no third solution

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Government Employees Are Overpaid

March 5th, 2010

A lot of people make a big fuss when the federal employee salary and benefit figures come out. There’s an article in USAToday that highlights the ever-widening gap between public and private compensation.

For occupations that “exist both in government and the private sector,” government employees took home an average of about $68,000 in salary, compared to only $60,000 for their privately-employed counterparts. That’s a pretty sizeable gap. What’s more alarming is the value of fringe benefits: pensions, health insurance, vacation allowances, etc. Government employees took home an average of about $41K, compared to only $10K for comparable private workers.

Do the math: that’s about a 50% premium. Many of them also get such unheard-of-in-the-private-sector benefits as: all federal holidays off work, four or more weeks paid vacation, 20-and-done for retirement, etc.

Now, I’m all for people getting paid what they’re worth. But that’s exactly the problem with any of the government functions—there is no market for the ditch-digging that most of them perform, and so it’s impossible to gauge the value of their work. And even if we could, they have one unique advantage which they use to exploit the rest of us: those of us who are paying their salaries do not have a choice as to whether we want to keep buying from them. As long as they show up to work, we get stuck with the bill.

Most of them are nothing but leeches, consuming and destroying wealth, draining productivity from the economy. The fact is that most of these occupations shouldn’t exist in the first place, but they do, and they’re being paid extravagantly for doing non-work.

Most of them don’t know it, because they’ve never had an honest, reflective thought in their entire lives, but they’re all thieves.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics