7.1.09

THE POLITICAL ARTS. The incoming Secretary of State endorses a new service academy.

Like its military counterparts, the United States Public Service Academy would offer a free four-year education in exchange for five years of government service. Supporters see both substantive and symbolic benefits: 1,200 skilled graduates a year, spread across federal, state and local agencies, and a flagship institution that would give new prestige to government work.

“Creating a public service academy would send a clear message that public service is a priority,” Mrs. Clinton said last week in a written statement.

At Phi Beta Cons, George Leef dissents.
One of the arguments in favor is that Americans would have greater respect for public servants if they knew they had studied at this elite university. Right. People who think that bureaucrats boss them around too much and take too much of their money are going to change their minds when they contemplate the impressive undergraduate training some of those bureaucrats had — at public expense.
Perhaps it has occurred to Mrs Clinton that the Yale Law School is a potential training ground for public officials. There's the Kennedy School at Harvard, the Humphrey School at Minnesota, the LaFollette Institute at Wisconsin. The policy academies don't have to be named for prominent politicians. Master of Public Administration at Northern Illinois University works well in policy circles, although in Illinois a large sum of money for a state official still carries more clout.

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