Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bureaucracy U

I saw this post over at the P-G's Early Returns "Blog," in part talking about a proposed Public Service Academy*

modeled on the country's prestigious military academies.

It would provide a four-year, federally-funded college education for students who are willing to give a five-year commitment to working as public servants (teachers, police officers, elected officials) after they graduate...

The first class would have about 1,300 spots for students from across the country, using the same congressional nomination process that secures recruits for West Point.

The curriculum would combine "a broad-based liberal arts education with an emphasis on public service and leadership development."
You can read the PSA's mission here.

Now, this proposal pisses me off, and here's why.

First, Public Service is not rocket science... unless you work for NASA, then it's not Brain Surgery. Public Service is so easy that the ancient Athenian basically pulled names out of a hat to fill slots. Of course, your average Athenian citizen was probably a bit more educated than a lot of the yahoos that fill government today.

Which brings me to the second point: all you really need to be a successful public servant is to have a decent liberal arts education, back up with robust math and writing, a bit of law, some rhetoric, and get a booster shot of interpersonal relationship skills and BAM! instant public servant. Hell, I'm sure that you can probably find one or two schools in the region that might just be able to offer those kinds of skills.

Which pretty much covers the third point: why build an entire school? Wouldn't it be more efficient just to set up some sort of ROTC program for Bureaucrats? Couldn't you just set up some defered student loan program, payable only if a student doesn't complete the required 5 years of service?

More importantly, can this be retroactive and applied to, say, me?

And finally, I know it's popular to blame the Bureaucrats, but wouldn't it make more sense, to educate, say... elected officials? Or are you just saying that the Bureaucracy is too stupid to immplement all these "rules" and "regulations" politicians have to offer? Like, say, Net Neutrality.

But if this does move forward, I'd like to offer my services up to teach Sarcasm, Disdain, and Political Theory. Until then, I'm rushing Pi Sigma Alpha and Upsilon Sigma Chi**.

* Go Fightin' Triplicates!
** One of these may be real; the other is a marginally funny pun.


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