74, even 50 or 25 years ago there were some good, decent, intelligent people in government service who did take pride in their work, though too many people were coming into civil service who just wanted a paycheck and guaranteed retirement. After the old CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System) went out in the 1980s and was replaced by FERS (Federal Employee Retirement System), they still attracted more than enough of the lazy freeloaders who were too young to be forward-thinking enough to realize that the new system was no great deal (not bad, but certainly a downgrade from the old CSRS system). As time went on over the last quarter century, corruption got more and more rampant in government (the employee side, not just the elected officials), and the dirty-playing, power-hungry people bubbled to the top.
There are indeed very few people left anymore with the combination of integrity, intelligence, and true public-servant mindset that used to be there. Institutionally, the U.S. Federal Government simply cannot be assumed to be out for the citizens’ best interests (do so at your own peril), despite exceptional people that are stuck in dead-end positions here and there – who used to care, but are fast losing even that, now just waiting for the magic age/number of years combination to halfway decently retire. I would NEVER recommend either the military or government service to anyone as a career anymore. And that pains me.
"Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land."