There has to be employment for the average joe. Police / fire / ranger / all attract a certain type who aren't intent on changing the world, just doing the job each day, dealing with whatever arises, rinse and repeat.
There's a world of difference between public employment and the high intensity private sector where you are judged on performance and paid, or fired, accordingly.
The "job for life" suits a certain type of person who is content to work at a certain pace. There are ambitious people in the public services, who go for promotion, better themselves by getting degrees, but the majority are journeymen / women who are content to do each day for a set wage with the security of employment that is offered.
I don't know if I could have worked in the private sector in the US. Being constantly under pressure to perform and to excell.... I think I would have burnt out.
There was a good article in the NY Times about working conditions in Amazon
I wouldn't last 10 minutes in that workplace.
Quote from above article:
"Bo Olson was one of them. He lasted less than two years in a book marketing role and said that his enduring image was watching people weep in the office, a sight other workers described as well. “You walk out of a conference room and you’ll see a grown man covering his face,” he said. “Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk.”