Monday, December 14, 2009

Want a Six-Figure Salary?

The trend to six-figure salaries is occurring throughout the federal government, in agencies big and small, high-tech and low-tech. The primary cause: substantial pay raises and new salary rules. The growth in six-figure salaries has pushed the average federal worker's pay to $71,206, compared with $40,331 in the private sector.

There is virtually no productivity associated with these increased salaries. The federal, as well as state and local, governments push paper and distribute wealth, they do not create it. Even the paper pushers are inefficient. Furthermore, it is tax revenue neutral. The federal government withholds FICA, Medicare, and income taxes from the tax dollars it pays the employees. Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 36.8 percent of government employees belong to unions, compared with just 7.6 percent of workers in the private sector.

The government does not care about productivity; the private sector does. Besides, it is politically incorrect (not to mention politically hazardous) for government agencies to oppose unionization. Here is one of the more insidious effects of increased government employment: Most of these employees are for more expansive government, as it is in their self-interest – their rice bowl, so to speak. They will continue to be a voting bloc for more and more government, at least until, like yeast in the fermentation process, their product kills them.

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1 comment:

DavidP said...

First of all, welcome back to the blogosphere - may your written thoughts bring you closer to a guest spot on a cable news network.

I won't get into the issues one will run into basing an argument off of a 30-second read from USAToday, but I for one, am happy to see a bump in pay for federal employees.
One should consider that the cost of living in DC now rivals cities like SF and Boston- let's see what private sector folks in DC are making vs public in the past year (I think the lobbyists alone should end that debate).
The administration is also clearly hiring better talent. Personally, I like the idea that our government will compete in key areas and look to hire the best and brightest - and not fill our director spots with old hunting buddies and frat brothers.