As every king knows!
And how are the monarchs doing today? Well, pretty well: "Gov't workers feel no economic pain."
The recession and the ongoing jobless recovery devastated much of the private-sector work force last year, sending unemployment soaring, but government workers emerged essentially unscathed, according to data released Wednesday by the Labor Department.USA Today reports,
Meanwhile, the compensation for state and local government employees continued to easily outdistance the wages and benefits for workers in private business, a separate Labor Department report showed.
Private-industry employers spent an average of $27.42 per hour worked for total employee compensation in December, while total compensation costs for state and local government workers averaged $39.60 per hour.
The average government wage and salary per hour of $26.11 was 35 percent higher than the average wage and salary of $19.41 per hour in the private sector. But the percentage difference in benefits was much higher. Benefits for state and local workers averaged $13.49 per hour, nearly 70 percent higher than the $8 per hour in benefits paid by private businesses.
Federal employees earn higher average salaries than private-sector workers in more than eight out of 10 occupations, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data finds.A chart of comparative pay rates between the federal and private sectors is here. Some of the differences are very large, for example, a federal public relations manager makes $132,410 working for the feds, but only $88,241 in the private sector, a difference of $44,169.
Accountants, nurses, chemists, surveyors, cooks, clerks and janitors are among the wide range of jobs that get paid more on average in the federal government than in the private sector.
Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available.
Why is this important? Two reasons.
First, government at almost all levels is growing like unchecked cancer, and spending along with it. Last month's deficit of $221 billion was 37 percent larger than the entire year's deficit of 2007 of $161 billion. But government does not produce wealth. Government is funded only by reducing the wealth of the country. Government must be funded, of course, but every dollar exacted from the people is a dollar lost to economic activity. Government does buy things, of course, but except for the military there is no economic activity the government does that is not or could not be done in the private sector. Quite simply, the government has no money of its own.
Already, there are far more people employed by government in America than are working in manufacturing. And from December 2007 until near the end of last year, private-sector employment dropped dramatically (as we all know) while government employment, excluding education, rose sharply, outpaced by several multiples by employment in education and health services taken together - and governments at all level are major employers of those disciplines (see here, chart next below).
back in 2003. Since the instrumentalities of government management (well, control) are the bureaucratic structures of government, it's no wonder that government's size has exploded in both the number of employees and the appetite for money. The only way this growth can be sustained is first to milk and then to control the economic activity of the country. Increasing mandates, regulations and taxes are how that is done.
The other factor is the rise of the entitlement mentality of American to match the growth of entitlement-disbursing governments. Quite simply, Americans have allowed welfare payments of various kinds, both individual and corporate welfare, to control a far greater share of the total economic activity of the country than is healthy for growth or freedom. I belabored this point many times before, and this post is long enough, so I'll provide a few links:
"The end of entitlements"
"American reliance on government at all-time high."
"California is a greater risk than Greece, warns JP Morgan chief"
"The entitlement mentality knows no boundaries"
"How democracies perish"
The second reason the growth of government employees should cause alarm is that increasingly, government employees are unionized, therefore politicized. In fact, the Service Employees International Union, SEIU, is is heavily political. With 2.2 million members it is about 50 percent larger than the Teamsters and more than five times the size of the UAW. The consequence?
At the apex of union density in the 1940s, only about 9.8% of public employees were represented by unions, while 33.9% of private, non-agricultural workers had such representation. In this decade, those proportions have essentially reversed, with 36% of public workers being represented by unions while private sector union density had plummeted to around 7%.The result is that government employees are setting government policy in a virtual mode: they do what unions do, collective bargaining, to force job security and benefits. I have not been able to find the proportion of federal expenditures that are personnel costs of all kinds, but they are huge as a share of the budget. Does anyone have a link?
To preserve the sovereignty of the people, government must shrink, especially the federal government. But the relative security, higher incomes and political power of government workers and their unions almost guarantees this cannot be done easily, if it can be done at all.