One of the nice things about having right-wing commenters on the site is seeing the conservative mind at work. (There are lots of nice things about it, actually, but I’m just focusing on one aspect here). They ridiculed my and Mark’s posts, which referred to several classes of federal workers as “underpaid.” Why? Well, that’s impossible, they said: if federal workers really were underpaid, they would take their skills to private industry.
These were really revealing comments. They simply could not imagine that, say, a lawyer would prefer prosecuting civil rights cases than, say doing corporate litigation. Or that a scientist might prefer working on keep water clean than working for the polluter. Or that we might want these people to keep doing these things because they are good for the public as a whole. Public goods don’t exist for them, and apparently public service doesn’t, either.
As Mr. Spock would say: fascinating.