The government supposedly works for us, but the only people it really works for are the ones who work for it.

February 22nd, 2007

USATODAY ran a very interesting story about the ridiculously sweet pension deals given to government workers:

“Supporters of government pensions say the decline in private pensions is the problem, cialis sale buy cialis not the generosity of public retirement plans. “Rather than lower the bar for public employees, here we need to stabilize retirement programs for everyone, remedy ” says Richard Ferlauto, director of pension and benefit policy for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a union with 1.4 million members.
He acknowledges public pensions are getting more scrutiny. “People want to know, ‘Why should you have more security than us?’ ” he says. “It’s pension envy.”

I suggest it’s less a case of “pension envy” than a realization that everyone not feeding from the government trough has to PAY for those government workers to enjoy their significantly better retirements.

And the rest of us don’t have the luxury of voting ourselves better pensions. Only the government has the ability to steal what it needs to meet its pension obligations (taxes).

Of course, lots of people argue that government employees deserve those golden pensions because they sacrifice more lucrative public-sector jobs by working for the governemnt.

Not true, according to USATODAY:

“Contrary to a widely held notion, the extra government benefits aren’t compensation for lower pay. Most government workers are paid more than private employees in similar jobs, and the wage gap is growing.

A typical full-time state or local government worker made $78,853 in wages and benefits in the third quarter of 2006, $25,771 more than a typical private-sector worker, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The difference was $7,604 in 2000. The compensation advantage holds true for all types of public workers, from teachers to laborers and managers. Better benefits for government workers is the biggest reason for the growing compensation gap.”

The bad news for government employees is that what the ballot box giveth, the ballot box can taketh away.

Eventually, voters will start realizing that our “ruling class” is living better off the sweat of our brow than we do. When that happens, I’ll feel a little bit sorry for the government union leader who expresses the equivalent of “let them eat cake.”

Entry Filed under: Politics

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