Public Service Philosophy Essay : Public Services

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Public Service Philosophy Essay

“Public service” is a very vague idea for me. To me, there isn’t a definite definition that can distinguish what is public service or not. From our reading, it was pointed out that what public service used to mean, and what it now means has changed immeasurably. From Jobs That Matter, Heather Krasna defines public service as significantly contributing “to solving problems in society or the world.” I think the idea of “significantly contributing” to society can be demoralizing to even the most altruistic of citizens. If I had to pinpoint what public service is, I believe public service is volunteering one’s time and energy for the greater good of the society as a whole. It’s the selfless pursuit of
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Public service works can be found in both the public and private sector. Some obvious examples of public service works would be a public school teacher, servicemen and women, and social workers. These jobs tend to contribute to the public good. Intuitively, works that wouldn’t be considered public service would be jobs that principally intent to serve for the profit of private individuals and conglomerates. With that said, I would consider private bankers and entrepreneurs as non-public service work. I think there are apparent principle or a set of criteria by which we can distinguish between public service work and non-public service work. The things to look out for are the objective of the job and who it benefits.

On a different note, proponents of Capitalism would argue that non-public service work like an entrepreneur would indirectly lead to public good. Their business endeavors can lead to many job creation, and their products can benefit the public. This idea of an “invisible hand”, coined by Adam Smith, believes that an individual pursuing their own interest can ultimately benefit the public good more than if the individual was pursuing the interest of the public. The same proponents would argue that their work has contributed more to society than governmental, “public service” work.

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