U.S. Civil Service: How Progressives Prostituted Their Own Child

One of the more important levers of political power is the appointment of supporters to run the government.  That's inherently corrupt, since it puts loyalty over both ability and the public interest, setting up the maintenance of that loyalty by mutual favors. China's Emperor Wu figured that out around twenty-three hundred years back, inviting a hundred young scholars who weren't hereditary nobility to a imperial competitive examination.  He subsequently used the top men (no girls -- he was already henpecked) in his government, thereby inventing the Professional Civil Service, though he likely didn't know that. A professional civil service is intended to deliver good government through two salient characteristics: able bureaucrats are selected by competitive examination, and tenure protects workers from political interference in doing their jobs.  In the first half of the twentieth century, civil servants commonly eschewed political activity and usually were paid less...(Read Full Article)