Welcome to Planet Government where your servants are better paid than you


I read the lede (typesetter lingo) on the AP story on today’s front page and shook my head, asking where these writers are from:

“For years, most people who worked for state or local governments accepted a fact of life: Their pay wasn't great. The job security was.

“Now that's gone, too.”

What planet are they on?

Then over in The Wall Street Journal I found a more grounded analysis that even answered the elitist rationalizations of Obama’s White House, where budget director Peter Orszag explained federal workers are simply superior individuals with superior skills and education. Why, when you adjust for education and experience, he explains to us plebes, federal workers are paid about the same.

Not so, say writers Andrew Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and Jason Richwine, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation. They looked at the numbers and factored in education and experience.

They found: “This reduces the public-private salary gap — but it does not eliminate it. The federal wage premium for workers who have the same education and experience stands at 24%, still a windfall for public employees.

“Even using all the standard controls — including race and gender, full- or part-time work, firm size, marital status, region, residence in a city or suburb, and more — the federal wage premium does not disappear. It stubbornly hovers around 12%, meaning private employees must work 13 1/2 months to earn what comparable federal workers make in 12.”

And never mind what our own A.D. Hopkins wrote about in Sunday’s paper about here in Nevada and Clark County. Here the excuse is union contracts are still in force though the economy is tanking. Government workers got healthy pay increases in 2009 while private sector workers lost ground.

Our betters have the best of us.