Letter: Volunteer government work force

March 25, 2014 

The March 17 letter from Tom Baker of Waitsburg calling for high-level government officials to be replaced with volunteers is less tongue in cheek than I suspect he meant it to be.

During the Federal Constitutional Convention debates of 1787, Benjamin Franklin gave a speech proposing that officers of government should not receive salaries. Notes from the debates state: "The motion was seconded by Colonel (Alexander) Hamilton with the view he said merely of bringing so respectable a proposition before the committee, and which was besides enforced by arguments that had a certain degree of weight. No debate ensued, and the proposition was postponed for the consideration of the members. It was treated with great respect, but rather for the author of it, than from any apparent conviction of its expediency or practicability."

If the proposition is still pending a vote, one can only hope.

LINDA K. GRAGG, Kennewick

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