I posted a comment on a recent post given by a fellow blogger, and got a few comments, mostly in the vein of: If we pay the ministers so much money, they should do a better job.
I completely reject such a mentality.
In the first place, it places money on some messed up pedestal. These people are paid money, whatever amount of it, presumably to do a good job. That’s the basic contract that any government has with its people, we as a nation take it on good faith that they aren’t implementing any policy for the death and destruction of the nation. To then say that just because they’re paid more money, they should provide more performance is an impossible cross to bear. Are we also saying that if the government were to slash salaries across the board that we can begin to expect less from government? I sincerely doubt that.
Whilst I agree that at a basic level, I feel a deep unease with what is objectively a very large paycheck. However, I also know that by emphacising on the monetary value of the paycheck, are we simply giving up on the other issues? Are we simply ending the conversation at, you should be doing better because you get paid more, and pushing all the blame on the government, when we should be saying, let’s do better! Let’s try and make it all work. And more importantly, if it doesn’t work, how do we make it better? These should be the questions we should be asking of the government, not simply making some trite comment about ministerial salary whenever the issue of our government comes up.