THE COFFEE SHOP CONCEPT OF GOVERNMENT PAY
At the end of the day it's about service. Quality of service. And it's about the performance of the server. But what I'm talking about isn't the service we get at our local coffee shop, or the last place we had dinner. Though, service there is equally important. The service that I'm talking about is the service we get from our elected government officials.
When you go to your local coffee shop, you get to decide how well the server will be compensated. Did they deliver your coffee to you hot? Was it delivered in a timely fashion? Was the coffee all it was cracked up to be? And did the server treat you well when the coffee was brought to you? If any of the above isn't true, you probably won't tip as well. And if the service is continually bad, you'll go someplace else.
But when it comes to government, it's basically you get what you get. Sure, you can vote at the polls for your favorite candidate. You can take them at their word that they will look out for your interests and put laws in place that will improve your life, and make the world a better place. But we all know what happens after the counts are in and the seats are filled. And we all know how responsive our politicians are to the letters we sometimes send, if they even read them at all.
I say that we ought to pay our elected government officials by referendum. The people should decide when the Congress or the Senate deserves to be given a hike in their pay. The people should be able to see progress in their children's schools and fairly determine when a pay increase should be in order for the superintendent. When the mayor lowers crime rates, and increases business and commerce, and reduces your real estate taxes by building the city up, the people should decide that he deserves something more for his efforts.
Instead, elected government officials vote for their own raises. To me that seems to be counterproductive, disingenuous, and certainly it's self-serving. Of course they think they're doing a great job. Of course they think they're worthy of higher pay doing the "work" of the American people. And yes, those quotes were intended.
How many people do you know who think they're overpaid? I mean, how many people do you know who really believes they're overpaid? And what about you? If you thought you'd been overpaid you'd be the first one in line to write a check out to the boss at the end of the year with a little note attached that read "thanks for the extra but I'm really not worth all that," right? Of course not. So what would lead us to believe that politicians could be honest with themselves about the work they do, the value of the work, or the quality of what comes as a result of it? Of course they are going to vote 'yes' when the time comes to give themselves a raise.
A referendum is the only logical answer. Americans have a right to have a say in the pay of their elected government officials, because ultimately it's our money. What our government officials do or don't do, what laws they vote for or against affect our lives, our well-being, and our incomes.
Look, if the food is served cold, or if I asked for cream in my coffee and got sugar instead, then why should I have to pay more for it the next time I order it? Why should the waitress get to decide how much her tip should be?
Because as far as I'm concerned, I've got to tell you; right now my coffee is cold and half of it has been spilled in my lap, the price keeps going up, and it's the only coffee shop in town.
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