Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Two Americas: Public Sector vs. Private Sector

Note: This post was inspired by Michael Jahr's post on the Mackinac Center's website, "Economy Contracts, Government Expands."

According to a December report from the BLS, state and local government employers spent an average of $39.83 per hour worked ($26.24 for wages and $13.60 for benefits) for total employee compensation in September 2009. Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged $27.49 per hour ($19.45 for wages and $8.05 for benefits), see chart above. In other words, government employees make 45% more on average than private sector employees.

According to another BLS report, compensation for private industry workers has increased by 6.9% between December 2006 and December 2009, compared to a 9.8% increase for government workers (state and local) over the same period.

According to an analysis by USAToday (thanks to Michael Jahr for the pointer), "The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession, according to an analysis of federal salary data." For example, the number of federal employees making $100,000 or more has increased by 120,595, from 262,163 employees in December 2007 to 382,758 in June 2009, for a 46% increase. The number of federal workers making $150,000 or more has more than doubled since the recession started, from about 30,000 to more than 66,000 (see chart above).

USA Today also reports that "When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000." That's a 168,900% increase!!

The final chart below shows the average unemployment since December 2007 for government workers (3%) and private-sector workers (7.9%), so the private sector has faced a jobless rate more than twice as high as the rate for government workers over the last several years.

MP: By every labor market measure, the public sector has done quite well and even expanded during the recession compared to the private sector. This has prompted Michael Jahr of the Mackinac Center to wonder whether recent government policies could lead to a long-run hollowing out of the private sector, i.e. could we be in the early stages of the "Detroitification" of the country?

Josh Barro writes for the Manhattan Institute about the "
Two Americas" and the "sharp difference between two classes of employees: those who work in the private sector and those who work for the government. Workers in the public sector have experienced a very different recession from those in the private sector."

57 Comments:

At 2/09/2010 9:00 AM, Anonymous DrTorch said...

Once again this is amplified when you look at gov't contractors. Spend some time in any of the counties surrounding Wash DC and you'll see many highly paid citizens employed by the "private sector" who are really doing public sector jobs.

The "hollowing" out is already happenign to middle America, where it has a low cost, "frugal" economy that looks nothing like the gilded lifestyle of DC.

It's a shame that this is just now coming to light, b/c it's been going on for more than a decade.

 
At 2/09/2010 9:17 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, good observations DrTorch...

I wonder if there's a way to calculate how many REAL private sector jobs are lost (under employed or under paid) to support one government worker on any level?

 
At 2/09/2010 9:24 AM, Blogger Marko said...

It would be nice to have a chart comparing productivity of private sector vs. public sector, but I don't think it is possible to track public sector productivity, since there is none.

 
At 2/09/2010 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a shame that this is just now coming to light, b/c it's been going on for more than a decade.

Just now coming to light? Think again. Milton Friedman talked about this a long, long time ago. Here's a segment of a video he made: VIDEO

Kennedy invited the unions in in 1962, and they immediately set themselves up as a money laundering racket for the Democrat Party.

No one should be allowed to organize against the people of the United States.

 
At 2/09/2010 10:51 AM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

For the last decade all media has had an incessent daily barrage stories about: downsizing; layoffs; flattening the hierarchy; benefit renegoicaiton; less wages and salaries; workers taking on more job tasks; longer hours and less pay; automation, off shoring and out sourcing; pension dissolution into 401 accounts; job performance merit pay; process improvement; etc., etc.

Those stories are about large and middle sized private enterprise. The small business entitiy we don't even hear about because they just vanish -- they didn't perform in the marketplace for a variety of business practice and economic condition reasons.

The exception to the headlines and the free pass to milk and honey is the federal government workforce. The federal worker should be sporting a bumper sticker that reads I am a federal employee and we vote by the millions .

 
At 2/09/2010 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I see a good way to reduce government spending...

 
At 2/09/2010 11:23 AM, Anonymous Vesses said...

There's nothing remarkable about this. Everyone knows government jobs are more secure than private sector because the former are not usually subject to business cycles. In fact, they are often countercyclical.

A lot of state and local governments are laying people off now. This number will change in the coming year.

What is worth noting is the lack of work ethic among these government employees who become complacent with their de facto tenure and fat with their union benefits. Are taxpayers getting a full day's labor for a full day's pay? Not from my experience!

What's the unemployment rate of tenured college professors at public universities?

 
At 2/09/2010 12:01 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Maybe we're missing something here...

The stimulus package...

To stimulate job growth, right?

Consider Zombie's Wine Train Stimulus Scam Gets Even Uglier With No-Bid Set-Aside Swindle

 
At 2/09/2010 12:39 PM, Blogger Beth said...

I'd be curious to see a comparison of private vs. public pay for similar positions. I assume that government jobs are primarily white collar types-- which you would expect to pay more than an average of all jobs.

 
At 2/09/2010 2:27 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

One question that needs to be answered is the average age of the two groups. You hear a lot about how the government work force is nearing an average age of 50. That should be normalized out since in general the older you are the higher your wages, due to longevity raises.

 
At 2/09/2010 4:12 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Dr Perry, I see economist Gary Shilling cited your research on Tech Ticker in Yahoo Finance:

Gary Shilling: Higher Government Pay Will "Likely Lead to a Tax Revolt"
Feb 09, 2010

Also, massive government spending over the past two years gained 100,000 government jobs, while losing over 12 million private sector jobs.

Moreover:

Gary Shilling Sees GDP Growth At 2% Over Next Decade
02/09/10

Gary Shilling sees U.S. real GDP growth at 2% over the next decade. He also foresees more problems for the housing market.

On housing, Gary Shilling says inventory remains high and forecasts another 10% drop in prices. He thinks it will be one or two years until housing truly bottoms.

Shilling believes the American worker will continue to struggle because of the difficulty in finding new jobs and the sheer number of jobs lost during the recession, which is estimated to be 8.4 million. Also, his 2% GDP growth forecast is below the 3.3% replacement level needed to keep unemployment steady.

Finally, U.S. deficits will remain above $1 trillion and servicing such debt will hinder the economy's growth rate going forward.

 
At 2/09/2010 5:07 PM, Anonymous Craig said...

I assume that government jobs are primarily white collar types

You may be right but there an awful lot of blue-collar government jobs, too: snow-plow drivers (a lot of 'em where I live), school cafeteria workers, bus drivers, etc..

The comparisons with their private-sector counterparts would be, I suspect, stunning.

 
At 2/09/2010 5:40 PM, Anonymous Titus Pullo said...

Government salaries are not too high.
It's the private sector wages (except for CEO and board of directors) that are too low.

 
At 2/09/2010 5:45 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2/09/2010 5:45 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2/09/2010 5:47 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2/09/2010 5:56 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


No one should be allowed to organize against the people of the United States.


You're not really organizing against the people as much as you are providing a check against business influence in government.

When business can control government, that's who unions are organizing against; the government is only an intermediary. They can just hide behind a larger "human shield"(e.g. the people of the US). They should not lose any bargaining powers until that is made a non-issue. However, that would require business to act against incentives.

Or do you not want a check against such business interest? The existing influence is enough of a balance to justify it.

 
At 2/09/2010 6:56 PM, Anonymous Prencedi said...

What "business interest" are you "protecting" government workers from by way of unions, Sethstorm?

Postal workers need "protection" from UPS?

Prison guards need "protection" from Second Chance programs?

DMV clerks need "protection" from bicycle manufacturers?

Public sector unions are STICKING IT to taxpayers by literally bribing politicians with votes and campaign donations. They are "protecting" nothing but their overly generous salaries and benefits and poor work performance. There is a severe principal-agent problem when politicians are the people sitting across the table from public sector collective bargaining.

The cities and states HAVE to lay people off now because unions won't allow wage cut to eat into the senior workers. It's always the junior workers, the unemployed, and the taxpayers who suffer from their greed. Union rhetoric talks about "fairness" but as soon as they feel they have lost the upper hand, they literally threaten an end to "labor peace." It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what they mean by that.

 
At 2/09/2010 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're not really organizing against the people as much as you are providing a check against business influence in government.


We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama — $60.7 million to be exact — and we're proud of it.
- SEIU President Andy Stern


Officials in the governor's office say a politically powerful union may have had inappropriate influence over the Obama administration's decision to withhold billions of dollars in federal stimulus money from California if the state does not reverse a scheduled wage cut for the labor group's workers.

The officials say they are particularly troubled that the Service Employees International Union, which lobbied the federal government to step in, was included in a conference call in which state and federal officials reviewed the wage cut and the terms of the stimulus package.

California Secretary of Health and Human Services Kim Belshe said she could not recall another instance in which the federal government invited a significant stakeholder group into such government-to-government negotiations.

"The involvement of a stakeholder in this kind of state-federal deliberative process is unusual at best," she said. "This was really atypical and outside any norm I am familiar with."

In addition to several state and federal officials, participants in the April 15 conference call included an SEIU associate general counsel in Washington, a lobbyist for SEIU in California and a representative from SEIU's policy staff in California, according to a list provided by the Schwarzenegger administration.

LA Times

You're a joke.

 
At 2/09/2010 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a taxpayer, I'd like to counter act the unions influence. I'd like to see their wages, pensions and benefits taxed until they are more in line with the private sector.
You know, a special tax, like the windfall profits tax. :)

 
At 2/09/2010 7:47 PM, Anonymous Reati said...

According to the JOLTS, we lost another 165,000 jobs in December. Job losses are declining but job openings are at record low levels and still falling.

Quite a recovery we're having!

The unemployment rate might lag a recovery of output but employment growth does NOT. We are still in recession. The stock market is in panic - watch it plunge again if the European debt crisis is not swiftly resolved. Either way, volatility is way up.

 
At 2/09/2010 8:57 PM, Blogger Marko said...

A labor union is a business; one exempted by law from anti-trust regulations. If we removed all of the special exemptions and protections they get, they would justly go the way of the dodo.

 
At 2/09/2010 9:47 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Banking/investment firms are STICKING IT to taxpayers by literally bribing politicians with votes and campaign donations.


Offshoring lobbies are STICKING IT to taxpayers by literally bribing politicians with votes and campaign donations.


"Pro-Business" groups are STICKING IT to taxpayers by literally bribing politicians with votes and campaign donations.


Foreign interests are STICKING IT to taxpayers by literally bribing politicians with votes and campaign donations.


Do I need to say more?


As a taxpayer, I'd like to counter act the unions influence. I'd like to see their wages, pensions and benefits taxed until they are more in line with the private sector.

Good to see that my point was proven.


A labor union is a business; one exempted by law from anti-trust regulations.

Yet they get pilloried if they do what Wall Street and various other business interests have done for ages across party lines.


Postal workers need "protection" from UPS?

Take your postal disputes with with the proper agency.


DMV clerks need "protection" from bicycle manufacturers?

Not a threat.


Union rhetoric talks about "fairness" but as soon as they feel they have lost the upper hand, they literally threaten an end to "labor peace."

What caused them to be formed in the first place still exists.

Secondly, the PATCO firings caused unintended consequences all over (whether you like or hate labor unions). For such a sanctimonious and political measure, it gave offshoring an easy way to be used against all workers. Business groups use it as a threat towards those who have legitimate complaints.

Do you really want to make another Faustian deal a la PATCO? No unions, but you've given up your country's sovereignty and your voice towards the worst in labor practices.

 
At 2/09/2010 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, if one takes a look last decade during the economic expansion, with the notable exception of health care the private industry really didn't add that many jobs. We still seem to be experiencing the effects of that this decade, and will for a good deal longer with the jobless recover expected.

Some would of course vouch for a tax cut for the highest wage earners in this country to stimulate economic growth; I'm against that idea. Considering two generous tax cuts for the highest wage earners failed to generate much, if any private industry job growth (again, with the exception of health care) - and considering we got left with a financial crisis that nearly brought the system down - I fail to see how such a repeated procedure will do much good.

Why would anyone want to hire when they already have all of the help they need. It seems what businesses really need is customers and customers need money.

 
At 2/09/2010 11:16 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

Unions are doing exactly what they are supposed to do and what their members elect their leadership to do get the most in the short term for their members, just like managment in companies tries to get the most for themselves. (They claim to look out for the stockholders, Ken Lewis disproves this he was worried about his job period). Even if you follow the managements logic its short term only. (Or course as observed in the long term we are all dead). In the government sector it is the spineless leadership that gives in to the unions just like its management in companies that can't see very far in the future.
The unions demand as much as they can get that is the American way, and is their duty to their members it is the Mayors, and Governors and legislatures who lack the spine to deal with the unions. Yes you may have to bring in the national guard for policing, (might have to bring it home btw). First legislatures should make strikes illegal period. This takes the major weapon out of the unions hands, and include in the definition things like sickouts and the like, and make the union leadership subject to contempt of court if it is not ended after a court injunction is issued.
Some cities have outsourced parts of their services, for example Houston contracts for trash collection. Cities can do this except for public safety and inspection jobs (Haiti shows the importance of building inspectors, as does the retaining wall collapse in San Antonio). But trash, water and sewer, street maintence and the like can be privatized easily.

A lot of DMV jobs will disappear as soon as automation is complete, and we fix the real id problem. (Simple solution to a lot of the issues with real id, get a Passport or Passport card now, then when you need to prove id or the right to reside you have the ideal document)

 
At 2/09/2010 11:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A country without much of a manufacturing capacity (and don't throw out that crap that America is still the world's largest manufacturer - tell that to Detroit, Chicago and former manufacturing centers), a country expected to experience a jobless recovery and high unemployment for years, a country that's gotten raped since Reagan's privatization and his erosion of tariffs (and yes, I know Carter was the one first got the ball rolling), a country whose citizens have only gotten further in debt since we drank the "no rules capitalism" Kool-Aid.

Sorry, but while the rest of laissez-faire crowd was hootin' and hollerin' about "happy days to come," I've been forecasting this crap since the '80s - I knew it would come, but it would take two or three decades. Sure, we've got cheap laptops, but we're further in debt, have higher health care costs, and steeper college tuition than we did thirty years ago. Although the "Roaring Twenties" was seemingly was recalled as an exciting time as people bought cars and radios, any working man who lived then would tell you it was only a good time for the "money making" man, not the working man.

Sorry, but this country's manufacturing base was formed on the basis of strong tariffs, not Milton Friedman's silly ideas of abolishing them - Alexander Hamilton must be rolling in his grave. The history of going overboard with outsourcing is the same: a short-term benefit for consumers (because goods are cheaper), but long-term economic problems. It didn't work for Rome; Edward Gibbons, a revered by historians to this day, didn't approve of it.

 
At 2/09/2010 11:33 PM, Blogger Beth said...

Customers need money, so first they must produce something of value to trade.

Production before consumption.

Say's Law of Markets.

or "You can't get something from nothing."

 
At 2/09/2010 11:46 PM, Blogger save_the_rustbelt said...

Some of the most underworked and overpaid public employees are professors at public universities.

Ah, hi Mark.

 
At 2/10/2010 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been forecasting this crap since the '80s - I knew it would come, but it would take two or three decades.

Sorry, we couldn't here you from your padded cell and your newsletter is difficult to read being written in crayon.

 
At 2/10/2010 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although the "Roaring Twenties" was seemingly was recalled as an exciting time as people bought cars and radios, any working man who lived then would tell you it was only a good time for the "money making" man, not the working man.

You're not channeling the dead, too. Are you? If so, ask Houdini his mother's maiden name and get back to us.

One other question, did they have the CRA two or three decades ago?

 
At 2/10/2010 12:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Production before consumption.

Nope. I always take my dates to dinner first.

 
At 2/10/2010 1:57 AM, Anonymous Mishik said...

No, Sethsprinkle, you need to READ more and LEARN more.

Dr.P posted the list of the top campaign contributors. AT&T topped the list but the rest of the list was dominated by UNIONS.

The reason labor unions were started was because of SOCIALISTS trying to gain power and destroy capitalism. All other workplace ills were just their excuse and were cured long ago. Most Americans believe we have no need for unions anymore. You are in a tiny minority. Unions are not "the folks who brought you the weekend." They are the folks who brought you time and a half for their overtime from work not performed during the 40 hour work week and unemployment from restrictions on labor supply.

PATCO were a bunch of overpaid THUGS who were literally trying to shut down air travel to force us to pay them more money. Reagan was kind in firing them I would have had them jailed as criminals. The SEIU is no different. They are not organized labor, they are organized crime.

 
At 2/10/2010 2:05 AM, Anonymous Lyle said...

Re Anon at 11:28
The issue is the difference between manufacturing employment which is on a downward trend. (Consider for example that GM now employs fewer people than it employed in Flint MI in the 1930s) The carbon units (people) have been replaced by silicon units (robots) that do the job better. The next revolution will be cost reductions on the 3d printer to the point where it becomes a cost effective mass manufacturing tool.

 
At 2/10/2010 3:11 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


First legislatures should make strikes illegal period. This takes the major weapon out of the unions hands, and include in the definition things like sickouts and the like, and make the union leadership subject to contempt of court if it is not ended after a court injunction is issued.

Nice, take the weapons from the unions, and not take them from the business as well.



Some cities have outsourced parts of their services, for example Houston contracts for trash collection. Cities can do this except for public safety and inspection jobs

For some reason I'd think that there would be issues with quality of service and treatment of workers.

 
At 2/10/2010 3:41 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

No matter how much proof is shown, some will remain in denial that 1982-07 was one of the greatest periods of U.S. prosperity and poor economic performance over the next 10 years is completely unnecessary. Also, I may add, U.S. health care and education are expensive, because of heavy government intervention.

U.S. households are paying-down high-interest rate debt first the hard way, without a large tax cut:

Fed report: Consumer credit card balances keep plummeting
By Jeremy M. Simon

"Consumers slashed their credit card debt levels by nearly $1,700 per household in 2009, according to the Federal Reserve."

 
At 2/10/2010 4:50 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


PATCO were a bunch of overpaid THUGS who were literally trying to shut down air travel to force us to pay them more money. Reagan was kind in firing them I would have had them jailed as criminals. The SEIU is no different. They are not organized labor, they are organized crime.

Well, it was due to Giuliani's "fire them" order. Secondly, the decision made it possible to attack everybody, even the most union-hating professionals in the workplace. This gave business interests the ability to consider US workers "open season" for anything they want to do to them.

ATC's aren't in the least stressful position, either. It'd have been better just to not have set such a precedent. The way that they were treated was no less than a sanctimonious revenge on unions by the Republican Party.

Consider what PATCO enabled in terms of how business treated the US worker with contempt. Then consider if you really want to make it possible to bring back practices that make company towns look saintly.

 
At 2/10/2010 5:01 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Mishik said...
Further, if you want to enable the worst in business, one need only snuff out the unions. At some point, a company's size and/or multinational nature can make it possible for them to withstand sustained market pressures that otherwise force change. That being said, it can be used against individuals whom(by large) do not have said ability.

As for Reagan, I have no problem with him elsewhere. It's that his administration set a very ugly precedent with labor that reaches far beyond unions.

The mob didn't disappear in the 1980s, it merely moved to Wall Street and various multinational firms. Then it expanded to government to exact influence.

 
At 2/10/2010 7:43 AM, Anonymous Lyle said...

I think I was a little less than clear, the ban on strikes would be for public employees only. For private issues there would be the Taft Hartley mechanism. That's why I said legislatures, since they can ban public employee strikes, but its not clear that state legislatures have the ability to touch private strikes since that is interstate commerce and the private labor law is federal.
One thing to get a public strike settled is then to haul all the strikers down to the court house and have them wait, along with the city council and executives while issue is settled. You might have to use convention centers or sports arenas for this pupose but thats why they are there. It is to address the issue of a public employee also being a voter so the public official has a conflict of interest between the workers and the public at large.

 
At 2/10/2010 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the report breaks down compensation by "occupational group." For "management, professional and related," the total compensation numbers are almost identical. Government wages are slightly lower and benefits are slightly better.

So, I guess the significance of the study is that private-sector compensation in sales and service jobs is much lower than compensation in analogous state and local government jobs.

What were we talking about?

 
At 2/10/2010 10:07 AM, Blogger juandos said...

sethstorm @ 2/09/2010 9:47 PM says: "Do I need to say more?"...

Well yeah, how about something credible to back up those alledged happenings you listed?

Note the unions are using their money for hosing of the American public for the 2010 election cycle...

You can see its not merely a one time occassion...

Note that the labor unions make up 9 of the top 20 pacs in this country...

 
At 2/10/2010 3:37 PM, Anonymous Antoinette, Marie said...

Let them eat... cake.

 
At 2/10/2010 7:04 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Or do you not want a check against such business interest? The existing influence is enough of a balance to justify it.

I love the auto-assumption that the solution to businesses manipulating government to gain advantages and largess is that the poor, poor people need to create a counter organization to manipulate the government to their benefit.

There's a third alternative.

Don't led the government get big enough to manipulate, don't give the government the power to hand out largesse.

It often starts with "good intentions" (i.e, the paving material to the place almost all liberals are headed for), but then businesses and unions stick their busy little hands in and start turning the "good intentions" into "good intentions for US".

I've observed this before -- Grover Cleveland Got It:
After a drought had ruined crops in several Texas counties, Congress appropriated $10,000 to purchase seed grain for farmers there. Cleveland vetoed the expenditure.
I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.

Long gone are the days when such self-evident common sense is expected from any elected official.

The way to handle government overreaching isn't to try and manipulate them some other way -- it's to shorten their grasp even further.

 
At 2/10/2010 9:46 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> It is to address the issue of a public employee also being a voter so the public official has a conflict of interest between the workers and the public at large.

Indeed, there used to be both an attitude and a lot of actual regulation on this matter -- it was unlawful, for example, for someone to be a state employee and a state legislator. The SEs are a part of the executive branch, while the legislators are clearly in a different one. That's both a general conflict of interest and a violation of most state's charters as to separation of powers. The attitude these days towards such is "wha?"

 
At 2/10/2010 9:46 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


I love the auto-assumption that the solution to businesses manipulating government to gain advantages and largess is that the poor, poor people need to create a counter organization to manipulate the government to their benefit.

While it is not ideal, it is a solution that accounts for the reality of a government of a given size. If not labor unions, then what market-friendly, worker-friendly structure could fill in the void?

(No, don't answer with some sarcasm(e.g. the market), but a structure that provides the same checks & balances between individuals and groups of people who are considered an individual by virtue of legal fiction.)

 
At 2/11/2010 7:47 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"If not labor unions, then what market-friendly, worker-friendly structure could fill in the void?"...

Well the solution has been around since the inception of this country sethstorm, its called the ballot box...

 
At 2/11/2010 9:34 AM, Blogger toeser said...

Will the last private sector employee please turn out the lights?

Of course, I don't know what all those public sector employees will purchase with their high salaries when there are no private sector employees left to produce anything and China will no longer take our IOU's.

 
At 2/11/2010 9:47 AM, Blogger Kirk said...

the number of 6 figure govt employee jobs has catapulted under Obama, perhaps some "trickle down" theory for the economy - but these people dont pay into social security which has been looted for years. Now that we baby boomers are retirement age they are going to crash it. There should be one retirement system so politicos have motivation to keep pensions on a sound fiscal basis.

 
At 2/11/2010 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived all too close to the Washington D.C. area most of my life.It has grown, without exception, bigger and richer my entire lifetime.Wars are the health of the state, and happily for the fed employee, they will never have a shortage:perpetual wars on drugs, terror, not to mention endless (and mostly lost) old fashioned military misadventures.bin LAden stated in 2004 he simply wanted to bankrupt the U.S. by luring it into expensive, futile wars where only a few corporations will profit.He is winning.But even if he loses, the idiots of DC will announce another war, on "carbon" or "Happiness"....good luck, and have a nice day working for the idiots, everyone!

 
At 2/11/2010 10:40 AM, Blogger looking ahead said...

The recent stimulus package should have been named the UNION STIMULUS PACKAGE. Most of the money went to States and Cities, that then turned around and spent the money on unionized (NEA) teachers and other unionized (AFSCME) government workers. The rest went to the UAW at GM/Chrysler and to "shovel ready" jobs that required unionized workers via the Davis Bacon rules. If you aren't in a union, the Obama government doesn't care a whit about you.

 
At 2/11/2010 4:59 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Well the solution has been around since the inception of this country sethstorm, its called the ballot box...

Not strong enough when business has sufficient control of the government.

 
At 2/11/2010 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More Government jobs paid with by taxpayer money...Taxpayers are making less taxable dollars & paying for less that can be taxed (can't afford it now that they are deleveraging) & taxpayers are not owning as much high tax real estate (if they have owned it for a long time or got it from their parents, they don't have the property tax base issues that recent buyers have), so where are all the extras coming from??? At best they are depleting the already depleted tax revenues... Someone in our Government had better start balancing the books! It's time for that Revolution Ron Paul (google him) is talking about! We need to clean house!!!

 
At 2/12/2010 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can make it all easier on you all: Give the land back to the Native Americans. GO back to Europe, Africa, Asia etc. Wherever, you think your grand mama and granddaddy came from.

Simple, effective and all of you will quit bitching and bickering over who is correct.

If I remember my history correct, Indian treaties have been entered and broken by the US gov't and it citizens. Seems like you have ALL benefited from this takeover. To complain about the monetary ramifications of the Two Americans etc, is ludicrous.

Just saynn and telln the TRUTH.

 
At 2/14/2010 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop propagandizing against the govt. Why shouldn't all workers, regardless of private or public, receive a decent salary, health care and some protection? They don't because of conservative corporate protecting bloggers who try to blame someone else for the corporate failure to provide for American workers while piling up huge bonuses and extravagant salaries.

 
At 2/25/2010 11:07 AM, Blogger Anderson1 said...

Interesting points from The Ladders too...

Whilst Britain’s most senior government minister may feel that his job prospects in 2010 are a little shaky, one in three senior executives believe government holds the best job security this year. In a study of over 3000 of Britain’s bosses by jobs site, TheLadders.co.uk, 32.5% of respondents said they felt that government held the best job security this year, followed by healthcare (30.2%) and education (20.6%).

 
At 2/27/2010 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vote for me and I will set you free.I know teahers in Newyork City who were just last year given overtime to add to their pension and they were completely surprised.Also federal workers were given a 2% cost of living increase when evry body else was making 30 perent less or losing their jobs.This cost of living allowance is besides there norman raises.My feeling is that all these politicians should be sent to Irag and Afghanistan on any front line that exists.If they would not come back then the country would be better off.Thirteen trillion aand counting.Plus states debt with pensions = bankruptcy.

 
At 5/11/2010 7:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An economist in Flint - the mere thought makes me laugh!

 
At 3/17/2011 10:53 PM, Blogger The Mid-Life Crazy Man said...

I would be interested in a comparison of the types of jobs offered through public vs private. i.e. What percentage of private sector employees are low paid McDonalds/Walmart employees vs what percentage of public sector employees were working similar jobs. I would venture to guess that you'll find the majority of public sector employees are college graduates who would normally earn more.

 

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