There is a big talk of unionization and public-sector pay versus private-sector pay as of late.
We all remember the articles in USA Today, detailing how employees of the government are paid much more than their equivalents in the private-sector.
They each respectively ran at different points last year, both during the arguments about Health Care reform and the stimulus packages.
Here are the links: Federal Workers Earning Double Their Private Counterparts
Federal Pay Ahead of Private Industry
Using the government’s own numbers, we shall compare the actual pay differences between those who work for the government and those who serve the government:
Average Annual Wage
Federal Govt. Workers $67,756
State Police $61,000
Local Firefighters $60,572
State Govt. Workers $48,742
State Legislative Workers $48,129
Government (all types) $47,552
Private (total sector) $45,155
Local Govt. Workers $43,140
Local Schools $41,113
Average Annual Wage
Private Sector CPA $71,216
Federal Govt. CPA $67,531
Local Govt. CPA $64,050
SOURCE: BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, 2009
As we can see, the total of the private sector is, on average, paid substantially less than the average government worker. There is no argument about this. That isn’t even to mention the pensions and guaranteed benefits which warp the numbers even more.
I write this because there is an attempt at re-education in the progressive media.
Outlets such as NPR, the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, the DailyKos, the New York Times, and more (who are all cheerfully supporting the union strikes in Wisconsin) are bringing on labor economists who are now claiming that public-sector workers are actually paid less than private-sector workers, despite the government’s own numbers.
These economists, such as Robert Reich, are claiming that those numbers aren’t actually correct because public-sector workers are “more highly-educated” and therefore must pay for more schooling, making their pay less. Granted, this is apparently making the case for why we should support these public-sector unions who are paid a “paltry” salary.
We catch those lies as they come.