The Latest in The War Between Public & Private Sector Workers: "The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade."

Put down that coffee or soda before reading the latest of the massive and growing gap between public and private sector compensation:

Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.

Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available.

The federal compensation advantage has grown from $30,415 in 2000 to $61,998 last year.

But wait, there's more:

What the data show:

Benefits. Federal workers received average benefits worth $41,791 in 2009. Most of this was the government's contribution to pensions. Employees contributed an additional $10,569.

Pay. The average federal salary has grown 33% faster than inflation since 2000. USA TODAY reported in March that the federal government pays an average of 20% more than private firms for comparable occupations. The analysis did not consider differences in experience and education.

•Total compensation. Federal compensation has grown 36.9% since 2000 after adjusting for inflation, compared with 8.8% for private workers.

The article notes that defenders of federal pay levels argue that public employers tend to have more education than their private sector counterparts. Which, as much as anything, probably reflects credentialism run amok as a demonstrated need for specialized skills.

Read the whole thing here.

When federal workers' average annual benefits comes close to as much as many people make in straight salary, well, that ain't right. And it's not only economically unsustainable, it's politically poisonous as well. Folks ranging from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Willie Brown have pointed out that massive public employee labor costs are simply out of control. In a world in which, rightly or wrongly (I think mostly rightly), private sector workers are fending more and more form themselves, nobody is going to go gentle into that good night as tax-supported workers get more money, hugely better benefits, absolute job security, and better retirement set-ups.

Lots of previous posts on the coming war between public and private sector workers.

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  • Mikey||

    Firrrrrst!

  • waffles||

    nice

  • waffles||

    why you!

  • The Other Kevin||

    Quite obviously, the government needs to remove this gap by forcing all employers to double everyone's pay and benefits. As an added bonus, that will stick it to those evil corporations and stimulate the economy with some kind of multiplier or something.

    And seriously, I would not put it past someone in Washington to propose this.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Government workers, whether federal, state, or local, generally have too-generous pay packages--early retirement, in particular, but this is scarcely an apples-to-apples comparison. Federal workers are overwhelmingly white collar, not to mention being disproportionately located in high-salary urban areas. Yeah, we should fire a lot of them, require them to work 40 years instead of 30 or 20, and contribute more. But "Doc" Gillespie should spare us the "that ain't right" language. Put down the pitchfork, Nick. It doesn't really go with the leather jacket.

  • ||

    Government workers, whether federal, state, or local, generally have too-generous pay packages--early retirement, in particular, but this is scarcely an apples-to-apples comparison.

    Apples to apples:

    the federal government pays an average of 20% more than private firms for comparable occupations.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Well, 20% I can believe, easily. 100%, I don't believe. It's not that hard. And, no, I haven't worked for Uncle Sam since Vietnam. $265 a month (including combat pay) plus free cigarettes! Sweet!

  • Invisible Finger||

    Mind you, it's 20% more PER EMPLOYEE. There are usually more public employees than necessary, so you wind up with larger payroll and pension obligations than necessary.

  • kilroy||

    Do you work in the public sector, Mr. Vanneman?

  • The Gobbler||

    If by "work in the public sector" you mean "public domain" as in "borrowing" stories and characters created by authors long ago dead, then yes, he does.

  • ||

    Wait, most, if not all, of those pube-sec workers are unionized! They don't have that kind of influence!

  • Old Mexican||

    The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.

    That's because Federal Employees are more productive . . . what are you guys laughing at???

  • Jeffersonian||

    Meaning they dig holes and fill them back up more efficiently than the private sector?

  • Old Mexican||

    That's why I asked: What are you guys laughing at???

    ;-)

  • Virginia||

    The analysis did not consider differences in experience and education.

    Why should it?

  • Dello||

    So, if I'm understanding it right: Not only are CURRENT pensions killing budgets, but every new government employee (via the "Look! We've created jobs!" program) will hang our children and grandchildren with a never-ending story of budget crisis.

    Is that about right?

  • dotdotdot||

    Affirmative. Never underestimate the willingness of a politician to buy votes current services at the expense of future generations.

  • Old Mexican||

    The article notes that defenders of federal pay levels argue that public employers tend to have more education than their private sector counterparts. Which, as much as anything, probably reflects credentialism run amok as a demonstrated need for specialized skills.

    . . . Or, that the explanation is totally bogus.

    What's "more education"? A person that received his Master in political science really more educated than a 30-year-experience electro-mechanical engineer?

  • adam||

    A chemist with a PhD is more educated that a chemist with a bachelors. A nurse with an RN is more educated than a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse. There are examples in most occupations.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: adam,

    A chemist with a PhD is more educated that a chemist with a bachelors.

    How do you determine that? The PhD only tells you the guy wrote a paper. The chemist with the bachelor's degree may already have 20 years+ experience working in the field. HOW can you determine who is "more educated"?

    Are you seriously going to argue that time spent sitting in a desk at school determines how well educated a person might be?

  • MJ||

    "Educated" just means more formal training, it does not necessarily suggest practical knowledge or competence in the field.

  • Hobie Hanson||

    "The article notes that defenders of federal pay levels argue that public employers tend to have more education than their private sector counterparts. Which, as much as anything, probably reflects credentialism run amok as a demonstrated need for specialized skills."

    If only I could wish away the mold in my shower as nonchalantly as Gillespie wishes away his opponents valid arguments.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Hobie Hanson,

    If only I could wish away the mold in my shower as nonchalantly as Gillespie wishes away his opponents valid arguments.

    They're valid???

  • ||

    How fricking lazy are you? Spray some Tilex in that bitch while it's still wet. Wait a few, hose the area down with water.

    A clean bathroom isn't that hard, people.

  • Hobie Hanson||

    Unlink *some* people, I give a hoot about the environment.

  • ||

    So you smell like a can of vegetable beef soup. Gotcha.

  • ||

    I'm think more like Bean and Bacon.

    Besides, canned soup is all he has after his wife left him for a more exciting lover: a roughly sawn-off 4" length of garden hose.

  • ||

    Don't you mean aquarium tubing?

  • ||

    Dan's penis is only theoretical, like the Higgs Boson. Anything's a step up, really.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Cuckolded by a garden hose

    Makes a better epitaph than:

    Wrote terrible science fiction

  • ||

    Unlink *some* people, I give a hoot about the environment.

    So you have a "Nature Preserve" in your bathtub for mold?

  • Warty||

    Before the crew could leave the bridge, however, a blast rocked the ship. Smith was thrown forward, catching himself on a Pyllinam monitor.

    “What the hell?” Smith exclaimed. “That wasn’t from a Lnormill ray! It felt more like a quadro-helium redax beam or something!”

  • Subsidize Me!||

    His prose satisfies like a wet fart... and not one of your own making.

  • ||

    Lulz

  • ||

    The article notes that defenders of federal pay levels argue that public employers tend to have more education than their private sector counterparts.

    Only someone with a job that is supported by taxpayers and insulated from accountability for results could believe that "education" = value.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Yep, lotsa English Lit majors working the DMV.

  • ||

    ---"The article notes that defenders of federal pay levels argue that public employers tend to have more education than their private sector counterparts."---

    They don't support that claim with any evidence. I have worked around Federal, State & Local government workers and facilities for 30 years, sometimes as a contractor at the facilities. The employees that I have met are just regular schmoes like the rest of us in regards to experience and responsibilities. This has been in urban and more rural environments. I have seen no evidence that the "average" government employee is any more trained or experienced than private sector employees. I will grant that there is a core group of "professionals" working for the government, but that is the case in private industry also.

    Government employees get automatic step increases based on time employed, etc. I know of no private employer that gives raises automatically at preset intervals.

    Unless somebody shows me that government is top-heavy with specially skilled people, I will continue to believe that non-government workers are getting hosed.

  • Karl||

    Anecdotal, but I have a similar experience in my field, though it's not really a private vs. federal thing. I work at a state university in the space sciences field. We have not received a raise in about 5 years. I have colleagues at a 'federal' center in the same field. They are identical in all ways to colleagues here (ie. education, experience). They generally start at about 50% higher salary and they have gotten a base raise of 2.5% (and up to 6% if they qualify for 'merit' increase, eg. they do their job) every year for the last 5 years. I'm not sure why there is the huge differences since both schedules are controlled legislatively - perhaps at the state level, the legislature is more in tune with fiscal constraints (I can't believe I typed that without laughing...) since they can't just print up money.
    -K

  • ||

    Anecdotal again...

    I've worked as an Army Contractor for nearly 10 years. Sure there are plenty of talented scientists, programmers, and engineers but my impression of the government workforce is that it's mostly paper-pushers. I've got no confidence in that statistic unless we're talking about government employees working within 30 or so miles of DC.

    Where I work, 1/3 of all the households in the surrounding county have someone employeed directly or indirectly by the installation. I think that around there it's almost more like a birthright. My grandfather worked there, my mother works there, my brother and sister work there...

  • ||

    "The article notes that defenders of federal pay levels argue that public employers tend to have more education than their private sector counterparts. Which, as much as anything, probably reflects credentialism run amok as a demonstrated need for specialized skills."

    No it says that the government is sucking up what should be our most productive workers. Of all of the statistics that is the most disturbing one.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Only if you consider productivity/GDP to be a useful measure of economic activity.

  • Virginia||

    the government is sucking up what should be our most productive workers

    Instead they're lazy credentialed bureaucrats none the wiser for their loss.

  • ||

    No it says that the government is sucking up what should be our most productive workers. Of all of the statistics that is the most disturbing one.

    Not really. Since anyone who would work for the government doesn't have any self-respect in regard to actually producing a good or service it seems highly unlikely that the "productive" work for government, except briefly.

    The question isn't if the average government employee has a Masters degree. The question is what percentage of those degrees are in Social Work, or Underwater Basket Weaving. They are only "educated" in being Statists. Sitting in a classroom called a "university" doesn't equate to being educated.

  • ||

    Oh so people turn down what everyone admits are higher paying more stable jobs in the government out of the goodness of their hearts? Or for their self respect? What planet do you live on?

    Money talks. If government jobs are more stable and higher paying, they are going to attract better people. That is how the market works. Yeah, they may suck and drain your soul. But, everyone has to make a living.

    And sadly the government employs tons of engineers, software people, and everything else under the sun. If you don't think that is sucking away talent from the private sector, you are kidding yourself.

  • ||

    ---"If government jobs are more stable and higher paying, they are going to attract better people"---

    If government jobs are more stable and higher paying, they are going to attract MORE people.

    There, that's better.

  • ||

    "If government jobs are more stable and higher paying, they are going to attract MORE people."

    No they will attract more and better people. If I paid someone a guaranteed for life with 30% retirement at 30 years six figure salary to come clean my toilet, I bet I could get some pretty fantastic people to want to come clean my toilet.

  • Upgrayyed||

    Alternatively- if you put out a sign in your yard that says "Pick up my dog shit- $500", will you get the best person?

  • ||

    I bet I will get a better person than if I put up a sign that says "pick up my dog shit for $5".

  • Upgrayyed||

    Do you need a doctor to pick up your dog shit?

  • ||

    No. And if I use one, that is a serious misallocation of resources. And that is my point.

  • Upgrayyed||

    And my point is that the government ignores market forces with regards to both compensation and efficient hiring practices, therefore ensuring neither the best nor cost sensitive workforce.

  • ||

    Money talks. If government jobs are more stable and higher paying, they are going to attract better people. That is how the market works. Yeah, they may suck and drain your soul. But, everyone has to make a living.

    Sure, John, there are those who will sell their souls to work for government. By definition they aren't concerned with "productivity" though, are they? How could they be both really productive, and willing to not produce to make money?

    They are really productive, but aren't. Makes. total. sense.

  • ||

    They are interested like everyone else in paying their bills. People work for money not to be productive. And where in a sane world they would be working in productive useful jobs making money in the private sector, thanks to the wage gap they are now working in unproductive or worse yet damaging jobs in the government sector making better money. That is a net loss to society.

    I don't know why basic economics is so hard for even some libertarians to grasp.

  • ||

    John, while you might be willing to eat government shit for money, there are actually people with real principles, even if you are unfamiliar with the idea. Not surprisingly, they don't like or stay in the government.

    "People never turn down money that is available" isn't basic economics, in spite of your apparent ignorance of the subject.

  • ||

    Seriously are you that ignorant? People will turn down money in some cases but only if there are good or at least somewhat equitable choices available.

    Yeah, if you have a hard on about not working for the government, the satisfaction of turning the job down outweighs the benefit of the money. But most people are not like that. Most people work for the best money they can get.

    If you don't understand that concept, you really are not very bright or don't get out much.

  • ||

    Seriously are you that ignorant? People will turn down money in some cases but only if there are good or at least somewhat equitable choices available.

    But, by definition, taking money and being non-productive equals less than good or somewhat equitable. At least for ANY person who cares if they actually earn what make. According to your logic the only people who don't murder for money are those afraid of getting arrested, because the money is damn good and NOTHING else matters.

    By definition, a person willing to work for government and be non-productive is less productive than a person unwilling to not produce.

    I have two sisters who are school teachers. The one who is a public school teacher is, without question, less productive than the private school teacher but makes better money. While she might be more productive in the private sector, she is much less productive in reality.

    You are confusing "potentially productive" with "productive". While government employees are less productive than they would be in the private sector, that isn't the same as saying that really good people work for government. It simply isn't true.

  • ||

    Marshall,

    You totally miss the point. The point is that government employment is less productive. And that is why it is harmful. We are taking our best and brightest and giving them every incentive to go into government work rather than go into the private sector. That is lost productivity and a bad thing.

    I am not saying they are right now our most productive workers. I am saying they would be if we didn't over pay government positions.

    Admit it, you got caught with your ass showing making stupid statements about how the best paying jobs will somehow only attract the worst people and got called on it.

  • ||

    Apparently, I did miss your point. Why wouldn't I? There is a big difference between, "the government isn't productive so all government employees are a waste" which is apparently what you meant, and "really, really good people go to work for the government because it pays good" which is closer to what you seemed to be saying.

    I completely agree that almost all government employees would be much more productive digging ditches in the private sector than being parasites. No question about that. If you are arguing that our "best and brightest" go to work for government and stay there, I question your definition of "best".

  • ||

    Those higher paying, etc. government jobs may attract good resumes, but that doesn't mean good people will actually get the jobs.

    One thing I have noticed about the mediocre: they don't hire the excellent.

  • ||

    "One thing I have noticed about the mediocre: they don't hire the excellent."

    But that is true in all walks of life. My whole family works in the private sector and the same egg sucking mediocrities rise to the top there as in government.

    Ultimately, any big organization private or government is going to promote and reward the craven. It is just a law of human activity. If you want to be rewarded for excellence, start your own business and work for yourself. And even then you have to be lucky. That is just how life works. In the aggregate is is somewhat of a meritocracy. But at the micro level it is anything but.

  • ||

    I'm going to agree with John on this one. In the army we had the old saying about "Fuck up, move up." and by god, I saw it in action more times than I cared too. In the civilian world I've witnessed the exact same phenomenon even though you would think upper management would be aware of the negative impact it has on the company and on employee morale. Apparently, stupid rules.

  • ||

    I guess because I grew up hearing my father talk about how stupid corporate America was, I never bought into the idea that the stupidity in the Army was any different than the stupidity anywhere else.

    I am not sure if it has always been this way or if we just live in the age of stupidity.

  • ||

    "One thing I have noticed about the mediocre: they don't hire the excellent."

    But that is true in all walks of life.

    This is an actual case of a government multiplier. Because it doesn't have to respond to the market, government is even more stupid than the private sector. Even though really, really productive people work in government because it pays so well.

  • Geoff||

    Remember this USA Today article from March? Closer to comparing apples to apples.
    -------------------------------------
    The typical federal worker is paid 20% more than a private-sector worker in the same occupation. Median annual salary:
    Federal Private Difference
    $66,591 $55,500 $11,091

    Sources: Bureau of Labor statistics, USA TODAY analysis

    --------------------------------------
    Much more: http://www.usatoday.com/news/n.....-pay_N.htm

  • doomboy||

    i'm sure the change in private sector payrolls from decent jobs in the US to crappy McService jobs is driving a lot of this . . .averages are mostly good at hiding the details of the distributions. . . . there are no government jobs that pay 12k a year with close to zero bennies. . . .

    private sector biatch here . . . what I hate is how when I started out my salary was above average and now its below average . . .wtf. . .at least my 401k is doing . . .uh . . . whats the opposite of great again?

  • ||

    the change in private sector payrolls from decent jobs in the US to crappy McService jobs is driving a lot of this

    [citation needed]

  • doomboy||

    2010 Ass, My

    "People who use [citation needed] are tools without an argument". Obvious Crap Press. NYC.

    "Do you have a point?". More Obvious Press. Boston.

    "How to calculate an Average". Intro to Statistics. Bonn.

  • ||

    "Burden of proof falls on that person making an assertion" Logic, basic rule of.

    "Rubbing Class Envy Hotsauce on butthole spawns liberal thought" Given.

  • ||

    Class Envy Hot Sauce is a great brand name.

  • ||

    "Get Ready For A Top 1% Burn!"

  • ||

    "Use only as directed"

  • Subsidize Me!||

    You came for an argument, so make one.

    Or don't, and admit you were full of shit (like we already knew).

  • ||

    Looks like he went for door #3: tuck tail and run.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    I still find it odd how they appear harboring the absurd notion that commenters at a magazine called Reason will somehow forego critical analysis and blindly accept wildly anecdotal assertions.

    Is this how the commentariat works at RedState and Kos?

  • doomboy||

    Funny you mention Kos and Redstate, as comments here have gone way down that road from where they were a year and more ago . . . much more a shout-fest of groupthink from the loyalists. I guess the reality of the not-at-all-free market in the US going down the shitter has upset its cheerleaders.

    My post was clearly my opinion (the "i'm sure" part should have been a clue) and not an assertion of fact. If you took it as an appeal to authority from a semi-anon poster called doomboy, well, thats your lack of critical thinking. Still, does anyone dispute the majority of service jobs pay less than high-skill jobs such as manufacturing, engineering, IT, etc? Or that there are more of the former and less of the latter than there used to be? The average for private industry could be going down at the same time the gov average is going up, which was my point. Its also my experience, and that of others in our private small business, what was decent compensation 10+ years ago is not as decent today.

    And I'm sorry if I couldn't entertain the choir here by promptly replying, I was working; many jobs don't actually allow for constant blogging/commenting.

    Now, I will tuck tail and go back to work again. Enjoy your echo-chamber.

  • Virginia||

    Automation.

    Over the past decade, U.S. manufacturing jobs have declined by more than 11 percent, Miklovic noted. But at the same time, Japan’s manufacturing employment base has dropped by 16 percent, while the number of manufacturing jobs in countries including Brazil have declined by some 20 percent, he pointed out. “And one of the largest losers of manufacturing jobs has been China,” Miklovic added. “We like to pick on China and say that all of these jobs are going to China, but they’re losing jobs in manufacturing as well.”

    [citation]

  • Jeffersonian||

    I like automation. It's what I do for a living.

    Oh, and I'm a degreed electrical engineer with 28 years of experience, and my overall compensation package isn't quite what an average federal droid gets.

  • classwarrior||

    Actually, Other Kevin your sarcasm aside, you've hit upon a point market fundameantalists would rather not discuss. That is the decline in real wages for most private sector workers which is fuelling the expanding gap between them and their public sector counterparts. Wasn't "free trade" and lower tax rates for the rich supposed to make us all better off? Just asking.

  • ||

    That is the decline in real wages for most private sector workers

    [citation needed]

    Be sure to factor in increased benefits and taxes.

  • ||

    Yeah, good luck with that whole citation thing. Do any of these clowns ever throw down when called out?

  • The Gobbler||

    Little Tonys All.

  • Invisible Finger||

    The other problem is with world populations increasing and manufacturing increasingly becoming a higher-tech proposition with fewer, more skilled workers, you wind up with a larger supply of labor than two generations ago. Increased supply of labor lowers the price of labor. Over the long-term, unions know this fact and therefore have little objection to slicing jobs so long as barriers to entry are erected.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Classwarrior,

    Actually [...] you've hit upon a point market fundam[en]talists would rather not discuss. That is the decline in real wages for most private sector workers which is fuelling the expanding gap between them and their public sector counterparts.

    You mean, it is not that public sector wages have been going up, it is that private sector wages have been going down? Well, I'll be damned! Those greedy bastards, lowering our wages!

    Wasn't "free trade" and lower tax rates for the rich supposed to make us all better off? Just asking.

    You are able to afford a computer. Doesn't that make you better off? Where do you think computers are being made? Peoria?

    Just for starters.

    And now, for better news: You just received the MNG Prize for Empty Headedness. Congratulations!!

  • Billy Beck||

    Did Nick graduate cum laude from some teevee news school of drama-delivery, or does he speak that way all the time?

  • Max||

    Off topic, but nothing at all about the deadly heat wave in Moscow? The straps for those blinkers must be getting tight.

  • ||

    You're correct. That is off topic.

    Also, see the morning links.

  • ||

    "nobody is going to go gentle into that good night as tax-supported workers get more money, hugely better benefits, absolute job security, and better retirement set-ups"

    This situation requires a name. It isn't exactly race or class warfare, but it's going to get ugly. I propose "Sector Warfare."

  • Solanum||

    Edward, classwarrior, Dan T and Vanneman all in one thread. Who rang the troll dinner chime?

  • ||

    I gotta blame The Jacket.

  • Take Care of THIS!||

    We're still missing MiNGe. I'm sure he'll be along shortly.

  • Geoff||

    Is there any reliable studies on public sector productivity vs. private sector? I have a feeling that the government is already paying a lot more for much less output in the same occupations.

  • Geoff||

    *Are there....

  • ||

    IT'S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY!!!

  • ||

    the government is sucking up what should be our most productive workers.

    I suspect it's more likely the government is keeping most of those people from ending up homeless. Productivity-driven people don't go to work for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • ||

    Like those above, you seem to believe in the laws of the market in every case except this one. Is really your belief that people would turn down what you admit are the best paying and most stable jobs out of principle?

    Sure some of them would. But some people do a lot of things. In aggregate people are going to go where the money is. If you made miming the highest paying and most stable job in the country, you would have people quitting other productive careers to become mimes.

    The laws of the market don't change. And you can't forget them or pretend they don't apply just because it makes you feel better. If you want to do that, go become a liberal.

  • ||

    Like those above, you seem to believe in the laws of the market in every case except this one. Is really your belief that people would turn down what you admit are the best paying and most stable jobs out of principle?

    John, the principle of the market is that people do things for incentives not just money. You seem completely unaware that there are actually people out there, even if a minority, who do not want to be on the receiving end of wealth transfers. Some of us believe that these people who refuse to be, let's call them "looters" are more productive than those willing to not produce.

    I assume that you are a male prostitute because it pays well? No? Why not? Because there is more to a job than pay. You keep implying that being under the heel of bureaucrat is no big deal, and that no one would pass up better money to not be a worthless piece of shit. It is called "projection".

  • Neu Mejican||

    You keep implying that being under the heel of bureaucrat is no big deal, and that no one would pass up better money to not be a worthless piece of shit. It is called "projection".

    "No one" would be overstating. But, "the minority" seems, on balance, to be a fair assessment. Same basic job, same basic working conditions...most people will go with the money.

  • ¢||

    Is there any reliable studies on public sector productivity vs. private sector?

    That doesn't even make sense. You can't misallocate resources productively.

  • ||

    You know, I'm surprised that Hit & Run hasn't mentioned the dramatic resignation of the JetBlue flight attendant. The guy's all over the news.

  • ||

    Or the death of Ted Stevens.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Ted's dead. Bye, Ted.

  • ||

    He's on The Rainbow Bridge to Nowhere, now.

  • Butch||

    Ted's dead, baby. Ted's dead.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Curtis Mayfield, call your office!

  • ||

    Has that been confirmed? I heard that Sean O'Keefe, the old NASA administrator, may also have been on the flight.

  • ||

    Apropos of nothing, the downed flight comes up first in Google News for me, the dramatically departing flight attendant second.

  • ||

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Alleged death.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Put down that coffee or soda before reading or take a nitro pill.

  • ||

    In other shocking news, it appears there may be some unanticipated (by Congress, anyway) complications in implementing the new! improved! financial regulation bill.

    U.S. bank regulators taking one of their first steps to implement sweeping financial-overhaul legislation expressed concern Tuesday that some requirements could cause more harm than good. -WSJ

  • ||

    [shocked face]

  • Alice Bowie||

    "The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade."

    Yes.

    And, as the FREE MARKET continues to allow companies to ship jobs to where ever they can get cheaper labor and are free to bride dictators to allow pollution, expect the GAP to GET BIGGER !!!

    It's not that PUBLIC workers are getting RAISES (those jobs don't get shipped to India), it's that the PRIVATE worker are stagnating (if not losing their jobs) and has to deal with taking pay cuts to compete with the rest of the World.

    But hey, that's the free market and I'll just have to keep a stiff upper lip.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Alice Bowie,

    And, as the FREE MARKET continues to allow companies to ship jobs to where ever they can get cheaper labor and are free to bride dictators to allow pollution, expect the GAP to GET BIGGER !!!

    . . . Rather than letting these companies simply close shop here forever, instead.

    http://www.opacity.us/site63_studebaker_stamping_plant.htm

    It's not that PUBLIC workers are getting RAISES (those jobs don't get shipped to India), it's that the PRIVATE worker are stagnating (if not losing their jobs) and has to deal with taking pay cuts to compete with the rest of the World.

    Ever increasing public pensions and perks have NOTHING to do with anything. Right???

  • robc||

    Maybe we should ship our public sector jobs to India. We can find bureaucrats for pennies on the dollar.

  • Alice Bowie||

    The truth is that we can.

    We can probably ship any job that can be done at a desk off shore.

    The ONLY reason people are making noise about PUBLIC WORKERS is because they were not impacted by the recession...and, that is in the design of the compensation model for public employees.

    It's just that this meltdown was pretty bad. Had the 90's economy continued, nobody would bitch that a teacher/cop gets a pension.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Alice Bowie,

    It's just that this meltdown was pretty bad. Had the 90's economy continued, nobody would bitch that a teacher/cop gets a pension.

    If I were still a teenager, I would probably bitch less about having joint pains.

    Fuck you, Alice.

  • ||

    I saw the other day where there is a booming legal industry in India. Indian common law attornys are working for 1/3 the rate of American ones. I got to thinking. I bet 1/3 of an American lawyer's salary goes further in India that a full salary goes here. Maybe we should embrace this whole thing and just move to India.

  • Alice Bowie||

    America is still the place to be. I'm not moving.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    free to bride dictators

    Imelda was the first I thought of... but she has a shoe fetish, not something I'm into.

    Saddam's back is kind of hairy. No go.

    Hugo has the latino heat, but micropenis isn't so hot. "He's like Napoleon in bed" = not really a turn on.

    Bob Mugabe is a prude.

    Ahmedinejad gets cum stuck in his beard.

    Kim Jong Il looks too much like an asian Elton John. Juche must be Korean for overbaked flamer.

    I just can't resist sometimes... Maybe I'm too free-market oriented to find any of these guys attractive. My mom would be so upset. Wouldn't you? I mean, I can do SOOO much better. It's like that episode of Will and Grace where Will meets this guy he doesn't know anything about but he says all this stupid stuff about him and everyone laughs at Will behind his back... What were we talking about again?

  • Alice Bowie||

    I meant 2 say Free to Bribe dictators. However, I haven't laughed so hard in weeks. I'm kinda glad I made the typo

  • Alice Bowie||

    We should ship all government jobs out except police and fireman. Why should Corporate America be the only entity enjoying the fruit of cheap 2nd/3rd world labor.

    Plus, there be no need to pay pension or benefits to these people.

    Places like India and the Phillipines have people that speak english and work for nothing.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Well, actually, if you had any experience with the real world you might be aware that offshoring skilled and semi-skilled jobs to India is slowing down because its getting harder to find good employees in India that don't already have a job.

    Wow, what a surprise! Instead of an endless supply of cheaper workers, turns out it's a limited one.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Trust u me Mr. Laursen,

    There are many exploitable countries in this world left.

  • Mike Laursen||

    You call it exploitation. I call it expanding our economy, overcoming xenophobia, and promoting world peace by establishing commercial ties.

  • Alice Bowie||

    At the price of American Jobs.

  • Mike Laursen||

    So, all those companies that have remained in business because they have cut costs by offshoring, thereby retaining employment of Americans, you wouldn't want that?

    So, the lower prices American consumers pay for goods? You wouldn't want that, either?

  • Public Employees #1||

    What happened nine years ago to cause this trend?

    9-11, baby!

    Man did we milk that heffer dry!

  • ||

    Just my story.

    I work at a NASA center. I work for a private subcontractor. The civil servants and I do the same job (We’re a badgeless society or so we’re told).
    I’ve gotten pretty good raises - at least 3% a year and have worked for my company for over 10 years. Civil servants only working here 3 years make as much or more than me.
    They also get a pension, and an ungodly amount of sick time (I know people that have 6 months stocked up). There medical isn’t any better than mine (Mine’s horrible).
    Oh by the way, I have a Master’s degree so I have more education than most of them. Something else to note – private companies have to complete to get the job so
    they have to keep a lower overhead (less benefits, pensions, etc) to keep contact costs down. There are some civil servants that do a great job. But there are a lot that are dead weight. If they were private, they would be gone but in the public world – they are set for life.

    Where I work with the end of shuttle, private is downsizing 3000 people. Civil – 0. You can’t say that all the civils are better than every one of the 3000 people being laid off.

    It used to be that if you wanted to become a civil servant you took a paycut but had the knowledge of being secure in your job over private. That has gone away at least here.

  • Wendy C. from Ambler, PA||

    But I am not a special interest, I am a TEACHER damnit!

    And I don't do it for the money, I do it for the children.

    Now shut up and gimme.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I know several public school teachers. All of them either have or are working on Master's degrees. Not one of them thinks the degree will make them any better at teaching, but every one of them goes for it because of the automatic bump in pay.

    There's your education bloat right there.

  • Neu Mejican||

    As someone who has worked in the public sector (state mostly, not federal) for much of my career, I can say that this will depend upon the job.

    In my field (special education), private sector workers make much better salary, but have less stable jobs and less control over working conditions. Public sector workers make less money, but have stable jobs and more control of working conditions.

    This seems to be about the right balance. Although certainly we are not yet in a situation like Greece created for themselves, the idea of cost cutting in government has got to include structural reforms that take these issues into account and look at compensation as more than just money. If the public sector wants to attract workers of quality, they need to compensate them appropriately, but that doesn't mean paying them more than the market value for their work.

  • Benjamin||

    The public sector isn't getting richer, the private sector is getting poorer. Rapidly.

    So explain to me the attempt to stir public outrage that the public sector's pay has kept pace with inflation for 30 years?

    The real question is why private sector pay hasn't kept pace as well. The past 3 decades have seen unprecedented productivity gains and staggering profits for corporate America.

    So why is the average American getting poorer?

    Because your average CEO is primarily payed in stock, not salary, and therefore they plow the lion's share of corporate monies into raising the stock price, and thus their own personal compensation.

    This has the side effect of ensuring that in our society, the hard workers who generate profits are the last to receive a share of them.

    Or to put it another way, your average 4-hour-lunches-to-go-golfing CEO earns in a single hour what their highly-trained-and-educated-with-a-lifetime-of-experience-our-society-can't-function-without-them engineers earn in an entire year. Or to put it another way, in a single year your average CEO will earn 2000 years of engineer pay, or more than your average engineer could earn in 20 lifetimes.

    So yeah, get mad at the mailman because your company has been stealing your cost-of-living increases for 30 years.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Oh and onerous regulations, politically correct lawsuits, and a government-devalued dollar have nothing to do with a company's bottom line?

    On another note, I knew a cabal of government workers in a past life who played cards for 4 fucking hours a day. It's not golf and they weren't CEOs, but each one of those pieces of shit made 100K a year. Apparently, "cost of living" increases include making enough to buy new sports cars and flat screen tvs for the hell of it every year (which they did).

    The United States is getting poorer for many reasons and blaming it entirely on CEOs is more than a bit disngenuous. I wonder how much our state-controlled education has impacted American productivity since it has now churned out generations of entitled indignant children expecting silver platters upon graduation from public universities.

  • Alice Bowie||

    So typical of a conservative/libertarian to compare a $100k/year government worker to a $100mm/year CEO.

    The fact that the STOCK PRICE is all that matters, of course CEOs will do what ever raises the STOCK PRICE.

    Consider the following formula:

    ProfitLoss = Revenue - Expenses

    An inovative/creative CEO would keep ProfitLoss on the PLUS side by aquiring new customers, bettering the quality of the product, generating new product lines, etc.

    Your typical American CEO is an Accountant that gets paid by LOWERING expenses AT ANY PRICE including lower salaries for the people that actually make the product, lower quality standards, etc. So, the ProfitLoss goes up TEMPORARILY when you lower expenses this way. Then, he gets his nice bonus. However, in the long run, it's a looser...and the CEO is gone with all of the money.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Pure B.S. Acquiring new customers, bettering the quality of the product, generating new product lines, etc. is still exactly how most American businesses grow their profits.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Mike Laursen,

    I respectfully disagree

    As you can see, our economy has not expanded by exporting jobs. Yes, CEOs and Stock holders are getting richer and richer and richer while jobs leave. As a result, the American Middle Class is loosing buying power little-by-little.

    And don't get me wrong Mike, This is real good for the business owners. I would love to pay someone 10% of what I pay an american...But I don't want my salary to be 10% of what it was.

    If the compromise is that I should buy american to keep my current standard of living, I'm ready to do it.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Alice,

    As you can see, our economy has not expanded by exporting jobs.

    There's only one variable affecting how our economy does? Conducting two foreign wars, bailing out financial firms, more than generously paying public employees, regulating the hell out of every industry, these things don't affect the economy?

    Yes, CEOs and Stock holders are getting richer and richer and richer...

    No, they're not. Pretty much everybody has lost wealth in this recession.

    If the compromise is that I should buy american to keep my current standard of living, I'm ready to do it.

    Why stop there? Why not refuse to do business with any company that has employees in Alabama? Or any town in America where the average paycheck is less than in your town?

  • Benjamin||

    No, they're not. Pretty much everybody has lost wealth in this recession.

    A simple web search would show that simply isn't true. Try this article from Reuters to get you started: The rich grew richer last year, even as the world endured the worst recession in decades.

    This year, the average employee's raise will not even keep pace with inflation. Which means that while the worker is 1 year more experienced, their company will be paying them less money than the previous year.

    The company will claim this is necessary due to the economy/the government/outsourcing, and then turn around and claim record profits while paying their executives far more than they did last year.

    Wake up America. You're angry about the government worker down the street for earning 15% more than you while your own company has their hand in your pocket so they can pay your CEO 3800% more than you.

    Someone stole your pay raises the past 20 years, but it wasn't a FBI agent or a food inspector. It was your boss.

  • Suprashoesweb||

    Supra Shoes is the first programme specifically designed for sports Supra Skytop

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