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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Tis a shame « Previous | |Next »
January 24, 2004

Alan Moir

It's tough. The state public services in the Australian federation have lost their way these days. The tradition of public service furthering the public good has been broken backed by neo-liberalism. It is now about career and sucking up to the minister.

The image is probably unfair. After all, it was the politicians who killed off the old public service thrrough politicizing the appointments; squeezing them financially in the name of smaller government; and blaming public servants for the consequences of embracing the market as a mode of governance, the constant restructuring of the public service andmanagerialism.

The current mode of operation of the public service is one of crisis management---staggering from one crisis to another whilst defending the Minister.

The justification? It is two fold. First, it is acknowledged that social democracy has normally tried to protect those citizens vulnerable to the changing nature of a market economy by boosting the level of public expenditure and a good public service. However, the publci services of welfare education and health have created a culture of ‘free riders’ and welfare state dependency.

Moreover, the exposure of national economies to internationalisation has meant that this approach is now limited by the fiscal carrying capacity of the state.
We cannot afford a big public service nor will the international markets allow it.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:40 PM | | Comments (0)