Government v. Private Sector on Jobs


Discussed Today…

  • Getting more lawyers (or, any professional) into public service

  • Recall fever

  • The Donnas Said…“send her home on BART”

Getting more lawyers

Hold the jokes, I know some lawyers and they’re not (all) money-grubbing, back-stabbing bastards (yet).

The ABA came out today and said that they have discovered that fewer and fewer students choosing to take careers in public service (public defense, prosecution) versus private practice.

Who can blame them?

With the average year’s tuition to a private university going from 7K to 25K a year (tack on an apartment, food, etc.), is it any wonder that these people find the austere yet socially rewarding charms of public work less than exciting?

Maybe I’m naive here, but maybe we should give attorneys that go into public work a tax break on income. Yeah, your buddies in private practice may be clearing the six figure mark, but in their tax bracket they’re going to (er, uhm, theoretically) kiss a good chuck of that goodbye in taxes. What if you made less but kept more – just to keep the parity?

Or, how about, if you went to a public law school, some of that debt were forgiven?

But then I thought, well, heck, lawyers are good, but why not do the same for teachers, health care workers, and emergency response? We may pay a teacher jack, but if we let him keep a larger percentage of the check, we might really get some more interest.

I kept thinking (I have a long commute) perhaps maybe any field should be given the ability to have this sort of benefit. Under the ‘work for govt get tax break’ model you agree to a job and time commitment and then they agree to a tax break / forgiveness schedule. I think we get into legally problematic waters here with something like indentured servitude coming up …. but this patronage system has been in place for many years (ultimately giving rise to one of the most original TV series ever) for doctors, why not LAN administrators, teachers, public defenders?

My friend Sarah was going to try to get into prosecution. She’s in Las Vegas right now, I’ll ask her about this when she gets back.

Recall fever

Peter Comejo, independent candidate for governor of CA last (normal) election cycle said that he was pleased with the plurality of people entering the recall race. He was glad that Arianna and Arnold were both in because he noted that there would be an actual chance for debate.

Peter, amen!

Given that one is a movie star who has name power, the other is an Oxford-grad, power-pundit, and that Comejo himself has always tried to press the issues - we may actually get some interesting discussions about how to do what’s best for California.

This would be in contrast to the typical Gray Davis campaign of, the other guys suck and I suck the least, vote for me.

The Donnas Said … “send her home on BART”

Well, assuming the girlfriend of the guy the girl in the song is after lived in San Jose, this is not possible. BART, or Bay Area Rapid Transit, extends like two arms from San Francisco to ’embrace the bay.’ It’s hand terminates on the peninsula in Millbrae (where it joins to SFO airport) and in the East Bay in Fremont (where there are a lot of apartments, a great view of the foothills, and a Fry’s, not much to Fremont).

BUT YESTERDAY, BART and the Valley Transit Authority agreed to extend BART all the way to SanJo! This is a great step forward in the prudent management of the Bay’s infamously bad traffic problems.