have no choice. QED.

    “If teaching paid a good wage, we’d have better teachers.”

    No, Grasshopper; You don’t look at a private business that way do you? You’re falling into the meme trap. The meme is deeply wrong from the get go. You don’t look at a poorly performing car mechanic, for example, and say “If only I pay him more, he’ll stop screwing up my car.” No. You fire him by taking your business elsewhere. If he wants your business, he’ll have to prove himself first.

    If the bad mechanic were working at a public funded (coercively funded) garage, you could very well take your car to someone else, but you’d still be paying the garage that screwed up your car, AND the private competitor would be paying taxes to fund his competition in the public garage. Hence there would be far fewer options for you. Such is the case in education, and in a lot of other industries.

    Public industries like education are the only ones where we treat poor performance with increased funding, and think ourselves clever and caring for doing so. “Why, they’re ‘serving the public’ extremely poorly, so lets give them more money.” This is how we got here, ladies, and until we figure it out, it’s never going to change.

    We have to stop trying to tweak the perpetual motion machine. “Perpetual Motion” is my term for something that cannot, ever, possibly work, no matter how clever and thoughtful you are in trying to make it work, because it’s based on flawed premises. It’s is never going to actually produce, no matter how you tweak it. You can fool yourself into believing your perpetual motion machine is working, for a while, and many people have done so. Pat yourself on the back for your extreme cleverness, but it will always run down, resulting in a net loss. See?

  8. In WA even the state universities are enjoining their students and employees to pressure their state legislators to vote them more money. I always considered that to be the height of tacky, but apparently they are not alone.

  9. A couple of years ago, there was a letter to the editor of the local newspaper that you would have loved. A teacher was bemoaning the fact that the local school district would not pay them extra for speaking Spanish as a second language. The district would pay extra to teachers speaking Korean, Russian, Mandarin, Armenian and a bunch of other languages — but not Spanish. They felt that so many people spoke Spanish that it wasn’t really a second language.

  10. I like this particular doublethink condition:

    1) Education is massively important and public education is great, and we have a country full of people educated in public schools.

    2) The left operates in an oligarchical fashion because the vast majority of people in this country are stupid and must be herded toward enlightened despotism for their own good.

    The great part of this scam is that they can perpetually cry for more education funds due to the chronic and perpetual need for “better education,” all the while passing profoundly unconstitutional laws because the stupid little people need them.

    When I say “The public schools are a disgrace!” I get nods of agreement from the lefties I know. When I follow up with “… and we should stop throwing money away on them!” I hear a sort of… keening and howling. Apparently if you throw increasing sums of money at something that does worse and worse over time, the only solution is to do it again but harder.

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