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  1. 27 Jan '10 17:31
    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/01/27/income_angst_not_for_public_employees/

    The Boston Globe
    Income angst? Not for public employees
    By Jeff Jacoby
    January 27, 2010


    LAST MONTH, the US economy shed another 85,000 jobs. It marked a miserable end to a calamitous year in which an estimated 4.2 million American jobs were liquidated, and unemployment rose to 10 percent. In addition, more than 920,000 “discouraged workers’’ left the labor force entirely, having given up on finding work and therefore not included in official unemployment data.

    Meanwhile, millions of Americans who do have jobs have been compelled to work part-time or at reduced wages; many others have not seen a raise in years. But not everyone is having a rotten recession.

    Since December 2007, when the current downturn began, the ranks of federal employees earning $100,000 and up has skyrocketed. According to a recent analysis by USA Today, federal workers making six-figure salaries - not including overtime and bonuses - “jumped from 14 percent to 19 percent of civil servants during the recession’s first 18 months.’’ The surge has been especially pronounced among the highest-paid employees. At the Defense Department, for example, the number of civilian workers making $150,000 or more quintupled from 1,868 to 10,100. At the recession’s start, the Transportation Department was paying only one person a salary of $170,000. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees were drawing paychecks that size.

    All the while, the federal government has been adding jobs at a 10,000-a-month clip. Between December 2007 and June 2009, federal payrolls exploded by nearly 10 percent. “Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time in pay and hiring,’’ USA Today observes, “during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector.’’ And to add public-sector insult to private-sector injury, data from the Office of Personnel Management show the average federal salary is now roughly $71,000 - about 76 percent higher than the average private salary.

    Needless to say, it isn’t only at the federal level that government pay and perks increasingly outstrip those in the private sector.

    In Ohio, a joint reporting effort by the state’s eight largest newspapers found that even in a time of severe budget cuts, “one expense government leaders have not cut is pensions for their workers.’’ The annual public pension tab in Ohio, currently $4.1 billion, is growing by around $700 million per year. “Retirement incomes for the most experienced government employees top out at 88 percent of their active-duty pay,’’ writes James Nash of the Columbus Dispatch. “Unlike most private-sector workers, whose retirement is driven by the strength of the stock market and 401(k) plans, government employees’ pensions are guaranteed.’’

    Moreover, government retirees in Ohio enjoy taxpayer-provided health care, and in many cases can retire at 48. Especially egregious are “double-dippers’’ - public employees who “retire’’ and get a full pension while returning to work and collecting a paycheck. In 2009, double-dippers were paid nearly a billion dollars by Buckeye State public-pension systems.

    Ohio is hardly unique. A public-pension tsunami is beginning to inundate government budgets at every level. As more and more of taxpayers’ earnings are confiscated to fund outsize public-sector benefits, the backlash from the private sector will only grow angrier and more intense.

    ...

    COMMENTS(106)
  2. 27 Jan '10 18:04
    State pensions for everyone. Problem solved.
  3. 27 Jan '10 18:06 / 1 edit
    hope that's retroactive ....

    sounds like a chain letter, tho ...

    (ponzi scheme)
  4. 27 Jan '10 18:11
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/01/27/income_angst_not_for_public_employees/

    The Boston Globe
    Income angst? Not for public employees
    By Jeff Jacoby
    January 27, 2010


    LAST MONTH, the US economy shed another 85,000 jobs. It marked a miserable end to a calamitous year in which an estimated 4.2 million American ...[text shortened]... acklash from the private sector will only grow angrier and more intense.

    ...

    COMMENTS(106)
    So basically, at a time when everyone else is eliminating jobs, the public sector is actually CREATING jobs. And good-paying jobs at that.

    You would think that all those people who want the government to do something about "creating jobs" would consider this to be a good thing.
  5. 27 Jan '10 18:15
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    hope that's retroactive ....

    sounds like a chain letter, tho ...

    (ponzi scheme)
    When the state provides a basic pension for everyone, corporations don't have to worry about providing it to their employees. And in turn employees don't have to worry about losing their pension because the CEO needs a private jet. It's a win-win situation.
  6. 27 Jan '10 18:19 / 3 edits
    googling for "artificial recovery":

    found this from 2006! ...

    ---

    http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts08212006.html

    August 21 , 2006
    Will the Unemployed Become Cannon Fodder for Bush's Wars?
    Artificial Recovery; Real Job Losses

    By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

    Readers want to know why I have not reported on the payroll jobs statistics for the past two months. Does this mean, they ask, that the situation has turned around and that the US economy is again creating jobs in export and import-competitive sectors?

    Alas, no. I did not write about the past two payroll jobs data reports, because it is the same distressing story that other readers say they are bored with hearing.

    The July report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists 113,000 new jobs, all of which are in services.

    “Leisure and hospitality” accounted for 42,000 jobs, most of which are waitresses and bar tenders.

    “Education and health services” accounted for 24,000 jobs.

    “Professional and business services” accounted for 43,000.

    Manufacturing lost another 15,000 jobs.

    In the US today, government employs 7.7 million more people than does manufacturing. Little wonder we have an $800 billion annual trade deficit when the government sector is larger than the manufacturing sector.

    ....

    Wage data covering 82% of all private sector jobs show that the purchasing power of weekly wages today is less than it was when the economic recovery began in November 2001.

    What kind of economic recovery is it when the purchasing power of wages falls instead of rises?

    In my opinion, the recovery was artificial. It was based on extremely low interest rates orchestrated by the Federal Reserve. The low interest rates discouraged saving, but the low rates reduced the mortgage cost of real estate, inflated home prices and encouraged consumers to refinance their homes and to spend the equity.

    The federal government has been overspending its income also, and has wasted a minimum of $300 billion on an illegal, pointless, and lost war that has turned Iraq into a terror zone.

    It is unclear how much longer the world will trade Americans real goods for pieces of paper that the US economy cannot redeem with tradable goods and services.

    Considering the loss of good jobs, the high debt burden, and the dependence on imports, it is unclear what will enable America to pull herself out of the next recession.

    ...

    Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.
  7. 28 Jan '10 14:25
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    googling for "artificial recovery":

    found this from 2006! ...

    ---

    http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts08212006.html

    August 21 , 2006
    Will the Unemployed Become Cannon Fodder for Bush's Wars?
    Artificial Recovery; Real Job Losses

    By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

    Readers want to know why I have not reported on the payroll jobs statistics for the past ...[text shortened]... and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.
    Lola wants to go back to the economy the way it was in 1950. But that was 60 years ago. They're no longer doing that kind of show.

    It used to be that everyone worked on a farm. But then factories replaced the farms. Now almost no one works on a farm. Despite some recessions, the economy continued to grow steadily.

    The same thing is now happening to factories. Offices are replacing the factories. Soon almost no one will work in a factory. And despite some recessions, the economy will continue to grow steadily.
  8. 28 Jan '10 17:21
    you're probly not a public sector employee in california.

    i wouldn't assume that arnie hasn't been trying to reduce headcount. very difficult in california. the public sector unions know what buttons (and which legislators) to keep the gravy train rollin'.
  9. 28 Jan '10 17:28
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    Lola wants to go back to the economy the way it was in 1950. But that was 60 years ago. They're no longer doing that kind of show.

    It used to be that everyone worked on a farm. But then factories replaced the farms. Now almost no one works on a farm. Despite some recessions, the economy continued to grow steadily.

    The same thing is now happening to ...[text shortened]... ill work in a factory. And despite some recessions, the economy will continue to grow steadily.
    who/what is Lola?

    "The same thing is now happening to factories. Offices are replacing the factories. Soon almost no one will work in a factory. And despite some recessions, the economy will continue to grow steadily."


    maybe you can still see Persepolis before the new dam floods it.

    "Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persepolis
  10. 28 Jan '10 17:42 / 3 edits
    Lola's probably still there waiting for the show to come back.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copacabana_(song)
  11. 28 Jan '10 19:10
    no, she's moved on.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroyer_(The_Kinks_song)
  12. 28 Jan '10 19:23 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    no, she's moved on.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destroyer_(The_Kinks_song)
    I heard "she" was just hired to be Obama's gender czar.
  13. Standard member telerion
    True X X Xian
    29 Jan '10 06:51 / 1 edit
    Boy, populism sure is all the rage these days, eh? The message of the cited report was so out of step with general income data and my own experiences comparing government jobs to private sector jobs that I knew something had to be amiss. I read the original article as well as several responses.

    Here's why the article is misleading. One has to keep in mind that the skill distribution of federal workers does not look like that of the general public. There is a much greater concentration of doctors, PhD's, lawyers, engineers, and other high skill specialists in the federal government than in the general population. Because of this there is going to be a higher concentration of high-income workers and the mean average income will be greater for these workers than for the private sector. If the author at USA Today had learned even some elementary statistics in school he would have recognized this bias.

    Anyway, if you take a subsample of private occupations that has a similar skill distribution I'm sure you'll find that a private worker typically makes more than a government employee of the same skill.

    If you aren't sure what I'm saying just ask yourself, "How many burger flippers, bus drivers, cashiers, and grunt laborers are hired by the federal govt?" A fed job is inherently white collar so of course the average wage and the fraction of high income workers will be greater.

    Better yet ask yourself how the distribution of wages at top hospitals or leading large law firms or top research universities compares to the general public. You find even higher concentrations of income and much larger mean salaries.


    Here's a link to a decent criticism of the article:
    http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1209/121409p1.htm
  14. 29 Jan '10 11:37 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    hope that's retroactive ....

    sounds like a chain letter, tho ...

    (ponzi scheme)
    Its a pretty easy solution. Just set up a "retirement panel" and start making "hard decisions" as to who deserves how much come pension time. Its time to start rationing pensions like they want to do Medicare.....except for those in Congress, of course.
  15. 29 Jan '10 11:43
    Originally posted by telerion
    Better yet ask yourself how the distribution of wages at top hospitals or leading large law firms or top research universities compares to the general public. You find even higher concentrations of income and much larger mean salaries.
    More power to them!! That is if they actually contribute to society and make a profit doing so. That is hardly the case with those at Fannie and Freddie whom the left lavish with corporate bonuses and salaries and who continue to take trillions of dollars from the tax payers because the tax payers are their insurance policies. Of course, Barney Frank said recently that they should be abolished, but only to make a bigger and better Fannie and Freddie.