Defenses of public sector salaries often rest on the idea that better pay attracts better candidates, while low turnover is chalked up to government workers being so good at their job nobody gets fired or wants to leave. The low turnover, of course, can also be attributed to union protections, and even in the absence of a public union governments often have stricter rules on managing employees than the private sector. It's difficult to compare or even gauge job performance, too, as so many government jobs don't have an equivalent in the public sector, while government employees often get stellar reviews from government supervisors.
For example, The New York Times reports that in the last four years, each of 470 senior executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was reviewed as being "fully successful" (or better!) in their jobs, this while the department's employees were actively covering up criminal negligence in veterans' healthcare. The Times reports:
The data also showed that in 2013, nearly 80 percent of the senior executives were rated either "outstanding" or as having exceeded "fully successful" in their job performance, and that at least 65 percent of the executives received performance awards, which averaged around $9,000. Only about 20 percent received the middle of the five ratings.
Veterans Affairs officials sought to play down the data, saying that only 15 senior executives across the federal government had received either of the two lowest ratings in the most recent year
That someone paid to spin things to the media would really think pointing out that every supervisor in the federal government gets a good review would help illustrates how disconnected from reality federal employees have become. Perhaps it shouldn't be surprising though, given the Obama administration's insistence that the scandals they're embroiled in are fake and the willingness of Obama apologists to eat that narrative up.
The data The Times quotes came out in testimony by a VA assistant secretary last week who defended the system of performance bonuses by saying it was needed to retain talent—as lawmakers pointed out, there wasn't a mass exodus from the department after bonuses were suspended. Her testimony also revealed that the outstanding performance reviews are likely written by the people being reviewed. Government's just that good.
h/t Irish and Dances-With-Trolls