Civil Service Through the Looking Glass

What we know today as Civil Service was created 129 years ago, in 1883, by the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act to provide continuity in essential government services (and there probably are a few) without the risk of the accumulated experience of government employees who actually did the jobs being eliminated by the so-called "spoils system" where the political party in power could (and did) replace huge numbers of government workers and replaced them with cronies and supporters regardless of their expertise in the field for which they were hired. After the Pendleton Act was passed and signed by the President, employees of the Federal government were to be hired based on merit.  That merit was to be determined by competitive tests for all applicants, much in the same way that the bureaucracy of Imperial China was created by the taking of tests to become a mandarin.  Since that system seemed to have worked pretty well for about 2,000 years, citizens were provided with at...(Read Full Post)

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