Reason.tv: 3 Reasons Why Public Sector Employees Are Killing The Economy

As unemployment stubbornly sticks near 10 percent and any sort of economic recovery seems a long way off, think about this: The one part of the economy that's going gangbusters is government work.

Indeed, since the Great Recession started in December 2007, over 8 million jobs have been lost in the private sector while the public sector has added at least 100,000 positions. It's time to recognize that public-sector employment is killing the economy for at least three reasons:

1. They cost too much. As USA Today recently noted, federal employees make on average almost $8,000 more than their private-sector counterparts. When you add in benefits, the gap spreads to about $30,000. State and local government workers make around the same as private-sector counterparts, but their health and retirement packages mean they make significantly more in the end.

2. We can't fire them. The private sector has shed positions in response to slackening demand and the economic downturn. That sort of adjustment is painful but necessary, as it allows the economy to adjust to changing circumstances and workers and employers to move into new activities. Because it is guaranteed certain amounts of tax revenue and has a non-market mind-set, the public sector is largely insulated from such forces and keeps or even adds workers despite changed conditions. The result? We keep paying for things that we don't use, need, or want.

3. They create a permanent lobby for expanded government and higher taxes. Look at California, where teacher unions have spent over $211 million dollars on elections in the past decade. One result is that 40 percent of California's budget must be spent on education, regardless of the number and needs of students. Over the last 10 years, taxpayer contributions to public-sector pension funds has increased by 2000 percent! Such sort of tax-based gladhanding is just getting started. For the first time in history, the number of public-sector union employees is greater than those in the private sector, so expect to see even more lobbying for the sorts of mandatory raises and permanent job security that most of us can only dream of.

Because the public sector gets its pay and benefits from tax dollars and public debt, every thing it gets means there's less for the rest of us to save, invest, or pay workers with. With the federal government and most states already neck-deep in red ink, it's time to cut public-sector pay and payrolls and return more money to the private sector. That will help spur the sort of investment and innovation that will get the economy moving and end the recession far faster than paying more and more money to government workers.

"3 Reasons Public-Sector Employees Are Killing The Economy" is produced by Meredith Bragg and Nick Gillespie, who also hosts. Approximately 3 minutes. Go to Reason.tv for iPod, HD, and audio versions.

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For more on the discrepancy between public sector and private sector compensation, go here.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Without public sector workers, who's going to do the job of regulating your lives? You?

  • ||

    Hahaha, priceless!

  • Craig||

    Brilliant!

  • .||

    Scintillating!

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    I thank God for the opportunity to voluntarily donate my money for the betterment of my moral and intellectual Progressive Government superiors.

  • Hyperbole||

    You forgot their cushy unfunded pensions, last seen raping senior citizens.

  • Frank Rich||

    This isn't about the economy at all. "Public sector employees" is clearly a code word for "non-whites." The rantings and ravings on the ironically named Reason.com are the throes of a dwindling and threatened minority. Demographics are the avatars of a change which they are powerless to stop, and their violence (usually rhetorical but all too often quite real) is their last feeble attempt at relevance before the brown people come and get them.

  • Corduroy Rocks||

    Meh. C+

  • Frank Rich||

    Segregationist.

  • ||

    The old "racist" canard again, eh Frank? "Publick Sector Employee" is NOT a code word for "black"...it's a code word for union ***sucker. Unions...you know...the scum that uses the extortionate power of collective bargaining to drive their wages/pensions to unsustainable levels. And in this case, it's combined with govt which means they can't be fired for poor performance. I worked as a supervisor with the federal govt for 24 yrs and public sector unions will do for govt what private sector unions did to our manufacturing base.

  • Frank Rich||

    Barney Frank is openly gay, in case anyone was still wondering about that.

  • ||

    So what.... We're all real proud of him. People are upset that the government is spending them into a hole they will never get out of, to me this has nothing to do with race and everything to do with fiscal restraint.

    Liberal's love to use the race card to shift the attention away from the real problems this country is facing, entitlement spending (medicare 37 TRILLION underfunded), failing schools, etc.... I think it might be time for you to find a new and credible argument Frank.

  • Frank Rich||

    Oh! Your thinly veiled racial anxiety is so delicious! Nom nom nom!

  • BakedPenguin||

    C+, Corduroy Rocks? C- at best.

  • Chuckler ||

    Okay, I smell a devil's advocate. I don't believe Frank is really that impaired. He's faking it.

  • ||

    Trolling!

  • ||

    Frank Rich is openly stupid.

  • public union stooge||

    But if it wasn't for those overly generous contracts the unions forced on GM, they (GM) wouldn't have been able to rape the taxpayers for a bailout.

    C'mon, we need unions to keep America competitive with other bankrupt nations!

  • Warty||

    public sector unions will do for govt what private sector unions did to our manufacturing base.

    Make it go away? I might be cool with that, maybe. Just a bit.

  • DEK||

    Frank - I think the only racist in the room is the one crying racism. The VAST majority of public sector workers in ANY government building I use in my life are white. MY kid's schools, the Secretary of State, county building. You are just flat out wrong. How pathetic that you must live your life by the rules of racism that have long been in their death throes...

  • Excuses to Drink Before Noon||

    ...ravings on the ironically named Reason.com

    DRINK!

  • Andrew||

    Fail.

  • ||

    Fools to the left of me, fools to the right.

    Check the stats. A majority of public sector employees are definately white.

    Perhaps it is the "white folk" in govt getting all the benefits while taxing the poor minorities in the provate sector. Hmmm?

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    +8

  • morning toker||

    "Because the public sector gets its pay and benefits from tax dollars and public debt, every thing it gets means there's less for the rest of us to save, invest, or pay workers with."

    I recently saw an interview with Judd Gregg wherein he claimed government jobs now account for roughly 20% of GDP with that number rising to about 28% with full implementation of Obamacare. And I think thats just considering federal jobs, not state or municipal. Now I'm no economist, but doesn't that whole house of cards come tumbling down when government's contribution to GDP exceeds 50%?

  • Paul Krugman||

    You're no economist.

  • Milton Friedman||

    Neither are you.

  • Larry Summers||

    I am.

  • Marc Summers||

    Physical Challenge!

  • Ben Bernanke||

    Can I play?

  • ||

    "Physical Challenges" are Bourgeois.

  • Holy Hand Grenade of Threadwin||

    Winner!

  • Johnnie Keynes||

    Can I be the bookie for the brawl? I have lots of cash to throw around!

  • ||

    morning toker, it's much more complicated than that. Money that goes to the public sector is still spend in the private sector and taxed by government, so you aren't losing the entire chuck of money going to these employees, you are losing potential profits that could be generated with it on the free market, and to inflation.

    How sustainable it is depends on how productive the private sector is at turning a profit, which in turn becomes more has diminishing returns with the more money taken in taxes. On top of that because the tax code is complicated as all hell you couldn't really make some sort of nice exponential curve on a grid as it would shift with every year, every new law, and every election.

  • ||

    I recently saw an interview with Judd Gregg wherein he claimed government jobs now account for consume roughly 20% of GDP with that number rising to about 28% with full implementation of Obamacare.

    "Account for" makes it sound like they contribute to GDP, rather than reducing it.

  • ||

    But they're so damn pretty.

  • David||

    From fighting charter school legislation to protecting 1950s style pension plans, it's sad how teachers spend so much effort serving themselves, and not the public that actually pays them.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Did I hear correctly that under the new federally operated student loan regime, that "public servants" will have their loans forgiven after 10 years?
    I pray this is just a paranoid fantasy.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    (and I don't mean "public servant" in the Frank Rich reading.)

  • Rhywun||

    Yes.

  • Dr. Josef Mengele||

    If so, there is your "doctor fix"!

  • ||

    You heard correctly. But it also allows private servants to have their loans forgiven after 20 years, and in both cases you have to make the payments on time every time for it to happen.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Oh. No problem, then.

  • ||

    After 20 years. Not ten.

    Then again, with the govt running it, it will cost the students more every year. I've seen estimates of 10-15% more. Way to go!

    Well, these idiot college dupes voted for him... can't wait to see what happens when they finally figure out they are paying more for loans AND healthcare. LOL

  • ||

    I differ with you regarding the facts here. While I am a free-marketer, I am also a state worker with graduate degrees in public administration, and a union representative, so I see both all sides of this situation.

    The Recession generated additional demands for public service, out of sheer necessity. However, in Illinois, we are still laying off, and have not been hiring since 2003 when a freeze was put into place. To pick up the slack, the State has contracted with non-profits. So we pay less in taxes, still get citizen support, and don't provide benefits. Even with this in place, Illinois is still laying off state workers, and facing bankrupsy.

    Illinois is also behind paying it's employee pension plans by billions of dollars. So, yes, over the past ten years, taxpayers have put a whole lot more into paying pension plans than the previous ten years. But this is not due to extravagance, but to the fact that Illinois has not been paying anything into pension plans for the previous ten years. We are literally breaking contractural laws, raising the costs of the pension plans by paying penalties, and paying with loans which also charge interest. Had Illinois paid into pension plans as they should have done, this would not have happened. Demanding that the contractural laws be rewritten after being a dead-beat for over ten years, wouldn't be accepted by anyone, including free-market proponents, right? Doing so would penalize citizens that have been getting shorted, and just when they believe they will finally get what they have been denied, you make the shorting legal because the amount taken from state employees got too expensive to pay back? WTF?

    We lost millions of jobs because we didn't generate millions of new jobs. The Democrats are claiming to be able to raise the dead by giving CPR to dead industries. Everyone with a brain knows this rarely works and not worth the dollars spent doing so.

    Yeah - 100,000 new government jobs were formed somewhere, somehow. That wouldn't necessarily be a problem if we didn't lose the millions of wealth-producing jobs though, would it?

    Government needs to shrink, but wisely. That isn't going to happen with the Democrats in charge because the last word one ever associates with Democrats is the word, "wise". Democrats form committees to do the work it once only took one person to do, pays every committeeperson and spends, spends, spends. They don't know what they are doing - that's a fact.

    But don't just demand that us government employees are somehow living high on the hog, are unproductive, or not worth what we are being paid. Right now, I'm not even expecting a pension, although I have been paying into it for a decade, because it is in debt by $45,000,000,000, and no one has any money left. We are joing that big old, "we're screwed" party too, so drop the finger pointing, will ya?

  • ||

    Even with this in place, Illinois is still laying off state workers, and facing bankrupsy.

    Yeah, this meshes with memories of the grad students in public administration I used to have to rub shoulders with.

  • DEK||

    "But don't just demand that us government employees are somehow living high on the hog, are unproductive, or not worth what we are being paid. "

    Ahhh...but we cliam it because it is TRUE. Most UNION workers have protection - we can't fire you for sucking at your job, like half my kid's teachers. You can't be "productive" because you produce NOTHING! Anyone at the Secretary of State office ever get canned because they processed license tabs slowly? I doubt it...You are NOT worth what you are paid for because your generally MORE productive private (FREE market) counterparts get paid less.

    Michigan SecState offices were forced to close one day a week last year...NOBODY using their services was affected. All the driver's licenses were distributed, license tabs purchased, etc. The furlough should be PERMANENT, because it was demonstrated that there is overcapacity. Suggest that furlough become permanent and people like YOU (Unions!) will cry foul. You fail to recognize that public employees should ONLY be there to the VERY limited extent they are needed - but by the very nature of your unions you think you should have a permanent employment opportunity with a growing base and ever increasing benefits. The thought that you should EXPECT a pension is STUPID! NOBODY expects a pension anymore! NOBODY asks for one when they get employed EXCEPT Unions. YOU are delusional.

  • ||

    The thought that you should EXPECT a pension is STUPID!

    So, you think it is just fine to sign contracts, set up pension programs, collect decades worth of wages, spend them, then tell the folks that we were stupid to expect anything in return?

    We can fire every government worker in the entire country and still not come even close to covering our debt.

    Go ahead and reform the pension systems. Go ahead and change the contracts. Go ahead and make the cuts. We're all grown ups. If we don't want to take the deals, we can look for work elsewhere.

    But it is paramount in any business, whether public or private to meet the contracts signed. To give the product and services paid for. To do the deal.

    Be a grown up and stop claiming that someone is getting richer at your expense. It looks jealous, petty and juvenile.

  • ||

    "We can fire every government worker in the entire country and still not come even close to covering our debt."

    It would be a good start.

  • ||

    So, yes, over the past ten years, taxpayers have put a whole lot more into paying pension plans than the previous ten years. But this is not due to extravagance,

    Well, taxpayer payments to support extravagantly generous pensions are due to extravagance, regardless of when the payments occur.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Right.

    That fact that governments have underfuded their pension funds does not diminish the fact that the public sector workers have far more generous benefits than comparable workers in the private sector.

    This is NOT because they are more valuable workers. It's merely because the nature of government means there is no competetion or market discipline.

  • ||

    How are these pensions extravagant? Compared to what? When the contracts were signed, neither party claimed that they were extravagant.

    Right now there is a teacher's shortage. You want teachers? You have to make teaching look like a worthwhile profession. How do you do that? You let the market decide, right? They do it by offering more money and benefits to attract good teachers.

    No one has any legal right to demand free services. No one has the right to demand that a public servant become an indentured servant when the economy tanks. On both sides of a contract, a deal is made. We're locked in whether times are good or bad.

    When the contract expires, then we sit down and do another contract. Until then, you meet the contractural obligations.

    That is basic business law. The fact that it is happening with public employees, doesn't change that.

    Fingerpointing is pointless and futile.

  • ||

    BigAM|3.31.10 @ 6:02PM|#
    "How are these pensions extravagant? Compared to what?"
    Uh, compared to *any* other pensions, that's what.

  • ||

    "The Recession generated additional demands for public service, out of sheer necessity."

    Laughable. What? A few more workers for food stamps? Come on!

    When we're out of the recession, do you think ANY of the "needed" workers will be laid off? NOPE!

    "While I am a free-marketer"

    If you were, you probably would not be working for the state! You'd get a contract from the state to do work, at your own company, do it faster, better and cheaper.

    "But don't just demand that us government employees are somehow living high on the hog, are unproductive, or not worth what we are being paid."

    They are... you missed it... it's FEDERAL employees that make $30K more (with benefits) on average. Not state or local. State employees are relatively comparable to the private sector.

  • ||

    You got a part of this correct. But don't blame the "100,000" new public jobs on the Democrats. At the end of the Clinton Administration there were slightly fewer federal employees than at the end of the Kennedy Administration. Thus, slightly fewer federal employees were administering the government of a nation that had grown in population by about 61% in that time frame. (BTW, that's a pretty sweet rate of productivity growth.) The 100,000 new public jobs are federal jobs, courtesy of the Bush Administration. You will find them in a bloated Homeland Security department and an even more bloated Department of Defense. We are, after all, at war, again courtesy of the Bush Administration.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    "At the end of the Clinton Administration there were slightly fewer federal employees than at the end of the Kennedy Administration."

    Is this including Military?

  • Not Neutured||

    But don't blame the "100,000" new public jobs on the Democrats. Yes, as long as we don't blame the Democrats everything will be fine.ONE party is for wasting our money. So the other parties objectives come with a different result? Pulease !

  • ||

    Ooohhh!! A graudate degree in public administration. That IS impressive. The one good that will come from the inevitable implosion of government finance ponzi is that (eventually) useless administrators and similar termites will be cut loose.

  • Scotch Hamilton||

    Those damn public servants...why can't they be more like the private sector, I mean, the fatcats at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, etc, etc, would never do anything to harm the economy!

  • ||

    I figured it out. You're called Scotch because your posts drive people to drink.

  • Jordan||

    Not without the Fed, Treasury, and Congress there to enable them. How many billions have they shovelled to those "fatcats" now?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/l.....s_ss=email

    Read it and defend it, Scotch.

    While you're at it, keep preening about how private-sector employees are inferior to public-sector employees. It's amusing, if not sad as fuck.

  • ||

    Scotch Hamilton|3.31.10 @ 10:07AM|#
    "Those damn public servants...why can't they be more like the private sector, I mean, the fatcats at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, etc, etc, would never do anything to harm the economy!"
    Are brain-dead lefties born with the lack of talent required to draw false equivalences, or does it take many years of study to achieve that level of ignorance?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I see now that there's been a "public service" student-loan forgiveness scheme since at least the reign of Bush II. So it's cool.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Anybody bring Scotchy treats today?

  • Bizarro Scotch||

    Ya know who else was a public servant? That's right. Hitler.

  • Godwin||

    Yes he was.

  • ||

    Damn straight

  • rgold||

    So the private sector goes into the toilet, mainly because of poor risk-mgmt by large institutions, and an over-consumption bubble in the middle/upper-middle class, and the problem is with public sector employees??

    Public/Private sector employees, particularly in the professional ranks, must be compared with the risk/reward of their profession.

    Public employees choose to accept job stability and better benefits as a trade off for knowing that they aren't going to make big money in a booming economy. They sit by and watch under-educated mortgage brokers make $25k/month during a boom, but decide they don't want to trade their stability for 7x or 8x more money. Of course they look great a few years later when all the mortgage brokers were out of business and they still had their stable job. But to start admonishing them now I don't think is fair.

    Besides if you really want to talk about waste, start looking at Federal contractors that do the same job as gov't employees, but charge the gov't double the rate. But I suppose that's all right, since those are "private-sector" jobs. Right.

  • monkeyman||

    "Public employees choose to accept job stability and better benefits as a trade off for knowing that they aren't going to make big money in a booming economy."

    ...which would be fine if they weren't already making significantly more than their private sector counterparts, regardless of the condition of the economy.

  • The Fuzz||

    Works for us. Our best benefit is being exempt from the laws we enforce!

  • DEK||

    The very notion of job stability in public employees is STUPID. A public employee is there to serve a need. When that need no longer exists, their job should no longer exist. If a private sector industry can do the job better and cheaper, the public job should cease to exist. Since when was being a "servant" of the public a desirable thing? Historically people have sought to be free...now they seek to "serve" (THEMSELVES) to the easy fat cash on non-productivity.

    I wonder here in Michigan if all the extra unemployment office public employees will be let go if our economy turns around and unemployment goes down? I HIGHLY doubt it.

  • rgold||

    A large % of the federal workforce is in the DoD. I'm not sure when those needs are expected to go away, other than if the DoD's size and objectives are shrunk.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    The DoD is a bloated mass, full of bloated bastards, sluggishly punching numbers into bloated spreadsheets. Bloat.

    Working on the periphery of that monstrosity, I got to see a mere glimpse of the graft, laziness, and pointlessness of most of that apparatus. The DoD serves some purpose, but somewhere between the beginning of the Cold War and now (with periods of thankful stagnation), it has become one of the largest liabilities on our balance sheet. I saw people who "make" 100 K annually play cards for 4+ hours a day while one poor bastard did all the work. I saw useful people tasked with useless work. I witnessed the 8 month process it took to fire an intentionally unproductive engineer. Waste, Waste...Waste as far as the eye can see!!! As I alluded to before, this was only a glimpse of one part of one tentacle of this beast. Can you imagine how widespread it can be? Can you imagine how much is wasted on this monstrosity, whose most productive components are flanked by legions of administrators and middle managers that only serve to slow the rest of it down?

    Arguably, there is a necessity to the DoD, but is there a necessity for all its layers of bulbous fat that skims the floor? For the DoD like the rest of our Government institutions, there needs to be a reckoning (gradual, or immediate I care not). We cannot pay people ridiculous sums to play cards while others slave away in West Virignia coal mines for much less.

  • rgold||

    I would agree with that if it were a completely apples to apples comparison. There is no doubt that gov't pay has a high correlation to longevity and seniority. It ties back to the Army pyschologists decades ago on how you go about retaining people.

    Its a fact that the Federal workforce (which is what you are talking about) is much older, on average, than the overall private-sector workforce. I do think we'll see some rebalancing of those numbers in the next decade as the Feds expect a huge wave of retirements - which draws the overall nation's demographic swing.

  • ||

    So the private sector goes into the toilet, mainly because of poor risk-mgmt by large institutions, and an over-consumption bubble in the middle/upper-middle class, and the problem is with public sector employees??

    Well, leaving aside the government programs that contributed moral hazard and excess liquidity . . .

    This is about the coming fiscal collapse, driven in large part by government sector employment, not the last fiscal collapse.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "So the private sector goes into the toilet, mainly because of poor risk-mgmt by large institutions, and an over-consumption bubble in the middle/upper-middle class, and the problem is with public sector employees??"

    No it was mainly because of monetary policy mismanagement at the Federal Reserve, mismanagement at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (governmetn sponsored enterprises) at the encouragement of the likes of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, the sarbox mark-to-market rules and the government created oligopoly of the credit rating agencies like Moody's and S&P that overated all those risky mortgage backed securities.

  • Tony||

    Are you still peddling this bullshit? It's like not only are you stuck on right-wing blogs, but right-wing blogs from 9 months ago. Hit refresh dude.

  • Upgrayyed||

    If I hit refresh I can change history? Fucking sweet.

  • ||

    Only if you pimpin.

  • ||

    Amen.

  • ||

    Tony|3.31.10 @ 12:23PM|#
    "Are you still peddling this bullshit? It's like not only are you stuck on right-wing blogs, but right-wing blogs from 9 months ago. Hit refresh dude."
    Poor Chony. S/he's really tired of reading facts; please replace them with more lefty fantasies.

  • Jordan||

    So the private sector goes into the toilet, mainly because of poor risk-mgmt by large institutions, and an over-consumption bubble in the middle/upper-middle class, and the problem is with public sector employees??

    Yes. Take a look at pension and healthcare obligations for pretty much any state you care to pick. Also, growth of state payrolls has far outpaced population growth plus inflation.

  • ||

    rgold|3.31.10 @ 10:30AM|#
    "So the private sector goes into the toilet, mainly because of poor risk-mgmt by large institutions, and an over-consumption bubble in the middle/upper-middle class,..."
    Assertion minus anything like evidence. Are you a liberal?

    "Public employees choose to accept job stability and better benefits as a trade off for knowing that they aren't going to make big money in a booming economy.."
    Followed by a lie. We paid tax increases to cover pay/benefit increases when times were good to supposedly keep public trough-suckers.

    "Besides if you really want to talk about waste, start looking at Federal contractors that do the same job as gov't employees, but charge the gov't double the rate. But I suppose that's all right, since those are "private-sector" jobs. Right."
    Followed by one more lie. You *are* a liberal, aren't you?

  • ||

    Dude that is like the coolest thing I ever seeen

    Lou
    www.anon-browsing.eu.tc

  • Sudden||

    Anonymity bot hath spoken. The thread hath reached completion.

  • Sally||

    Bureaucrats as welfare whores pales in comparison to bankers as welfare whores. But Reason loves corporations so (they're not government, you know). Once the government falls, the swaggering elitists can drop the libertarian facade and go full on corporate fascist, eh?

  • freeforall232||

    I think you may be confusing your terms. "Libertarian" means the government doesn't take your money and use it for anyone else's welfare, private individual OR corporate.

    The Evil and Lesser Evil parties are what you would call corporate fascists. They are the ones taking our money and giving it to corporations.

  • ||

    Most people at Reason and here on the blog did not approve of bailing out the banks. Try again.

  • ||

    Do you ever actually read Reason.com or did you just come here and randomly pick a thread in which to vent and make yourself feel better? LIBERTARIANS ARE NOT CORPORATISTS! Corporate welfare is even more offensive to us than any other type of gov't handout, but understand this: Corporate welfare only occurs when government is large and flush with cash (whether it's tax revenue, borrowed or printed).

  • Sally||

    Until the government falls, libertarians and corporatist are in the same camp. We all hate the government. It's what comes after that draws the distinction.

    I think Reason tipped its hand by how they handled the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Were you here when Reason staffers were falling all over themselves to back the invasion/occupation of Iraq? Persisting, even after Bush's fraud of a casus beli collapsed. True story.

    Maybe I have too much of the anarcho flavor in my libertarian lay out, but to me Reason looks like a 5th column, put in the libertarian game to run interference for their moneyed Koch sucker financial masters.

  • ||

    "We all hate the government."

    Libertarians hate intrusive nanny states. The other two sides hate the government for their own reasons.

    There are, in fact, a few pro war libertarians out there. Larry Elder comes to mind. But this current Reason staff don't seem too thrilled about it. National security isn't always a prominent issue for them, when compared to, let's say, the Cato Institute.

    So what if they endorsed the war 8 years ago? Things have changed since then. And libertarians admit that they hold all kinds of different views. They're less driven by ideological purism than the GOP. Or the democrats, if you prefer.

  • SKR||

    Is it just me or do others think A.J. Duffy a caricature of a shady union boss?

  • skr||

    damn stiff keyboard

    "... Duffy is a ..."

  • ||

    I'm a free marketer too, but we can't just break our contracts to pay these public servants. Withouth firemen and police entire cities would be bruning to the ground...remember the great Chicago fire!

    As much as I hate to say it...all of you have to pay higher taxes, it is the responsible thing to do.

  • Suck it up Crybaby||

    Public sector employees go by the seniority system. The ones that keep their jobs are the ones who have been there the longest. That leaves the ones who will keep you waiting while they are chatting online or jabbering with other employees. Doing anything but their job. This needs to change, especally in California which is about to fall in the the Pacific as it is laden with tens of billions in dept.

  • Suck it up Crybaby||

    Public sector employees go by the seniority system. The ones that keep their jobs are the ones who have been there the longest. That leaves the ones who will keep you waiting while they are chatting online or jabbering with other employees. Doing anything but their job. This needs to change, especially in California which is about to fall in the the Pacific as it is laden with tens of billions in dept. Hopefully Jerry Brown looses the race for the Governorship. If not put on your life jackets.
    www.suckitupcrybaby.com

  • ||

    You are so 1980s. The biggest reason public sector employees stayed in their jobs was the golden handcuffs. They had relatively good defined-benefit, non-portable retirement systems (e.g., the old federal Civil Service Retirement System). Those systems, at the federal, state, and local levels are all history. Reagan killed the CSRS, and replaced it with the Federal Employees' Retirement System, a three-part system that relies upon Social Security, a small defined-benefit annuity, and a 401(k)-like savings plan. Except for the annuity, the FERS is portable. The result is now being seen--older feds on CSRS, and their state and local counterparts, are now reaching retirement age and are retiring in larger and larger numbers. Meanwhile, younger hires, under the new portable retirement systems, are no longer forced to stay in public employment. No doubt this trend has been somewhat slowed by the current economic downturn, but when it is over, there will be a faster departure of younger workers from public sector employment. Once the older employees from CSRS and state equivalents have retired, the public sector workforce will be much more mobile than before. Is this good or bad? Some of both I suspect, since it will allow ambitious and competent workers to move from public to private employment without the former "penalties" inherent in the old retirement systems. On the other hand, public sector employers will have more difficulty retaining competent workers. Of course, we know how to fix that--the same way they do it in the private sector--pay them more.

  • Upgrayyed||

    "On the other hand, public sector employers will have more difficulty retaining competent workers." As opposed to?

  • ||

    Can you please provide references to what you wrote? It makes sense and I find it interesting and would like to read up on this transition from one retirement system to another. thanks.

  • ||

    Publius Novus|3.31.10 @ 1:53PM|#
    "....Of course, we know how to fix that--the same way they do it in the private sector--pay them more."

    We already do, for rotten service.
    From the article:
    "federal employees make on average almost $8,000 more than their private-sector counterparts. When you add in benefits, the gap spreads to about $30,000. State and local government workers make around the same as private-sector counterparts, but their health and retirement packages mean they make significantly more in the end."

  • carl||

    as a former employee for the state of arizona i saw too much complacency among the workers. they showed up, obese in stretchy pants and sat on their corpulant buns to do only one thing all day and that is complain. they thought they were so important.

    by the way this was my 1st job out of college and i am happy to say i was laid off from there and will never consider going back to work for a gov't agency.

  • tony||

    I could not agree more...I'll never forget the ABC's Prime Time Live with Sam Donaldson where he talks about 'scientists' being on the government payroll to study the flow rate of ketchup...insane! That was waaaay back in the 90's...it's still insane!

  • Rex Stetson||

    The numbers in that USA Today article are not correct. According to C&E news (http://pubs.acs.org/cen/acsnews/87/8710salary.html), in 2008 the average salary for a chemistry working for the government was $96,000 whereas a chemist working in industry made an average $102,000, ($6000 more, not ~26,000 less). Having worked for the government I can also say that most scientists have Master's and PhDs which artificially makes that $96,000 higher. I am currently a college professor, and bachelor level students that graduate from my institution regularly make more than I do.
    I should also say that the federal insurance and retirement programs are not that great.

  • ||

    Rex Stetson|3.31.10 @ 7:45PM|#
    "The numbers in that USA Today article are not correct. According to C&E news (http://pubs.acs.org/cen/acsnews/87/8710salary.html)"
    Did you major in cherry-picking data? The fact that you can find *one* supposed exception suggests you haven't a clue.

    "I am currently a college professor, and bachelor level students that graduate from my institution regularly make more than I do."
    So?

    "I should also say that the federal insurance and retirement programs are not that great."
    I should say you *really* don't have a clue as to what constitutes evidence.

  • Rex Stetson||

    The way that a scientist works is that they gather and scrutinize evidence. I don't trust the one source's (Bureau of Labor Statistics) data given in the USA Today article. I have given evidence, both hard data and anecdotal that dispute the original evidence. It is up to the educated reader to look at both sources as well as other sources that they should find and make up their own mind. In other words, my comments weren't meant for you.

  • ||

    truth,,,,obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led."
    "The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one."
    "All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it."
    "Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise."pelosi don't see much future for the Americans ... it's a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social inequalities ...obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance ... everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it's half Judaised, and the other half negrified. How can one expect a State like that to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries... Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit… The media's justification is apparently “because it's out there”, truth be damned. STOP THIS COMMUNIST OBAMA ,GOD HELP US ALL .THE COMMANDER ((GOD OPEN YOUR EYES)) stop the communist obama & pelosi.((open you eyes)) ,the commander

  • ||

    well, I do agree whole heartedly but some public employees -- such as myself -- work in self funded situations (soft money); this means that our contractual and other income pays our way benefits and all. Our work subsidizes the non-profit work and -- talk about union nonsense -- when those sections can't pay their union employees we have to take them and lay-off one of our own skilled trained employees. WTF? Furthermore, it is an absurdity to advance the argument of debt led recovery...think about it.

  • ||

    by non-profit I mean education and other programs.

  • ||

    Oh, I came from private sector to public sector. My ex co-workers can't believe I get paid to do what I do -- yes I get paid substantially more. I totally agree that public employment is not in touch with reality...by which I mean the reality of the private sector.

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

  • xiaoyang||

    Beer and wine kisumu 2 possess a small amount of methyl alcohol, also known as fuel line antifreeze along with cook oven fuel. It is just a harmless quantity in ale and wine beverage but when distilled atmbt sapatu the wrong temp a dangerous amount of methyl alchol can be done.

  • sd||

    sd

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