Upon hearing Dr. Sowell, I was reminded of a series currently run on Belgian's "top" newspaper, De Standaard. For some time now it has had a chapter called "My wage" which every week sports an active person, working age, who sheds light on what he/she does and how much he/she earns. Those people are seemingly chosen at random, but De Standaard wouldn't be De Standaard if there wouldn't be a curious overrepresentation of people "in public service". Recently, one of these was Bob D'Haeseleer, a "wereldambtenaar" (litterally "world public servant" in the town of Merelbeke:
BOB D'HAESELEER: WORLD PUBLIC SERVANT. WAGE: 1,400 EUR [ABOUT 1,852 US $].
Q: Can you describe your job?
A: 'I am World Public Servant in Merelbeke. It's my task to guide the world inside town. Make people aware that behind the church steeple's shadow there's also a world you won't find in the traditional holiday magazines, and which most of us therefore hardly get to see. I must make it clear to people that we all share a responsibility for the water, food, waste and climate problems where millions of others are confronted with.'
Q: Do you like your job?
A: 'Yes, otherwise I wouldn't do it. Letting people find themselves the link between their airliner holidays and oil disasters, between Coca-Cola and water dearth, between their cell phone and rapes in the Congo is not easy. But the more you see and the more you learn, the more motivated you wake up every day.'
Q: How would you rate your income?
A: 'I come by. Until bigger costs appear like a mortgage or a family, it will stay like that.'
Q: Would you swap your job for a better paying one?
A: "No, right now I've got enough to come by. My wage's perhaps not so spectacular, but the feeling that you do your part [to save the world - MFBB] instead of simply working for yourself abundantly makes the difference."
It would be hard to find a better example of Dr Sowell's brash young public servants kidding themselves they are actually making a sacrifice by going into public service. To be sure, Outlaw Mike's no libertarian. I don't believe in a skeleton state. Public servants are absolutely necessary. But their numbers should be kept reasonably low, they should be capable, and they should take an example from the private sector's labor ethic. Last Friday, I called a Ministry of Finance guy at a tax collector's office in Denderleeuw. In september, following their invitation, I had wired my so-called 'Bedrijfsvoorheffing' (tax on the wage my own Ltd. corporation "pays" me) for the year's second semester, onto their account, using the proper coded sequence of numbers. Earlier this week, they wrote ME to ask what it was for!!! Anyways, I placed my call around 2.45 pm but alas silly me, on an early Friday afternoon you should just NEVER call a public servant. Guy was probably off skiing in the High Fenns in Belgium's east, where Global Warming has deposited around 40 centimeters snow over the past few weeks.
And a Big Fat FUCK YOU to the town of Merelbeke which is wasting people's tax euros by paying around 3,000 EUR plus (the net wage of our World Public Servant plus Social Security, insurance etc) for a good for nothing doofus who's convinced his calling is far more noble and far more necessary than all the activities of Heating Expert Borremans, Electrician Michiels, Baker Bossiroy, Gardener De Stercke, Garage Mechanic Antoine or Nurse Vincke combined.
Oh yeah, if you happen to be an employee working your ass off at the Coca Cola plant in Wakkachakkamakka, Swaziland, SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You too are responsible for rapes in the Congo!!! What do you say??? You need your 2 dollars a day to sustain you family??? Tough luck dude. Sorry, but the Planet is going bust and you are part of the problem, so you should quit. You know what, come to Belgium, and become a World Public Servant!
P.S.: hat tip for Dr. Sowell's exposé Larry over at Warm 'n Fuzzy Conservapuppies.