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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » The skirmishes have begun

The skirmishes have begun

From Class War by Steven Greenhut over at Reason:

There was a time when government work offered lower salaries than comparable jobs in the private sector but more security and somewhat better benefits. These days, government workers fare better than private-sector workers in almost every area—pay, benefits, time off, and job security. And not just in California.

According to a 2007 analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics by the Asbury Park Press, “the average federal worker made $59,864 in 2005, compared with the average salary of $40,505 in the private sector.” Across comparable jobs, the federal government paid higher salaries than the private sector three times out of four, the paper found. As Heritage Foundation legal analyst James Sherk explained to the Press, “The government doesn’t have to worry about going bankrupt, and there isn’t much competition.”

And the sentiments are felt all over:

“Seems like the city … is overpaying its workers,” Shirlee Kelley says. “I think the salaries have to come down to be more even with what the private sector is paying.”

Small argues that wages are comparable to other municipalities. But that doesn’t satisfy critics, who don’t like the cuts the city is choosing to make.

The solution was to, of course, cut the power to the streetlights and auction off police helicopters instead of issuing pay decreases.

In a similar case of the people vs. the government, when the people fought for a property tax reduction in court, the government proposed an increased property tax to cover the legal costs… to keep the property taxes up. Money quote:

“If our voters want us to continue defending our land use policies and fair taxation, they’re going to have to let us know by voting for this millage,” Trustee Chris Roerig said.

I suspect situations like this are going to be on the rise, and some of it could get ugly. I don’t have the link handy, but only something like 8% of Americans want to keep their current representatives. I suspect that Americans are just as pissed at, if not even more so, with public officials that don’t run for election and can’t be voted out.

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