Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gov Workers Not Overpaid?

A recent study claims that government workers are not overpaid when considering their education levels. I laughed out loud. Here are some questions to ask people who take such studies seriously:

1. In the study you cite, please tell me how much money or value the researchers assigned to the much higher job security of public sector workers, who are usually not at-will.

2. Please name 10 major corporations that have long term, unpredictable debts owing to hundreds of thousands of non-working employees. Within these 10 major corporations, how many of them are able to shift 100% of the debts to taxpayers?

(Note: major banks do not count because 1) the debts aren't owed to non-working employees; and 2) unlike gov employees, banks must pay back all taxpayer monies, i.e., the taxpayer has provided a loan, not a grant that causes higher taxes.)

3. You seem to gloss over the additional compensation provided to government employees in the form of pensions. Do you know what percentage of private sector workers under the age of 55 receive pensions? If so, please list the percentages of under-55 gov workers and private sector workers who are eligible for pensions.

Bonus: did the study provide any additional weight to the gov worker's guaranteed pension vs. a private sector worker's non-guaranteed 401k? If not, do you believe a retirement guarantee is worthless?

4. In the private sector, how many entities are able to pass along their higher costs and COLA to taxpayers instead of cutting spending, jobs, or salaries?

5. Let's assume that gov workers, on average, have higher levels of education than the general population. Outside of universities and university-backed research labs, what useful inventions have government workers provided to the general public vs. private sector workers with similar education levels, such as those who work for Google, eBay, GM, Intel, etc.?

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