Monday, August 21, 2006

Bureaucratic Princes Not Civil Servants

Myth: Civil Servants work to serve the public, but receive less pay and benefits than us private-sector workers. Fact: Public-sector work is much more secure than private. Life-time job security is available in many areas of work, not all. Fact: They receive much higher pay - much higher. Paul Jacob reports at
Average compensation for federal civilian workers last year came to $106,579 — which Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute notes is "exactly twice the average compensation paid in the U.S. private sector." Throw out the benefits and the difference is less, but still a whopping 62 percent more for the federal worker. Of course, past figures used to bolster up the "underpaid civil servant" notion ignore benefits and consider just the nominal wage rate. But today's 62 percent difference is hard to ignore, isn't it? But face it: nominal wages aren't real wages; for a true comparison we must add on all the benefits, as Edwards does: "Federal workers receive generous health benefits during work and retirement, a pension plan with inflation protection, a retirement savings plan with generous matching contributions, large disability benefits, and union protections." Let me put a stop to transcribing here. There's a lot more, and I don't get paid enough to risk carpal tunnel.
His source is Chris Edwards of Cato Institute writing in the Washington Post.
Figuring in all the benefits, Edwards suggests that government employees should be paid less than private sector employees, not more.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis is the source for the original data.

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