The Privileged Public Sector

September 16, 2010 05:06

Over the last decade, the average federal salary has risen 33 percent faster than the inflation rate. When total compensation is measured—salary plus benefits like health insurance and pension guarantees—government workers have seen an increase of more than 36 percent, adjusted for inflation. Over the same period, private workers got an 8.8 percent increase.

BY Andrew Ferguson at The Weekly Standard


‘Government pay has become a hot topic among supposedly skinflint Republican legislators, who have begun calling for hiring and pay freezes as a help in balancing the federal budget. This led Jonathan Cohn of the New Republic to call government workers “the new welfare queens”—the new scapegoats, he meant, of Republican electioneering and antigovernment demagoguery.’

‘“Federal employees’ average compensation,” the article reported, “has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn.”’

‘Turnover in the federal workforce is infinitesimal. The “quit rate” in private industry last year was 19.1 percent—that is, one out of five private employees quit his job in 2009. In the federal government the quit rate was 2.3—that is, hardly anybody leaves Club Fed until they retire.’

‘Republican politicians were in charge of the entire federal workforce when compensation went into the stratosphere and federal employees began living a life beyond the reach of the average citizens who pay their salaries. Eric Cantor will want to explain that to all those “fed-up Americans.”’


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