Skip to comments.Why Federal Workers Deserve What They're Paid
Posted on 02/03/2010 7:26:09 AM PST by Poundstone
Excerpt: The budget answers critics, including Scott Brown, the newly elected Republican senator from Massachusetts, who say federal civilians earn much more than private-sector workers. There's a reason for that. Federal workers are better educated.
"The Federal Government hires lawyers to tackle corruption, security professionals to monitor our borders, doctors to care for our injured veterans, and world-class scientists to combat deadly diseases such as cancer," the budget says. "Because of these vital needs, the Federal Government hires a relatively highly educated workforce, resulting in higher average pay."
Consider these stats: Twenty percent of federal workers have a master's, professional or doctorate degree, compared with 13 percent in the private sector. Fifty-one percent of federal employees have a college degree of some sort, but only 35 percent do in the private sector.
Frankie and Flo may not be smarter than other folks, but they do have more schooling, and they get paid accordingly. They are also substantially older, and that contributes to higher pay -- 46 percent of federal employees are 50 or older, compared with 31 percent of private-sector workers.
Although the section doesn't say so, comparing overall federal and private-sector pay is misleading in another way, because Uncle Sam doesn't employ many people at the bottom of the wage scale the way industry does.
Job-for-job comparisons tell a completely different story. In fact, government figures indicate that federal employees are underpaid by 26 percent compared with their counterparts in similar position in the business world.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
yeah yeah yeah...
Past-date baloney doesn’t smell any better in a flower shop.
Remember us? We are the unfortunate shmoes who have to deal with these “educated” gub’mint workers after standing in hours-long lines. Government workers ARE, overpaid, underworked, lazy, stupid and rude.
I have this fantasy and it’s a good one. We are able to elect congress people with the sand to go to DC and immediately- IMMEDIATELY- cut ALL fed agencies by a third, as they contemplate which ones to shut down forever (in my fantasy, they START with the EPA). They pass a constitutional amendment that “sunsets” every spending bill they have ever passed in DC and send it out to the states so that we, the voters, can give our absolute approval.
Defund the agencies so that all those “educated” government workers have to go out and get REAL jobs.
My apologies if you or a family member are federal employees who actually work, but I will say that I have worked as a govt. contractor on a military base and have seen first hand quite a few federal employees who DON’T DO JACK SQUAT during their work day!
I’ve even watched several sit around, play solitare, read romance novels, surf the web, take LOOOONG lunches, leave early, endless smoke breaks, socializing, run a side business from their desks, etc.
I’ve heard several BRAG about how little they do when working the “owl shift” and how they play poker and sleep all night.
Some federal workers in technical or legal jobs may not be paid as much as counterparts in the private sector if one ignores the health and pension benefits.
The majority in clerical and administrative staff jobs are way overpaid in comparison to private sector jobs, especially factoring in fringes the feds give. Plus, about 1/4 could be cut and no one would notice.
In my personal experience, I have observed that those people with advanced degrees are actually no more intelligent than the average H.S. senior. Common sense is inversely proportional to the number of degrees held.
I will say this, that having an advanced degree means you are able to "work the system", jump through hoops of academia, backstab your peers, and prostitute yourself for grant money and prestige.
bullshit ditto here. Our exact problem is the fact that these over educated asses are running our lives.
I’ll take common sense over over education any time! Also, I think those educated thinkers Pelosi, Reid and Obama are doing a bang up job running our government /s
This is missing the projectile vomit alert. Just in case anyone here is a federal employee, I'll 'splain in words of as few syllables as possible.
IN A FREE MARKET YOU ARE NOT PAID BASED ON YOUR EDUCATION. You are paid based on the demand for your services. Look at professional basketball players if you want to see an example of how this works.
For most of what federal employees do there is no demand except for the artificial demand created by legislation. The entire departments of Housing and Urban development and Education could be eliminated without anyone in the private sector doing anything but rejoicing (except for those cronies of the administration who get fat contracts to swill at the taxpayer funded trough). ATF could be eliminated tomorrow, and there would be no private demand for its "services" arising in the private sector, and MacDonalds could get some new janitors (with some retraining.)
Education alone does not determine a person’s earnings potential in a free society. I’m guessing that many of these highly educated federal employees hold degrees in fuzzy studies which don’t pay in the free market.
What a steaming pant load....
You work in the day time in a serious part of the federal government ~ not a warehouse on a military base ~ you will work. Government lawyers certainly exert as much effort as private sector lawyers. in fact, as a regular item there are guys who move back and forth from private practice to federal to private practice just for the purpose of learning what the issues really are in critical areas of future litigation.
Does there need to be 1 employee of the Department of Agriculture for every 25 farmers in the United States?
Do we need 4,000 people at the Department of Education when the Department shouldn’t exist in the first place?
Can’t you merge several agencies into one eliminating thousands of jobs? Right off the top of my head merge HUD and HHS. Merge Agriculture, Transportation, Energy and Commerce.
Why does the executive branch require 30,000 employees including 1,000 not even in DC?
Why does the State Department require 12,000 of their 15,000 employees to be in DC instead of overseas?
Why do 535 members of Congress require 30,000 federal employees?
Why does NASA need 4,000 people in Washington DC?
Employee Counts: http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs041.htm
Farm counts: http://www.epa.gov/oecaagct/ag101/demographics.html
Of course I am a Conservative and in federal service so my perspective is different in that regard, I know whom I owe my efforts to, I was and still am one of them.
IMO government workers are basically bureaucrats who are good at one thing: Following directions. There’s very little innovation. Follow the script. If x does this than do that. If y is filled out then send them to p. It’s like this because there’s no motive need to be efficient or to do things different. Your actions never impact the bottom line. Put these same workers in a real world situation where they’re being evaluated on creativity, originality and running a lean, happy department and they’re lost. They can’t compete.
Wonder how many hold degrees in "black studies," and "womens' studies."
I am a retired federal human resources director. Qualifications for professional jobs in government generally require a college education in a specialized field. Having said that, there are many highly educated, specialized federal workers who devote themselves to non-sensical bureaucratic tasks and/or are just lazy. Best thing that could happen to the federal government is fewer inducements for careerism with a healthy dose of private sector experience.
The article is a strawman.
“Education alone does not determine a persons earnings potential...”
I dunno, I’ve interviewed graduate level people before and nearly all of them felt that having those pieces of paper entitled them to something better.
Those are hardly fuzzy areas.
This is one of the reasons Northern Virginia's Thomas Jefferson High School is DOMINATING the National Science Foundation's competiton.
I'm just guessing that you think the Department of Education is the big employer her. With the Pentagon just down the road I don't think so.
On the current retirement plan a federal employee would only receive 25% of the average of his high three years, and I'm not sure if you qualify for retirement that early. On the old retirement plan you would get 46.2%, but there are very few people left on that plan.
On the accelerated law enforcement scale 25 years would qualify for retirement at 39% of the high three years.
I have seen teacher retirement scales that hit 90% for 25 years of work, but not federal employees.
Years of institutionalization don’t equal “education”, nor do degrees - nor are all degrees equal within the same specialty or across specialties.
Nobody in his right mind would think, for example, that the average VA doctor is as competent as the average private practice doctor (unless you have never dealt with the VA).
I would also point out that graduate degrees in areas such as “education” and anything with a “studies” in the name have a negative value and are warning signs of credulous minds stuffed with things that aren’t true. Government abounds with these people who produce negative value added. A high school student with good CAD skills or a Microsoft certification is more “educated” that any of these people, if we are looking at education as meaning the ability to add value.
Moreover, the value of someone’s effort depends on how it is used. Even a great legal mind drafting regulations to implement Barney Frank’s plans for “affordable” housing is producing negative value.
The article is just propaganda to justify high salaries and benefits for government drone work.
They hire contractors to do the brunt of the work, then take the credit. I have seen this on numerous projects.