Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When the government pays more than the private sector

Would you pay someone to mow your lawn if the cost was more than you could make doing your existing job?

Most sane people would say no. See, you farm out services to people when you can make more doing your trade than the service being farmed out.

That's the way the world use to work. See, I can make more money doing my work as an accountant than I can save by butchering my own meat, changing my oil (actually anything mechanical), and framing my basement.

So I farm out those services and pay for them from the wages I earn doing things for people that is cheaper than they can do for themselves.

It works over an over again. It's how economies work.

It's also how governments are supposed to work. See governments do the work for the people that is collectively cheaper than they can do it for themselves.

It's also used to be that government workers made less but had more job security. Now they get more pay, more benefits and more security than the workforce at large and it's crushing our economy..........

The number of federal workers earning $150,000 or more a year has soared tenfold in the past five years and doubled since President Obama took office, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

The fast-growing pay of federal employees has captured the attention of fiscally conservative Republicans who won control of the U.S. House of Representatives in last week's elections. Already, some lawmakers are planning to use the lame-duck session that starts Monday to challenge the president's plan to give a 1.4% across-the-board pay raise to 2.1 million federal workers.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who will head the panel overseeing federal pay, says he wants a pay freeze and prefers a 10% pay cut. "It's stunning when you see what's happened to federal compensation," he says. "Every metric shows we're heading in the wrong direction."

National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley counters that the proposed raise "is a modest amount and should be implemented" to help make salaries more comparable with those in the private sector.

Federal salaries have grown robustly in recent years, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Office of Personnel Management data. Key findings:

But hey someone has to go out in the field to count zebra mussels in the great lakes. Shouldn't they be paid big bucks for that?


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