It takes a public comment to develop the public servants' next generation. It is significant to the continuance of a democracy to instill in the youth that public service is very important. If they do not support, there will be no one who pay tax, make laws or serve the public in the future.
Where will future government staff facilitators come from so that future elected policy makers, overwhelmed by the vastness of their responsibilities and armed with only limited resources, can rely on honest and wise policy options suggest by those facilitators? Do young people join the police force or fire department out of a sense of the merits of public service or because of the good pay and benefits? Where is the training ground for the next generation of State and local government researches and staff?
After democracy was threatened by WW I and WW II the public spirit of serving the country ran high. Voting and participation in government was a way of life. Now, only periodically do young people take the opportunity to vote and almost ignore their government.
Every State Legislature, State University and State Executive department needs to develop institutions to engage young people in their democratic form of government. For every government internship that now exists ten more must be established. Young people need to have instilled in them that serving their fellow man as a public servant is a noble and challenging career. Public schools need to motivate their students by highlighting the achievements of public servants so that their students are primed to go forth and serve. Whatever the walk of life, everyone serves someone or some group. Why not make serving everyone as a public servant a high ideal so that society can have the kind of government it wants and demands.
Their is no missionary zeal among any organized group for Democracy as an institution. History is taught today without a sense of democracy as an institution. As a society do we want to end up with policy "wonks" only interested in their own advancement? Will that advancement come from putting the "right" spin on a bad idea or from working hard on the details and development of a policy objective so that no spin is required? If we want to succeed as a democracy young people must learn to become statesmen and stateswomen and do what is right for the people whether the people know it at the time or not.
How does democracy survive if young people do not know how it works? Once young people are taught how a democracy works and can achieve a financial stake in it they will respond in a way that is in their own self enlightened interest. We are teaching our young people to say no to drugs, now we need to teach them to say no to apathy for their democratic form of government.
It is one thing to teach young people the facts and rudiments of a democratic form of government; it is quiet another thing to instruct them as to how to make that government responsive to their needs. What means and methods should be used to educate the next generation of public servants? What training and background will those public servants have to help address the demands put on elected officials?
Brokerage houses are providing sites on the Internet for young people to experiment with investing in the stock market and tracking their own make believe portfolio. The brokerage houses are doing this to capture their interest and loyalty. They believe rightly that young people's loyalty to a financial institution will pay big dividends to their stockholders in the future.
Where are the equivalent sites on the Internet for young people to experiment with investing their time in their local or State government? Do young people understand how to act as a vendor to sell goods to a local or State government? What is their understanding of how the selection of a vendor will be made? Are all procurement by governments thought by young people to be given out based on party affiliation or past contributions to a political party?
So, if you are a State or Local Government leader hire an intern! If you are an educator figure out a way to involve young people in the service of their community and State through an expanded curriculum or class focus. Do it today.