Someone in the comment thread for the post on national service mentioned the idea of a US Public Service Academy. It would be something like the military academies, except for the civilian jobs the government needs: "The Public Service Academy will provide a rigorous undergraduate education followed by five years of civilian service to the country." I'd heard this proposal before, and it sounded like a good idea to me then and still sounds like a good idea to me now. Maintaining a high-quality civil service is absolutely vital to our country's future, and this seems like one useful way to accomplish that.
Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.