31 January 2012

When Public Servants Become Public Overlords

The Congressional Budget Office found Monday that federal workers are compensated 16 percent more than comparable private-sector workers on average.

..."While millions of Americans continue to struggle with stagnant wages and high unemployment, government bureaucrats in Washington continue to enjoy significant advantages over those whose tax dollars finance their compensation," House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) office said in reaction to the finding. _TheHill
Once new government agencies, departments, and bureaus form, they are forever. They grow and expand their mandates, jurisdictions, and budgets as quickly and widely as they can.

The US federal government will continue to expand to consume whatever the shrinking private sector can give it. Every time a US president, senator, or congressman makes a promise to supply a service to a taxpayer, he is inflating the problem by growing the government.
Federal benefits include:

More expensive health benefits.

Both a defined-benefit and defined-contribution pension plan.

Full retirement at 56.

Retiree health benefits.

Significantly more paid leave than private-sector workers. A federal employee with three years on the job receives all 10 federal holidays, 20 paid vacation days, and 13 sick leave days per year.

Federal employees enjoy job security irrespective of the state of the economy. Since the recession began, federal employment (not including the Postal Service) has risen by 230,000, or 12 percent. Federal employees are almost never fired for poor performance.

Federal employees demonstrate with their actions that they receive better compensation in the public sector than in the private sector: They quit their jobs at one-third the rate of private employees.

Policy Concerns

Taxpayers should not sacrifice so that federal employees can enjoy better pay and benefits than they could hope to receive in the private sector.

Many federal employees retire in their late 50s, collect their pension and retiree health benefits, and then take a second job in the private sector. Taxpayers should not have to subsidize this double-dipping.

The General Schedule does not connect pay and performance. Workers automatically receive step and grade increases in pay whether they work diligently or not. It is almost impossible to fire an underperforming federal employee. This reduces the productivity of federal workers. _Government Pay Is Inflated
We know that government does not create wealth or prosperity, and yet we sit by as government balloons and bloats itself in ways that disrupt and destroy genuine wealth creating, productive entities in the private sector.

The US government is a bloated and somewhat consolidated — but antagonistic — block of catering services, which prepare US taxpayers and private concerns to be eaten by fat, unscrupulous, and well-connected party-goers of the lifelong vulture persuasion.

One does not expect either competence or benevolence from such entities. One merely tries not to be utterly consumed before one is dead.


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Blogger Matt M said...

Great - Executive Pay is sucking up all the money in the Private Sector. And, govt employees are getting the rest.

Tuesday, 31 January, 2012  
Blogger al fin said...

The only entity in the US that can "suck up all the money" is the government. Not only that, it can print and spend money that does not exist, thus devaluing your holdings in a most brutal way.

Fortunately, corporations are not given the power to tax at the point of a gun, or to force you to buy their product.

Tuesday, 31 January, 2012  
Blogger Matt M said...

If you work in corporate America - you are familiar with how executive pay has been growing at double diget levels for over a decade - while workers pay has stagnated.

You are correct that govt workers are overpaid. But, Executive pay has increase 5000 % over the last 30 years.

Tuesday, 31 January, 2012  
Blogger al fin said...

That may be, in some cases, Matt. But pay for top celebrities has also skyrocketed, as has pay for top athletes. Likewise, pay for people who administer charities, foundations, some churches, and a range of other organisations. Professor pay in certain institutions has gone way up, as has pay for top administrators.

Executive pay is highly variable.

Executives are paid out of earnings in the company they work for. Companies are not allowed to print their own money to pay their executives. Companies are not allowed to threaten citizens with guns or imprisonment, so as to pay their executives. There is a wide range of unfriendly behaviours which companies are not allowed to do, in order to pay their executives, which governments do on a routine basis.

We should try not to paint with too broad a brush when referring to something so highly variable as "corporate America."

Can you please explain your claim of a 5,000% increase in "executive pay" over the last 30 years in specific terms?

Tuesday, 31 January, 2012  
Blogger Ugh said...

The question I ask is what makes government workers (state, local and federal) so special? Retiring in their 50's or early 60's w/ full medical and pensions while the rest of us contemplate working into our 70's to pay for them. Our 401K's fall into the tank and their pension are guaranteed. Why are they special? Not saying they don't work hard - but if Congress is going to push SS eligibility up and up why do government workers get a pass? I'd like one of their defenders to address that.

Thursday, 02 February, 2012  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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