The Shotgun Blog
Thursday, August 12, 2010
U.S. Libertarian Party calls the pay gap between private and federal workers 'appalling'
Recent data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis show that federal government workers get compensation, on average, more than twice as high as private-sector workers. That gap has expanded dramatically over the last decade. Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle released the following statement today:
"The numbers are appalling. In 2009, the average private-sector worker received $61,051 in total compensation, but the average federal government worker received $123,049. There is no excuse for this enormous, and growing, compensation gap.
"I guess you just can't beat a federal job. Very high pay, unbelievable benefits, extremely generous retirement plans, and near-perfect job security.
"And those retirement plans are often unfunded pensions, which will have to be paid by taxing our children and grandchildren, who never had the opportunity to vote when they were created.
"Apparently wishing to add insult to injury, government employee union reps have claimed that federal workers are entitled to their sky-high compensation because they are more educated and skilled than the rest of us. I have had many personal experiences with federal employees that indicate the exact opposite.
"The problem is that federal worker compensation is not set by the free market -- it's set by government fiat, which causes it to be artificially generous. Another factor is the monopoly government employee unions, which are able to extort that compensation up to even higher levels.
"One sure sign that federal employees are overpaid is that they never quit. Tad DeHaven of the Cato Institute has noted, '...in 2009, private sector employees quit at a rate that was more than eight times higher than federal employees.... This indicates that federal employees recognize that the generous combination of wages, benefits, and job security is hard to match in the private sector, so they stay put.'
"Libertarians support minimum government and maximum freedom. Unfortunately, federal employees have incentives to make government bigger, which makes us less free. With government employment paying more than the private sector, the rational self-interest of many workers will drive them to seek employment with the federal government.
"That's a formula for disaster.
"Libertarians want productive people working in the private sector to build our economy, not working for the government and hurting our economy.
"I would like to see an across-the-board pay cut for all federal workers. That would reduce federal spending, reduce the deficit, and reduce the insult to American private-sector workers. It also just might encourage some federal government employees to quit their jobs and seek more productive work in the private sector."
Government workers should be happy with job security and good pension benefits. They should never get high pay. That includes politicians.
Posted by: Agha Ali Arkhan | 2010-08-12 1:29:20 PM
I have grown tired over the past few months of hearing of the attacks on Federal employees. First of all, not all Feds get union representation, so that argument does not fly with me. Second of all, generalizing pay across the board will give you inaccurate results on pay. My private sector equivalents make roughly $56K more than I do. In an effort to keep high speed people like me in the Fed Gov, the benefits have to be great. Otherwise, I'd be a government contractor. And lastly I will leave you with this. My work directly affects the private sectors. We purchase equipment from the private sector, not the federal government. My product directly affects the war fighters, who in turn, purchase more equipment from the private sector to connect to my systems. So this Libertarian attack just lost me as a supporter of your party. Get your facts straight. Or better yet, expand your views of what exactly you are trying to examine. We have no "incentives" whatsoever to make the government bigger. That is not a point at all. I work hard for my country and her people. I cannot imagine working for anyone else. And I do directly support the private sector. Period. And I can assure you that the majority of us are your Average Joe American family trying to make a living just like anyone else.
Posted by: J. Gately | 2010-08-17 5:48:45 AM
Libertarians want productive people working in the private sector to build our economy, not working for the government and hurting our economy.eventually,i would not like to forget that point its been a pleasure to see this.
Posted by: Motorhome Insurance Uk | 2010-10-13 8:40:22 PM
I would like to see an across-the-board pay cut for all federal workers. That would reduce federal spending, reduce the deficit, and reduce the insult to American private-sector workers. It also just might encourage some federal government employees to quit their jobs and seek more productive work in the private sector
Posted by: Motorhome Insurance Uk | 2010-10-13 8:42:10 PM
Federal pay packets cause distortions that corrupt the free market. Taking the matter one step further, universal ownership and carry of firearms -- a secured and enforceable Constitutional right -- will assure a fair and well-managed workplace. Like politicians, even employers and managers should always live under the threat of death.
Posted by: AB Patriot | 2010-10-13 9:03:46 PM
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Posted by: Motorhome Insurance | 2010-12-08 1:41:49 AM
Libertarians support minimum government and maximum freedom. Unfortunately, federal employees have incentives to make government bigger, which makes us less free. With government employment paying more than the private sector, the rational self-interest of many workers will drive them to seek employment with the federal government.
Posted by: Motorhome Insurance | 2010-12-08 1:47:54 AM
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Posted by: sanjeev | 2010-12-28 1:13:29 AM
While not all government employees are represented by a union, there are more than a few employees are appointed into various contract positions, as lobbyists or consultants, often through their political connections. These positions in particular are fatly paid and compensated with benefits that are beyond the pale. Of course the defense of Liberty requires that there be little government (and where possible, no government) the savings to the nations become apparent.
Posted by: AB Patriot | 2010-12-28 5:49:07 PM
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