Saturday, September 24, 2011

It costs more to have private sector employees do government work--even though they make less

Federal employees make an average of 20% more than comparable private sector employees. Yet it costs more to have those private sector employees do work for the government. The reason: the government hires those lower-wage workers via middlemen--contractors--and when you add in the middleman's cut, it's almost always a lot more expensive.

This is a perfect example of how pols can lie with the truth--by omitting the context that proves the opposite.

At the same time this isn't a justification for government workers making more than private sector workers. In fact they should make less, to compensate for their higher security. Except now with rampant government worker layoffs mandated by Republinomics, the old "less pay for more security" equation is breaking down.

So if we do bring government worker compensation down we have to restore public sector job security--which makes sense to me. Both parts.

Meanwhile at the state and local level, the pension time bombs tick away, threatening to bankrupt cities and counties. It's a pity the GOP has a valid issue here--and that their real reason for pursuing this is to kill off a prime source of Democratic party funding-- but nobody should ever have believed that all goodness (or badness) reposes on either side of the fence.

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