Be it the “public option” (that’ll eliminate all other options), the co-opting “co-op,” or the make-believe market that is the “insurance exchange” – if implemented, these euphemisms for centrally planned medicine will mean many more bureaucracies manned by plenty of government workers.
Government workers may not always be genial to the public that pays them, but they are generous to a fault with their own. In the course of providing the stellar service for which the United States Postal Service has become famous, they pay themselves sizeable salaries and bountiful benefits, and retire years before the stiffs who support them can afford to.
For the benefit of the philistine forces that religiously pray for the creation of more such bloated behemoths – Rachel Maddow does so nightly on MSNBC – here are some sobering statistics about the price of the parasitical class. They come courtesy of The Free Enterprise Nation and Business Wire:
- On average, the federal civilian wage in 2008 was $79,197, almost 50 percent greater than that of the average private-sector employee’s wages of $49,935.
- Pay growth in the public sector has been much higher than growth in the private sector over the years, too. Between 2000 and 2008, wages for federal civilian workers climbed by 53.7 percent, while wages in the private sector went up 28.5 percent over the same time period.
- The average state and local government employee earns 29 percent more than the average private sector employee.
- When wages and benefits are combined, federal civilian workers averaged $119,982 in 2008, twice the average compensation of $59,909 for private sector workers. This places the value of benefits for federal civilian workers at an average of $40,000 a year, four times the value of benefits that the average private-sector employee receives.
- The majority of state workers have pension plans that allow them to retire 10 to 25 years earlier than members of the productive sector, and that provide benefits many times the retirement payout that Social Security would provide.
While gathering the data, The Free Enterprise Nation sampled (in the statistical sense) life in the Oink Sector:
- A driver’s education teacher in Illinois gets a $170,000 annual salary and $120,000 annual pension.
- In New York, some city workers amass more than $100,000 in overtime during their last year before retirement to create a monthly pension higher than their salary.
- 420 of Illinois’ physical education teachers, 332 English teachers and 94 driver’s education teachers make more than $100,000 a year, with salaries for each position topping out at more than $160,000 a year.
- A citizen of Houston, Texas, pondering the curious, concomitant rise in crime and taxes, would find that the number of police officers serving the community has remained the same for six years running, despite a 40 percent budget increase to cover higher salaries, pension and health-care benefits.
- A small business receiving an IOU in California might be surprised to learn that in 2008, 40 percent of Vallejo’s 613 employees had salaries greater than $100,000 a year, the same year the city filed for bankruptcy.
- In Fort Worth, Texas, one police chief recently retired at age 55 with a guaranteed annual pension of $188,692. His successor retired at age 52 with an annual pension of $113,614. Another unremarkable State of California retiree gets an annual pension of $500,000. He was outsmarted by two University of Connecticut professors who are currently collecting six-figure pensions while simultaneously collecting similar salaries.
In another state, Free Enterprise Nation researchers discover that teachers retired at over $100,000 a year after 30 years of employment, with a guaranteed 3-percent increase per annum. “Only 12 percent of retirees from the private sector have defined benefit pensions to supplement their Social Security.” The average annual pension of a private-enterprise employee is $13,083. These serfs of the state are not eligible for full Social Security benefits until their late 60s.
Early this year, still in the midst of an economic depression, the federal government awarded a 2.9 percent raise to every federal worker and a 5.9 percent raise to every retiree.
The average worker in the U.S. pays $10,000 in income taxes; enough to keep one federal worker in style for one month! There are upward of 20 million of these pampered pigs, hogging 87,000 different institutions in government and public education, where the payrolls are always lard-laden in comparison to private-economy paysheets.
The number of government workers is increasing and is projected to continue on this trajectory.
As invasive as the Kudzu vine, government added over half a million workers in the second quarter of 2009, as the private sector shed more than a million. Servant of the State Ms. Maddow will have to bear with Barack’s baby steps. Yes, Bush set an ambitious pace for the growth of government, but before she knows it – and well before his term is over – Obama will have bumped up the current federal workforce considerably.
Over and above these mind-numbing numbers, it’s crucial to comprehend the underlying principles that permit in one sphere (the public sector) what they prohibit in the other (the private sector).
In the private sector, a worker is to be paid for his productivity. If he were overpaid – in other words, remunerated more than he produces – the proprietor would go belly up. No business means no jobs.
Set aside the question of whether productivity – output per unit of labor – is the appropriate gauge in an enterprise – government – that confiscates and distributes wealth, but produces nothing.
Understand this: Backed by the power of the State, the sponger sector has unlimited access to income not its own – it has the power to tax, borrow and mint money out of thin air. With such usurped authority, why would public debt that runs to the trillions deter the ongoing orgy?
By the standards of honest, if unorthodox, accounting, government workers, moreover, don’t pay taxes, but are paid out of taxes. In other words, they pay taxes out of money confiscated from taxpayers, who, in turn, pay taxes twice: on their own income and on the income of members of the bureaucracy.
At the very least, this should disqualify state workers from voting.
In any event, if you are a private-sector sucker plumping for a panoply of new government programs, consider the following: The more of them there are, the fewer of you there will be. Think zero-sum, or parasite vs. host. The first is sucking the lifeblood of the second. The larger the parasite gets, the weaker the host will grow.