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Public Servants to the Public Good

Being in favor of strong government means being forward-thinking. Literally. In expanding our current government, we are constantly looking ahead to the future of our country, to the repercussions of our actions, and to the best possible version of the United States that we can build. But this week, let’s set our obsession with the future aside.

Let’s not only focus on building stronger and larger government, but let’s laud the existing government employees who make do with our current system.

This week is an appropriate one for such a task, as it’s Public Service Recognition Week. This event is usually only celebrated internally in the public sector, but what with the difficulties government employees face, they certainly deserve more widespread recognition. True, public servants have been getting some bad press lately (to put it lightly).

What with Secret Service sex scandals and opulent overspending by the GSA, it’s easy to think of government employees as corrupt, greedy bureaucrats. Yet their needs and concerns make them more similar to private sector employees than one might think.

This week, let’s recognize the difficulties public servants face in their jobs, not only with a complex and often contentious system, but with problems that so many workers face: budget cuts, assaults on collective bargaining rights, the struggle to extend benefits to all spouses, and the increasing cost of retirement, to name a few.

Let’s take a moment this week to commend the individuals who keep our infrastructure running. Let’s remember New York City teachers, charged with the task of teaching incomprehensible tests to pink slime-fueled children; rural postal workers who are living in office closure limbo; even the lady behind the desk at your local DMV (you know the one). Their day-to-day jobs are difficult enough without widespread threats to their rights and benefits. Let’s let them know we’re grateful.