Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bureaucrats vs. Taxpayers, Part II

It is horribly unjust that politicians do things to destabilize the economy, but it is workers in the productive sector of the economy who pay the price by losing their jobs and foregoing wage increases. To add insult to injury, government bureaucrats are living the high life, getting more pay - even though they already get ("earn" would be the wrong word) for more than their private-sector counterpart. A column posted at has some of the depressing details:

There's a recession going on, but you wouldn't necessarily know it by looking at public employee earnings. If you work for the government, you're far less likely than your private-sector counterparts to have been laid off in the recession, and you probably also saw relatively fast wage growth. ...During the recession, public employees have done better than private ones on two measures: total employment and hourly compensation. Over the last two years, private payrolls shed 7.3 million jobs, but public sector civilian employment actually grew very slightly, adding 98,000 jobs. ...public sector compensation (as measured by the Department of Labor) rose 42% faster than private sector compensation over the last three years. Since the end of 2006, hourly total compensation (wages plus benefits) has risen 6.5% for private sector workers, essentially keeping pace with inflation. But state and local government workers saw their hourly compensation rise 9.2%. Federal civilian workers (about 10% of the public sector civilian workforce) are excluded from the above measure, but they did even better, receiving Congressionally-approved wage rises totaling 9.9% over the same period. ...If states and localities had kept pace with private sector wage growth over the last three years, state budget gaps would be approximately $36 billion less than they are today.

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