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Herman Munster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 05:38 PM
Original message
Pay is double for federal workers
Anything the Cato Institute does is very suspicious, but the federal benefits such as health care and pension are very good, much better than the vast majority of private sector jobs. You also have unmatched job security compared to the private sector.

http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/15236923.htm

For the first time ever, federal employees are bringing home paychecks double that of their private-sector counterparts, according to a recent study.

The average federal worker excluding postal workers and military personnel brought home about $106,579 a year in salary and benefits last year, compared with private-company employees who banked an average of $53,289, according to a study by the Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based libertarian policy-research center.

About a decade or so ago, federal employees had about a 50 percent advantage, but now its double, said Chris Edwards, an institute economist. Theyve had very generous salary increases every year . . . and they have very generous benefit packages.

State and local government workers, according to the federal tables cited by Edwards, average $54,849 in total compensation.

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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Why exclude postal workers and military?
Isn't that cherry picking the data?
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angstlessk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. You beat me to it by 1/10 of a second!
great minds and all that stuff.....
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MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
2. Horseshit...here's the Federal GS pay table.
http://www.opm.gov/oca/06tables/indexGS.asp

There ain't that many GS-15's.
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Herman Munster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. it's not only salary they are including
it's the cost of salary and benefits

government pensions are VERY expensive and lucrative, under the CSRS, it's like up to 80% your high 3 year income.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. CSRS membership was capped in 1986 (give or take a year)
All feds since then are on a defined contribution plan, just like the one Calif. state workers are rejecting as unfair. FERS is portable and looks just like 401K Savings plan. There is significant contribution for health insurance, no cafeteria options either.

Job security is not there either. Many groups want to follow the Homeland Defense model and get rid of many of the protections. Also there has been significant outsourcing and if you work for the DoD, BRAC has cut a wide swath through the work force.

Federal employment is far from what it used to be, the coziest jobs are state and large municipalities with union protection.

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angstlessk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
3. Why exclude postal workers and the military..did they exclude min wage
in the private sector? are we comparing apples and oranges here?
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Herman Munster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. i'm guessing cause
it would ruin their little policy statement and skew the averages lower. Gotta cook the books you know.

Military personnel make very very little, like i think enlisted men fighting in Iraq make well under $20,000 a year, but on the other hand they have no real expenses, food, medical care, and housing are free.

Also, I'm not sure if the postal service is part of the government. It's sort of a quasi-government agency.

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beyurslf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
6. So all private sectors workers compared to federal workers minus those
who make the least (and comprise a large % of the total workforce)and they wonder why it is shows such a difference? Does Cato think only the idiots read their material?
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Yes that is exactly what they think.
Now we will have all these people running around complaining about the "overpaid, underworked" federal workers.
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Tellurian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. If I'm not mistaken, postal workers are unionized..n/t
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
9. Sinking ships
make the ones still floating look great. No way they want the Army figured in- or even discuss it for that matter. Postal workers are pretty well paid BUT compared directly to their private sector big competition they make less(than UPS< Fedex). No way they want you to start asking those questions either- for these purposes.

Government workers should be compared to their direct private sector matches. Lots of skilled workers throughout the government sector eye the private sector for better pay etc, but the security issue and others weighs in heavily.

But usually the discussion is 100% pernicious and slanted. We always get : Look at those OVERPAID postal workers(teaches, bus drivers, insert decent union occupation here)! Making us a semi-private corporation deflated this and helped deflate all the other propaganda(crummy service, crummy schools, crummy government bureaucrat, insert service occupation here) designed for one purpose and one purpose only:

Eliminate union jobs, knock down wages and benefits for everyone(weird any ordinary Joe falls for that one, but hey, it's the jealousy rage factor), destroy and privatize everything.

Come to think of it this is how stupid it gets. The Postal Service became a private corporation yet it PRIVATIZES(subcontracting outside the unions) as much as it can get away with. Privatize??? It is all about using spiraling down processes like these to get everyone getting less and less and breaking up unions. Paying people what they are worth so a stable, skilled workforce can be kept and raising all ships is utterly foreign to that dialectic. That is why they have no qualms about destroying the military based on their greed for the elite principles. Or the Postal Service. Or Federal Government. Or even the private sector.

If they want to match up each worker with his private sector REAL counterpart, go ahead. The argument starts there or it starts with the great package of the elected government representatives with their COLA, superior benefits and guaranteed increase approval. And too many of those top people are already rich to begin with.
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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #9
17. FedEx (Green) are not employees. They are private contractors
who work by the piece and pay for their truck, gas, maintenance etc. They also pay their own taxes, insurance and social security (both parts.) They cannot be added into the employee wage base.
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lindisfarne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
12. So the federal government pays a living wage and provides adequate
benefits, compared to the private sector? Imagine how much worse interaction with the federal government would be if they had high turnover. (Also, one must take into account the living costs in the areas where most federal workers are employed).

Responding to an earlier response:
Postal workers are unionized. But they have really lost ground in the last 20 years in terms of wages and benefits. Thus, high postal worker turnover (and your mail subsequently disappearing or getting misdelivered - I've experienced this in two different cities). A lower percentage of postal workers are lifetime career workers, compared to 20-30 years ago.
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hvn_nbr_2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
13. Newsflash!!!111!1!1 Burger flippers and shelf stockers make less than...
you can fill in the blank.

What a bunch of hogwash. If those idiots at Cato had included military personnel, they'd have called million-dollar tanks and billion-dollar airplanes to ride around in a "benefit" and said that federal employees made a million a year, including benefits.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 07:13 PM
Response to Original message
14. CSRS is no longer available to Postal Workers.
I'm a retired postal worker who was fortunate enough to have CSRS before it was cut off as an option. It was a a "good", not great, deal. I get 58% of my pre-retirement salary, and I was able to carry my health insurance coverage with me - which costs about $200 per month for me and my wife. I was also able to add my 4 years of military time to my PO time so I could retire (oh, Blessed Day) at 55 with 30 years.

My wife got an even better deal from the State of Oregon and was able to retire with 20 years.



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wolfgirl Donating Member (950 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 06:54 AM
Response to Original message
15. Another example
of manipulation of the facts to create a pre-determined outcome.

CSRS is no longer an option as of 1986. Our healthcare costs are going up way faster than any cost of living raises (we are still about 10% behind the private sector).

We have unions, but they are blocked from strike activity and it takes forever to get anything resolved when Washington elite don't want to negotiate.

Despite popular mis-information, we can be fired at the whim of management - yeah, we have all kinds of protections, but it is a long hard fight with a permanent stigma against you if you prevail.

We have been told repeatedly since the mid-70s, do more with less and don't complain. They can change you tour of duty/work schedule with 2 weeks notice, assign all kinds of crap as "other duties as assigned," such s train that new contractor in how you do your job (but don't worry, your job is safe from outsourcing - NOT)....well, I could go on and on and on.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 07:02 AM
Response to Original message
16. NOTE-within 10-15years 1/3 of govt. employees will be retiring (boomers)
So they are comparing people who have had pretty much the same job for 20 years or so. It is not hard to understand that even starting from the low (er) wages that "government jobs" do that after that many years or at least normal COLA raises (at least) that you would attain such pay levels.

Also this completely ignores that "Government jobs" ( I am loosely including a broad field here) have in recent years had to raise wages to compete with......wait for it...... the private sector.

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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 07:25 AM
Response to Original message
18. "Anything the Cato Institute does . ."
Please do not follow that statement with anything starting with the word "But"!

I find this whole post suspect..
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