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Most Think Federal Workers Are Overpaid

From a feigning concern Washington Post:

A negative poll for federal workers

By Lisa Reinand Ed O’Keefe
Monday, October 18, 2010; A1

More than half of Americans say they think that federal workers are overpaid for the work they do, and more than a third think they are less qualified than those working in the private sector, according to a Washington Post poll.

Half also say the men and women who keep the government running do not work as hard as employees at private companies

Actually, the US taxpayers probably do more to keep the government running than any of the bureaucrats do.

The survey shows public views of federal workers deeply split along party lines, with Republicans the most apt to see a disconnect between government pay and that in the private sector. Republicans’ more negative views in the poll reflect the party’s souring view of government in general. Fully 80 percent of Republicans say federal priorities are misplaced, in a recent study by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation and Harvard University on Americans’ views of the role of government.

In the new Post survey, 52 percent of Americans think that federal workers are paid too much, a view held by nearly six in 10 Republicans and about seven in 10 conservatives. Far fewer Democrats, independents, liberals and moderates hold this opinion. Overall, among Americans, one in 10 of those polled say federal workers should be better compensated.

Which is another clear delineation between the ‘paycheck party’ versus the ‘food stamp party.’

Three-quarters of those surveyed say they think federal workers are paid more and get better benefits than their counterparts outside government

And of course this is demonstrably true no matter how many do or don’t believe it.

The government says it is hard to compare average public and private salaries, since so many jobs outside government are in low-paying service industries, whereas government workers tend to be more skilled

We needed a good laugh this morning.

Federal unions, congressional Democrats and administration officials have characterized criticism of "faceless bureaucrats" as scapegoating.

John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest government union, acknowledged that the criticism of federal workers might stem partly from high U.S. unemployment.

"But this whole idea of ‘I know somebody who doesn’t work hard’ – well, get the hell out of here," he said. "Honest to God, you can say the same thing in any industry."

Yes, but in the private sector it is the exception rather than the rule.

Nearly six in 10 Republicans say federal civil servants do not work as hard and nearly half say they are of lower quality than workers at private companies, both double-digit increases over 2001…

African Americans are far more sympathetic to civil servants than are whites, with three-quarters saying they would like to see a young person close to them pursue a career in government and a third rating government workers as better than private-sector ones

Which is a crying shame. But, alas, it is exactly what the Ruling Class and the rest of the Democrat establishment want them to think.

This is exactly what Mr. and Mrs. Obama preach.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, October 18th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “Most Think Federal Workers Are Overpaid”

  1. bill says:

    Federal workers doing work? Isn’t that what you would call an oxymoron??

    • Adam Moreira says:

      90 percent of the time though, it isn’t. (I am not a government employee.) Yes you have lazy workers, but you have them everywhere…even in nonunion positions.

  2. Adam Moreira says:

    At the same time though, how much are they making compared to comparable workers in the private sector? In some cases, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

    I’m on the fence, needing to see some objective statistics of wages and benefits for the same job (median pay) and same duties, measuring the productivity…I would be surprised if they was more than a 5 percent difference either way. But show me objective statistics, and then I’ll formulate my opinion. (The condition is that it be conducted by a group composed equally of liberals and conservatives, who have to reach a unanimous conclusion.)

    The result would probably shock 95 percent of Americans.

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    What I get from this whole piece is that the author describes what I have feared for a long time: That the definition of “work” has also been mis-defined. Another victory for the slavish members of socialism. For, although to go to a cubicle and do your job in the government is technically classified as “work”, the term loses all meaning when that “work” is to listen to voice mail and enter the information into a computer and there are no decisions to be made by the data-entry person. Sure, maybe it’s mundane, boring even, but to define it as “work” where something actually gets accomplished, is sublime.

    Please understand, I do not intend to belittle anyone who works for the government, but as we know, too much bureaucracy is ridiculous. It grows and grows and becomes too heavy under its own weight and then there are the immovable objects known as “administrators” who never seem to go away. They become affixed to their desk and no one really knows what they do, but they are there every day.

    But I will relate this story. I was unemployed some years ago. I decided that perhaps given the situation, I’d take someone’s advice and see if I qualified for any of the state-sponsored training that might be available to me. So I went to the “office of economic security” a misnomer if ever there was one and took my aptitude tests. As the lady was grading them I kept hearing “Oh, my” and “This is unbelievable”. I figured I had perhaps gotten a bubble-sheet answer out of sequence and thus, all the answers were wrong. So I figured when she told me, I’d wait the two weeks and take it again. But what actually happened was that I got 100%. She had never seen anyone score so high, let alone get 100. She said that usually she saw scores in the low 40’s. I said it wasn’t that difficult but they had progressively dumbed the test down over the years since its inception in the 1980’s.

    I don’t know what I qualified to be trained on…as when I got home that day I had a message for an interview and I got hired shortly thereafter. I told the nice lady at the center thanks and what I had planned on doing instead.

    But I still wonder. Could I have been an “administrator”? I’d be set for life. Geez.

  4. proreason says:

    It’s way way more than being overpaid.

    Most of “the work” is useless. It provides no benefit to the country and is therefore just another form of redistribution. Much of it not only provides no benefit, it does harm to the country.

    As Rusty said, this isn’t an attack on every government worker. Many are hard-working and have good skills. The problem is that the departments they work in are useless, or in many cases, worse than useless.

    If the entire government was privatized and subjected to the rules of survival in the private sector, the entire government workforece would shrink to well under 50% in a very few years. That would not cut the budget in half because much of the spending isn’t dependent on the number of workers, but it sure would make a dent in the budget.

    Rush has been all over this. His perspective is that the government doesn’t make anything useful, and he is 99.6% right about it. Excluding the military and public safety sectors, government bureauracracies count, measure and “regulate”. Some of that has value, but not much. If it WAS useful, there would have been on economic meltdown in 2008, no Gulf Coast Oil spill, no failing schools, no medicare fraud…..well, you get the point.

    SHUT THE CRAP DOWN. The people must take the country back. It isn’t even debatable.

    • Adam Moreira says:

      Some of those things would probably happen, because it has never happened before. However, what needs to be examined is the authority under which some government agencies exist (and by that, I mean under what authority of the Constitution). State, Transportation, Defense, Justice, Commerce, and Homeland Security, and likely Health and Human Services, along with the Postal Service, could probably justify themselves – but what else?

  5. U NO HOO says:

    I worked for the post office part time for a few years. My conclusion, the problem with the post office is that it doesn’t obey its own rules.

    That’s all.

  6. U NO HOO says:

    I worked for the post office part time for a few years. My conclusion, the problem with the post office is that it doesn’t obey its own rules.

    That’s all.

  7. NoNeoCommies says:

    I worked for the feds for years and I can say two things:
    1. We (lower level workers) actually did work, although we could have done much more work if the work was managed more like they do in private industry.There was a point in every quarter where we basically sat on our hands because there was nothing to do.
    2. The “overhead” workers got all the latest and greatest while we who actually produced got all the secondhand buildings and equipment.

  8. mr_bill says:

    What we really need is a government committee to research this poll and report on their findings. I figure they will need a budget of roughly $7 million and require 35 administrators, 12 secretaries, and 7 people to actually do any work. The “research” should take at least two years and be at least as good as what one private sector worker could put together in two weeks with a budget of $2500.

    The committee will report to a panel of government administrators who will ignore any recommendations and take any “findings” of the committee under advisement.

  9. GetBackJack says:

    When the United States Post Office was legitimately under the Authority of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7 of the Constitution it was a legitimate branch of the federal government. The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 abolished the United States Post Office, a part of the cabinet, and created the United States Postal Service, a corporation-like independent agency with an official monopoly on the delivery of mail in the United States.

    This pattern worked so well with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that you just have to know that these quasi-governmental agencies are but pass-throughs to line Democrat pockets.

    The Constitution … a lovely way to run a Republic. But effing around with it is a lousy way to run an oligarchy.


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