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From USA Today:
At a time when workers’ pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees’ average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds.Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.
Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available.
The federal compensation advantage has grown from $30,415 in 2000 to $61,998 last year.
Why such a huge discrepancy? According to unions who are heavily employed in the public sector, it’s because “they got smartz and they got skillz”:
Public employee unions say the compensation gap reflects the increasingly high level of skill and education required for most federal jobs and the government contracting out lower-paid jobs to the private sector in recent years. (emphasis mine)
Excuse me while I stifle a laugh here. Skill? This is the same government who could basically do nothing but keep their “boot on the throat” of BP while private sector engineers tried to develop a solution to fix the Deepwater Horizon well disaster. This is the same government who wouldn’t allow oil skimmers out to the gulf spill because they weren’t outfitted with enough life jackets. That’s some smarts there, isn’t it?
Smart and skillful? Have you been to the post office lately? Or maybe the DMV? Smart and skillful certainly aren’t the adjectives I’d chose to describe most government-run bureaucracies.
But, if we’re paying top dollar for inefficient and unresponsive then I guess we’re getting our money’s worth.