The unsatisfactory character of gratuitous services is one reason why they are so little used at present. In the United States services are sometimes given on boards of directors, or as visitors to public institutions, or occasionally as mayors of small towns. The motives which prompt citizens to offer such gratuitous services are patriotism, distinction, or some such appeal. That patriotism gives a strong appeal was evidenced by the number and caliber of some of the "dollar a year" men in the service of the United States government during the Great War.

The difficulty with most of the motives for gratuitous services is that they are not of sufficient permanence to insure a continued efficient service. The patriotic flash soon dies with the passing of a crisis, while a position of honor may quickly lose such distinction. Men who receive nothing for their services can hardly be expected to give much in return. It is only when they are put on a "value received" basis that the public can successfully hold them responsible for the proper performance of duties. The motives for gratuitous service, moreover, unless underneath there be a chance for individual gain or pull - and then the service ceases to be gratuitous are ordinarily not strong enough to call men with marked ability. Either they will have accomplished their goal in private life, and are willing to ease off on the public, or will be using the office as a stepping stone, neither of which could give the best results. As a whole, political units have gone to the basis of paying for men to render the required service, and it is the duty of the citizenship to hold officials responsible for the proper conduct of their duties.