Sunday, March 28, 2010

Missing in Action

The Obama administration has created a booming market ... in federal jobs.

Some time ago, the choice to work for the government involved a trade off: lower pay for job security and regular hours.

Then came the perks. Excellent health insurance coverage, courtesy of Uncle Sam. Every holiday known to man. Sick days up the wazoo. "Comp time" (did you work more than 40 hours this week? Take the excess off next week, or shave that time off your retirement date, or add it to your years of service when you reach your retirement date.) Do the same shaving/adding routine with unused vacation and sick days. It can cut a couple of years off your retirement date or add significantly to your retirement pay.

Now add salary increases well in excess of the private sector to the mix.

And has anything been reduced? Anything at all?

Right you are. This is a one way ratchet.

We see government officials throw huge tantrums and lawsuits (I'm thinking of you, Mr. Cuomo) when private companies award bonuses to their employees in troubled times, yet between 1998 and 2008 federal pay went up 28.6% compared to private sector pay increases during the same period of 13.3%. That's almost 50% better. Was the performance of the government so great during that decade? We had the dot com bubble, a recession (caused in large part by the dot com bust?), the real estate bubble, the FANNIE MAE/FREDDIE MAC debacle, the bank bailout, and the financial meltdown. All in that 10 year period. And I am quite sure I've left a bunch of stuff out.

The left is keen to impose local (read "union") payscales on contractors receiving federal funds for a job. Perhaps we need a Davis Bacon Act for federal employees. They should be paid no more than the locally prevailing wages and benefits for similar work.

Where is Cuomo when you really need him?

From the Wall Street Journal via Glenn Reynolds

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