Reasons for the Current Teacher Shortage

America has a teacher shortage problem, and there’s plenty of blame to go around, especially since the Obama administration took over and the federal government doubled-down on its education policies. Just think how things stand right now with such glaring issues as tight budgets, relentless standardized testing, performance-based teacher evaluations, hastily designed and implemented Common Core Standards, exploding poverty numbers, turn-around school mandates, charter school growth, and tenure in the short hairs, right there along with teachers’ pay.

Even current Secretary of Education John B. King waxed somewhat apologetically by suggesting that, “Despite the best of intentions, teachers and principals have felt attacked and unfairly blamed for challenges our nation faces as we strive to improve outcomes for all students.”

Indeed…

Stockton University’s dean of education put it more bluntly by contending that it’s the result of “terribly horrible, negative rhetoric we’re hearing from public officials.”

Similarly, Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, recently declared that, along with everything else that’s going against them, “Teachers have also been subjected to demonization.”

The result: A MetLife survey finds that teacher satisfaction is at its lowest level in 25 years, which comes as no surprise to Dulce-Marie Flecha who is quitting after five years in the classroom.

When asked why, she said, “I’m trying to think of a good summarizing reason, but, honestly, there are more reasons to leave than there are to stay in education right now. At a certain point, you kind of have to pay for your own sanity, you know?” She then added, “There’s this sort of unsaid expectation that teachers should be happy to give up so much time and money out of love for children… I don’t think anybody told me I was going to cry under my desk.”

And so it goes…

Another effect is that fewer college students are opting for careers in education. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, their numbers slipped from 106,300 in 2004 to just 98,900 in 2014.

In Pennsylvania alone, Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Kathy Boccella reports that in 2009 the commonwealth’s fourteen universities boasted 18,287 undergraduates majoring in education; by 2015, however, that figure stood at a mere 11,583. Moreover, while they awarded 18,590 teaching certificates in 2013; in 2015, only 7,180 were handed out-a 61% decrease!

As Temple University’s Gregory Anderson, dean of the College of Education, points out, “If I’m an undergraduate student, teaching as a profession is not necessarily one shining with possibilities.”

Piling on, there’s also the sticky issue of salaries, albeit a secondary one in light of concerning working conditions, lack of administrative support, too little policy input, and loosening discipline policies.

As the Economic Policy Institute has udiscovered, the gap between U.S. teachers’ pay and other professionals is “greater than ever.” In fact, for all public school teachers–irrespective of age, gender, or experience–the relative wage gap hit a record 17% last year, with teachers in just five states coming within 10% of what other college grads earn.

That’s because, according to a 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis, median pay for high school teachers came in at just $53,515, while their elementary colleagues made $54,120. Contrast those figures with the median salaries of such professionals as:

  • Financial managers: $126,700
  • Pharmacists: $116,500
  • Human Resources Manager: $$111,200
  • Mathematician: $103.3
  • Political Scientist: $100.9
  • Art Director: $96,700
  • Civil Engineer: $85,600
  • Real Estate Broker: $82,400
  • Physical Therapist:$82.2
  • Computer Programmer: $80,900
  • Sociologist: $78,100
  • Accountants & Auditors: $72,500:

Consequently, a number of states are resorting to rather desperate measures to attract and/or hold on to teachers. For instance, in light of Utah’s low teacher pay, the state board of education recently removed all requirements for new hires other than a college degree and a passing subject matter test score. That’s it.

Then there are states like Virginia which is offering bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to lure new teachers. At the same time, California now says that teachers holding certification with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards can receive a $20,000 bonus if they’ll agree to work in a high priority (meaning hard to staff) school for four years.

Stay tuned.

The Gambit of Power and Control in Human Deception – Part 2

As the devolution continues, daily occurrences around the U.S. and the rest of the world, offer evidence of the gambit of power and control in human deception. A continuing process of human regression in the imbalance of social equity, the few who manipulate the resources manage to exert influence on those of lesser means. Recently, a prominent business magazine known for reporting on wealth and power within business and government circles stated that 1% own more than 50% of earthly wealth. The continued decline of reasonable materiality does not paint a positive picture.

Accordingly, there are associated indicators that little more than 100,000 people have net worth in excess of $50 million. By staggering contrast, at the bottom of this human resources pyramid, is the 71% who have less than $10,000. From there, the income disparity becomes gloomy, as poorer people experience income losses, and richer ones show income increases. Another study reported in a UK news service, that less than 400 of the richest people possess more than 50% of the poorest people.

Although there are noble examples of charitable giving by a few in the upper echelons of wealth, recent studies tend show a decreasing trend. Some analysts suggest that poorer persons, by comparison to the wealthy based on percentage of income, are giving more in benevolent contributions. Naturally, there are arguments on both sides of income inequality issues. Yet, what are the implications for humankind? Aside from the abject realities, the probabilities for continued social degradation do not offer a positive future for the human race. Instead, the decline of the species invites eventual extinction.

The scope of this global disproportion gambit represents one aspect of diverse elements that foster selfishly gluttonous behaviors. By doing so willingly, people perpetrated the misuse of planetary resources. By various means of exploitation, including people victimizing people, within 100 hundred years earth could become uninhabitable. While techno innovations by a few might put off short-term calamity, in the end it may be too late. From corporate and government corruption, to environmental destruction, terrorism and warfare, the future looks dismal. Long forgotten are the historic admonitions for wisdom, compassion and other courageous qualities.

As the “imperial forces” decree, as might be depicted in science fiction stories, the oppressed accept their tyranny. With grumbling acquiesce, or pretentious naiveté, as well as groveling enslavement, the disingenuous perpetrations grow increasingly dystopic. For those in power, in the upper echelons of wealth, the oligarchies foster collusive gambits that possess a many faceted expressions. From the illusions of modern education in the halls of academia, to the blathering campaigning of career politicians, the superficiality of social discourse slides into the regressive oblivion for which extinction looms near.

With smug piety and callous reactionary entrenchment, emotional reactivity labors to circumvent good intentions toward higher insight and wiser pursuits. Arguments in contemporary engagements to promote the general welfare to loftier ascension run the gamut of emotion-laden contradictions. The promotion of stupidity over wisdom, by a firestorm of hasty generalization, foolish anecdote and lazy conjecture, disturbs the complex process of elevating a society toward enlightenment.

Brave creative writers have lamented of recent date, the degenerative indifference frequently committed against bold attempts to reason and make rational societal advancement. Except for a small percentage of exceptionally creative and inventive people, the vast majority prefer diverse states of their self-imposed devolution. In business, higher education, public service and other human interactivity, the diminishing value of fearlessly enlightened leadership suffers a similar fate. Leaders are disappearing and a selfish sense of “anti-thinking” perpetrates divisiveness.

In a society quickly regressing to primal states of ancient reactivity versus intellectual preeminence, some have concluded leadership is exceptionally rare. Many are challenged to identify or otherwise name a public office holder that exhibits extraordinary capacities for leading in an increasingly dangerous world. A regressed collective of tyrannical “tolerance” for the arrogance of intolerance to others fosters a dishonest climate of political correctness. Today for instance, it does not take much to unnerve or otherwise terrorize a community, a city, at state, or the entire country.

In the aftermath of a horrific event, multitudes easily clamor for government assures of protective subservience. A “lone gunman”, a terrorist with a bomb, or a disgruntled employee can have large numbers of citizens willing to sacrifice liberty for an illusion of personal security. Convenient scapegoats are all too easy to conjure.

For anti-thinking, steeped in the myth and magic of lazy thinking and foolish conjecture, the many acquiesce to the numbing cerebral maladies of mass-market deception. Societies get what they want by consequence of greedy selfishness and slothful effort. For the majority, rather than a higher sense of skeptical inquiry, sanctioned by rational application of methodical analysis, and the integrity of critical thinking, honest discourse and enlightenment demands too much responsibility.

Sinister politicians sell their “snake oil” and perpetrate with willing accomplices the condescending tones of communal regression. Feeling good on an immature and juvenile basis, is often better that knowing what is good and morally correct. Emotional reactivity, whether presumed “intelligent” or not, claims less cumbersome pursuits of illusion and belief, absent the primacy of evidence. People fill in the “blank spaces” in the areas of doubt, in order to obtain a simplistic explanation, and achieve a comforting set of consistent patterns. As a result, belief is anything that seems to make sense.

Yet, for the human species given little change over thousands of years, not much seems to make sense. More often than not, there is an instant appeal to alleged authority, as in product promotions, the political campaign ad, and the questionable academic “experiment” and so on. So-called public interest surveys, whatever the subject, do not say much, prove little and solve nothing. At the same moment, ghosts, goblins and little green men, become scapegoats for human immaturity.

Corporate and government contrivances, not all of course, but many, promote every weakness to make us feel good, so we avoid things unseen. For a time, and still to some extent, UFO’s were modern day replacements for “demonic forces” meddling in human affairs. As superstitions mount upon endless flirtations with the supernatural, and a battle cry calls out to one god to beat another, common sense takes flight. As it turns out, the aliens have to compete with demons for primacy of foolish conjecture.

Yet, the foolhardy attempts of pretending a “civilized” culture continue to devolve with ridiculous silliness of online video game characters. Chasing the animated graphics of sinister marketers, the “couch potato” commandos peddle their corpulent babble for the justification of less enlightened culture. A now another competitor vies for the satiations of primal fears. The rise of the zombies competes for center stage. With the advent of the “z-generation”, an offshoot of the millennials, anti-thinking abounds.

Critical analysis, self-evolving and mature insight, based on empirical evidence, and the efficacy of real-world experiences, wane and diminish across a broad spectrum of society. Instead, the contrary is more certain for the majority. Rather than a higher sense of skeptical inquiry, sanctioned by rational applications of methodical analysis, critical thinking suffers significant cross-cultural regression. Extraordinary bias by emotion-laden negativism intentionally clouds logical responsiveness.

Condescending fallacies of inference perpetrate selfish forms of erroneous and exaggerated discourse. Often, such interpersonal conflict devolves to an ever-expanding divisiveness. As such, “anti-thinking”, as opposed to productive pro-social thinking, purposefully infiltrates the diversity of socio-economic and political interactivity. Whether presumed “intelligent discourse” or not, strenuous efforts for deeper spheres of understanding, give way to claims less cumbersome, and pursuits of illusion and supernatural beliefs. Such antics pursue the absence for the primacy of evidence.

In general, for the sake of subjective validation and immediate gratification, people fill in the “blank spaces” in areas of doubt. To the point of the gambit, to flex the nexus of power and control, certain segments of society desire the masses to prefer a simplistic explanation to everything. Analyses that are more complex might expose the “men behind the curtain” and the corruption that exists. To achieve a comforting set of consistent patterns, with easy trouble free explanation, ensures a false sense of happiness. Every story has a happy conclusion so that many people feel good about believe anything. The mass marketing of feel good things drives consumption.

A vast amount of nonsense passes as reality by which fictions are cleverly marketed as fact. Fact is conveniently replaced by fiction. In perpetration, minions carry out the deceptions fooled by inconsistent sound bites, aided by media complicities. In-depth research and analysis through application of rigorous investigative discovery usually does not happen. Instead, information gathering for data analysis is frequently limited to alleged “experts”, which is mostly opinion and an illicit appeal to questionable authority. Social media and infotainment networks and news media superficiality foster the disinformation. In the modern equivalent of slavery, within the framework of global economic and political systems, complicity finds a variety of conforming collusions. Of that, confirmation bias hastens the deterioration of evidentiary validation.

Enslavement of indebtedness to one form of willful obligation or another characterizes a species bent on its extinction. Willingly with malevolent intentions, people deceive themselves for the perpetration of their selfishness, then set about to betray others. As a deteriorating consequence, the human species does not change is exceptionally productive ways. A glimpse of the world and the associated social conditions speaks loudly to that issue. Stupidity reigns supreme for the vast majority. Clever deceit behind masks of advertising conceals the contrivances of power and control. For the sake of “manufactured consent”, from corporate salesmanship to political corruption, the elites of moneyed interests seek to maintain a self-serving status quo at any cost.

From a humanistic perspective, not all seek the perpetuation of the gambit of power and control in human deception. There are always exceptions to every claim of a generality. In fact, there are valiant endeavors by the brave few who take the risks to rise above the illicit collusions of failing economic, political and social systems. Regardless, and more often than not, others prefer sinister and devious inclinations. From a consumer perspective, enslavement comes in the form of an appeal to alleged “authority”.

Self-gratification arrives comfortably and easily by the testimonial imperative of a celebrity. In a devolving culture, that “worships” the guru of “cultic” inclinations, the rich and famous, the public official, or the religious icon, downfall is not far behind. When a celebrity speaks, typically a so-called “movie star”, many needy people, news pundits, spin specialists get giddy and dizzy to listen intently. For the worshipers of “post-modern culture” the cultic desire is to believe in the symbiotic satiation by vicarious adoration.

Why question the fiction, when such gratifies better than the reality of the facts? It does not matter such hearsay is not truly expert, but merely a simplistic and mostly uninformed opinion. Which begs the second question. Why would anyone accept at face value unsubstantiated conjecture from someone who makes a lot of money trying to remember one-liners for a make-believe movie scene? Mainly, the arrogance comes from celebrity status, like many politicians, and the power of projecting fictitious imagery of stage and screen. And, part of the answer is that it appeals to emotion and not effective research and critical analysis. Another part is that the bias reinforces subjective validation in cognitive bias to perpetuate a false sense of security. With trouble-free answers, most feel comfortable and assured in their safe mediocrity.

Modern day slavery runs a gambit from financial indebtedness to the degradations of actual psychological and physical exploitation. From mass marketing schemes to consume more and conserve less, to tortuous inflictions of human trafficking, the stratagems of deception and trickery manifest in diverse forms. Between fake news, ideological extremes that bring harm to others, social disruptions, and malicious cyber invasions that threaten public safety, the human species hastens its self-destruction.

Illicit appeals to so called “expert opinion”, or alleged “celebrity authority”, as in product promotion, political campaign ads, or social commentary frequently fall short on the sufficiency of evidence. Usually, these kinds of things say nothing and solve nothing. Along with the superficiality of “talk show boasting” comes the pretentious psychobabble of some theoretical construct that claims to be scientific. Caution is always warranted as to any assertion regarding any research, study or experiment, until such matters can be thoroughly analyzed and rigorously investigated.

Of significant pathology in American culture is the arrogance of stupidity, and the dangerous concentration of wealth among an elite few. On the one hand, while many rush to consume more and more, others, on the wealthier end of the spectrum, greedily feed upon the gluttony. Idiotic behaviors flourish in the selfishness of self-indulgence, as “magical thinking” masquerades as socio-political discourse. Facts, reality and rational prosocial interactivity devolve to regressive counterproductive instigations.

Meanwhile, some historians who study complex societies point to the eventual destruction and collapse of so-called “empires”. The life cycle of previous “kingdoms” over the last 3,000 to 4,000 years has been surmised to be roughly 250 years. If so, that puts the U.S. in the final stages of about 50 to 75 remaining years. Then what, does America and maybe the rest of the world plunge into a dystopia? Apocalyptic consequences follow in the wake of planetary disasters.

Perpetual unlimited consumption with exploitation of earthly resources, along with extraordinary disparity between rich and poor, will not sustain a livable environment for much longer. In the gambit of power and control by every means of clever human deception, gluttony rules the day as consumption ravenously devours anything, so long as profit can be maintained. Political cowardice aids and abets, with a failure of leadership, hesitance and indecisiveness to insist upon serious problem solving efforts.

Likewise, excessive consumerism colludes in the bloated gluttony to satiate an oligarchic “corporate-state”, and foster as many illusions as possible. By deceptive means in diverse forms, most people will accept the mythology of “manufactured” conformity. Form ghost stories to haunted thinking, reaction, absent evidentiary substantiation, replaces objective analysis. The deception is “reality” for a majority that believes in “supernatural providence”, absent scientific sufficiency, and feels the majority ought to move in a particular direction because those in authority say so.

From the “status quo” mythology, consumerism provides the basis by which intentional misdirection can manipulate a majority of the population to willfully accept a plethora of pseudoscientific claims. Freedom voluntarily surrenders to “magical thinking” in the mysticism of immature flirtations. The morbidity of eventual demise masquerades from the shadowy realms of “infotainment” manipulations. Celebrity stupidity, hiding behind the pandering self-aggrandizement of simplistic sound bites, perpetuates the immature arrogance of grievous fallacies of inference.

From these presumed lofty hallways of pretentious intellectualism, the myth, magic and mayhem continue unabated by the reality. To some scientists, that is to say real hard-core science, as opposed to “social science”, the final act of humankind could come in 100 years. While most were not looking for it, or paying attention to it, the presence of the human species may have outlived its welcome on the planet. Regardless of decades of conferences on this or that, the massive failure of global leadership is but one part of the crumbling infrastructures of human intentions. The same old human problems plague the planet, and will continue do so until the last gasp of human existence.

Meanwhile, some are gauging the probability of finality and focusing on two dynamics that could bring about global disaster. One of those is a mass pandemic and the other is resource depletion that invites natural disasters. For the former, either by contrivance of nature or human manipulation, social collapse could ensue by way of horrible “killer diseases”. For which, now, physiological immunity is becoming more of a challenge for disease control mechanisms. Failure to anticipate, recognize, plan and implement productive actions before calamity hastens the worst-case scenarios. While conjecture alleges catastrophes that could befall humans, a significant element remains the gambit of power and control in human deception.

How Important is Your College Major? The Short Answer Is Maybe Not Much!

I think people, especially parents, put way too much emphasis on trying to figure out what major a student should pursue in college. Often the student is subjected to a battery of tests to help determine a major. I’ve heard it said, “You don’t have to decide at 18 what you’re going to be at 48.” I have found that the undergraduate major may not be as important as people are lead to believe.

I was on a radio program last Saturday (this is July 2010) to discuss college education. One of the hosts shared that his daughter had a Political Science degree from a local university and has spent the last two years looking for a job. I responded that I had taught Political Science at that particular university and paused for a moment.

I tried to correlate Political Science degree and not finding a job. I quickly scanned my vast knowledge of the job market and asked myself “Is she looking for an entry level Political Scientist position?” I answered my own question… “Baby, there aren’t any… never have been and probably never will.” Maybe I’m wrong and you can comment on this to correct me.

We have to ask ourselves the fundamental question: Why do I need to go to college? Well, most people respond “So you can get a better job.” OK – didn’t work this guy’s daughter. Is there something missing in this equation? Maybe so. Let me have a crack at it.

If you are going to college so you can get a better job, then you need to major in something that would make you valuable and attractive to a potential employer or prepares you for an established career field. I think there is absolutely ZERO demand for young political scientists at, let’s say, at Wal-mart corporate. But, I might be wrong. Someone from Wal-mart might need to correct me on this.

Let’s face it, most people major in Political Science (and English, and History, and Sociology, etc.) because they have a keen interest or even a passion for the body of knowledge. From the perspective of preparing a person for a career in one of those fields, the universe collapses to teaching or going to grad school to get credentials to teach at a higher level. There are very few pure practitioners in these fields, those who are have grad degrees and are somehow tied into a university and have teaching experience.

So, what’s the solution? Keep in mind this is coming from a guy who has a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. I’ve never busted anyone or wrote a parking ticket. The degree hangs proudly on the wall. My second doctorate is in Urban and Public Administration… nobody has asked me to be their Mayor. It, too, hangs proudly on the wall, with a few more degrees in-between the two.

So my counsel:

First – unless you have a Damascus Road or Burning Bush experience, I would not be too hasty in selecting a major… and I would fend off all those who think you have to know what to major in before you even set foot on campus. I thought I wanted to major in Computer Science. After three weeks of manually punching cards (this was a loooong time ago), I rethought my career plans.

Second – Take a variety of courses. How do you know you don’t like Geology? Or Journalism? Take your basics and an elective or two your first semester.

Third – Think Strategically. If you develop a passion for Shakespeare but don’t see yourself teaching high school English, major in something more practical like Journalism or Business, and minor or double major in English. Pursue a path that is both-and, not either/or. Balance your passion with practical preparation for a job after you graduate.

Finally – It’s your life. College is a place to learn. I took Science Fiction Literature my sophomore year to watch monster movies and get an easy A. Boy, was I wrong! I was forced to learn how to dissect, sauté, carve up, and savor every morsel in literature, and barely escaped with a C. But I became impassioned with literature and was now equipped to enjoy and appreciate it. Though I never majored in it, I have taught literature at both the high school and college level, and written several complete English curriculums for high school and college. Not bad for an unrequited cop and mayor.

Re-Invigoration of the Public Sector

I do not mean re-engineering or even re-structuring. Maybe all we need is merely to invigorate the government system in order for it to achieve the maximum efficiency that is expected of it.

We have tried such modes of re-invention as re-engineering and re-structuring, at great cost in time and money, and yet improvements have not been substantial or palpable. The public continues to languish in long queues every time a license or a passport is needed. Bribes are ever pernicious and even more open today, like it is not anymore a secret that should be tucked inside the pocket or a key thrown into the deepest ocean.

The public continues to encounter lazy faces of public servants seemingly tired of their day job and daydreaming of life in beaches almost all day long. At the slightest error, the public who is merely seeking public service get squirmed at by those who are especially employed by the government in order to serve the public, and in order that the common person have the convenience that the government owes them.

What is the aim of the public sector now? This is one vital question that should be addressed before everything can be settled. Is the public servant merely holding position just in order to make a living? He or she should rather be selling vegetables or meat in the market, at least thereat; there would be wider potentiality for the improvement of wealth. Nobody could really get rich in the government service, even serving for a long time.

Is the public servant merely holding position for social status and pride? He or she would rather be joining pageants and spectacles on television, for he or she would be known better there.

The public office is a public trust. This dogma had even been institutionalized in our most fundamental set of laws – our Constitution – and this is most encompassing of all, where no one should be allowed to forget the essence of public service, which is in order to serve the people, and not merely for self-aggrandizement.

In view of the foregoing issues, therefore it is but time to realign our views about the public sector, starting from the people within it. That for every employee of the government, whether national or local, every time he or she sees an individual, riding a Mercedes Benz or wearing no shoes and in tattered clothes, it should not matter, because that person, whether rich or poor, famous or unknown, is the very public sector he or she is aimed to serve.

In this manner, improvement of government service and the government system could be initiated, entering its nascent stages.

Despite the improvements in work environment, like air-conditioned areas, new buildings, expensive vehicles and increase in pay and bonuses, government service remains the same old horse, who is lackluster in movement, lacks dynamism and most of all, deficient towards its main aim of serving the public dutifully and with vigor. The government remains a system that is prone to stagnation and inefficiency, misappropriation, abuse of authority and lack of direction.

We have tried re-engineering the government system in the past and yet even the best re-engineers couldn’t tame the wild river that is the Philippine government system. Maybe we need a rocket scientist for this. We have tried re-structuring but even if our re-structurers could build a pyramid or an Eiffel Tower out of a molehill, the government system remains an ancient nipa hut.

Maybe it’s time that we should try re-invigoration.

It’s not as complicated to do as re-structuring does or as expensive as a re-engineering would demand. It only takes will, political will and cooperation from the people in the system. There are a number of factors that would be put in focus in this aim of putting the government service in the right track, one is leadership, two is awareness, three is competition, four incentives, and five public choice.

In LEADERSHIP, I mean to say political leadership. When we all almost agree that politics and the bureaucracy could not really be separated and is intertwined almost all the time, leadership becomes a most important factor in putting vigor and integrity back into the government service. In choosing our political leaders, especially in the next election activities in the coming years, the people should now aim for leaders who have proven capacity to lead and carry an entire workforce towards the improvement of service. It starts with the people then. If the electorate fails in the first place to change our leadership from the highest level, towards the root level, then re-invigoration of the government system would remain an illusion.

AWARENESS is two-pronged, first there should be awareness or a high level of consciousness among our public servants that their holding of their respective positions is not meant for self-aggrandizement alone, as a form of livelihood above all, but in order to serve the public well, and this should become a passionate and patriotic mission in every individual that would be integrated into the government service. Secondly, there should be similar level of awareness as to the PUBLIC being the CLIENT that the government is aimed to served, (the private sector prefer to call them CUSTOMERS) and the government system is aimed at primarily serving the needs of the CLIENT, that when the client is dissatisfied, public service becomes irrelevant and inefficient in every sensible sense possible. The CLIENT becomes the reason for existence, without it, there is no public service in the first place. This way, every client that enters the halls of a government office should be served well, for the moment that no one would anymore enter the halls of government offices, is just about the time that public service should eradicated.

COMPETITION could be injected into the public sector so that improvement of service could pertain. If the public could be given a choice as to the locus of a better service that they are necessitating, then every public servant would aim to proffer the better form or kind of service. This would entail privatization or semi-privatization of some government agencies or giving the public more stake in the government system, where there is increased community involvement in public service. Competition would entail the heightened accountability and responsibility factor, where the government service would become directly accountable towards the community, that there is really not one that is indispensable, that the public would always have a better place to go when someone in the public sector doesn’t want to serve the people anymore, but only wants to receive salaries and bonuses. This is where PUBLIC CHOICE comes. This element of re-invigoration is the most complicated of all, but it could be done through medium term action plan, like say five years in the process, incrementally achieved by phases. And of course, this would entail a more detailed document and methodology.

Competition also would bring forth to the adjustment of tenures in public service where at present, there is that seemingly extreme bias in favor of security of tenure, so extreme that even if a public servant would go to his or her work in drag and sleep all day, the government system could not take him or her away, resulting to mass demoralization and low-level performances. Public service should straightened out its merit system that only a good performance could lead to promotions and increase in compensation, that not one indispensable that for whenever a public servant does not want to serve the public anymore, as expected of him or her, then other more competent or more able individuals from the workforce should be recruited in his or her stead.

INCENTIVES of course remains a very important element, just like in re-structuring or re-engineering, that for every PUBLIC CHOICE of a government service, the better service would gain performance incentives, such as quota bonuses for a certain level unit of work, like for example if this government cashier had served 100 clients in a day, then performance credits and bonuses would inure or if this inspector had visited more areas or locations in a month than all the rest, he or she receives a hefty amount. It could be done in a larger scale that for example if this government agency branch had performed well in a particular year, more than the others in the same field, the whole workforce of that branch would get bonuses and be lauded with public acclaim. They do that in private sector, that’s why the private sector had been able to build the grand Makati skyline over the years, and is establishing another in Fort Bonifacio and in Ortigas, aside from the busting urban scene in Cebu and Davao, and they do not receive any subsidy from taxpayers, unlike the government service system.

The private sector had not been fraught with issues of grand corruption because employees in the private sector do not attain such level of indispensability like that in the public service, where those who performed well are credited well and remain in the service for long, while those who are lackluster and lack integrity in work is taken out of the system. And besides, if one reaches a managerial or administrative level in the private sector, one is assured of hefty compensation that is why, in recent years, managers and executives of private companies have been able to increased sales in dramatic proportions. There are a lot of things that the government service could learn from the private sector in terms of methodologies, form of work structure, incentive system, recruitment and promotion system, tenures of employees, work ethics and level of competency and most of all in their treatment of the CLIENT, which they often call as the CUSTOMER.

In public service, the CLIENT may not always be right, but for certain they are the reason for being. A population that is served better by the government, in terms of public service– like education, licenses, security of food, public order and safety, health and welfare, livelihood opportunities, housing, job placements, communication and technology, etc.– is a population that can make a better government and thereon, a more vibrant State.