Home > More Fun Differnces Between Public and Private Sector Workers in Ohio

More Fun Differnces Between Public and Private Sector Workers in Ohio

March 26, 2010 at 4:53 pm Matt Leave a comment Go to comments

From the Wall Street Journal:

It turns out there really is growing inequality in America. It’s the 45% premium in pay and benefits that government workers receive over the poor saps who create wealth in the private economy.

And the gap is growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 1998 to 2008 public employee compensation grew by 28.6%, compared with 19.3% for private workers. In the recession year of 2009, with almost no inflation and record budget deficits, more than half the states awarded pay raises to their employees. Even as deficits in state capitals widen and are forcing cuts in services, few politicians are willing to eliminate these pay inequities that enrich the few who wield political power.[...]

California, Nevada New Jersey and Ohio all allow double dipping, which lets government workers retire in their 50s and then work another full-time job while collecting retirement checks. In Ohio, police, firefighters and teachers can retire after 30 years on the job, collect a full benefit each year and go back to work full-time doing the same job. This is called retire and rehire.

As the Columbus Dispatch reported last year: “Across the state, Ohio’s State Teachers Retirement System paid out more than $741 million in pension benefits last school year to 15,857 faculty and staff members who were still working for school systems and building up a second retirement plan.” Some teachers can earn nearly $200,000 a year in pensions and salaries.

The union response is that government workers deserve all this because they are more educated and highly skilled. That may account for some of the pay differential but not the blowout benefits. The unions also neglect one of the greatest perks of government employment: job security. Short of shooting up a Post Office, government workers rarely get fired or laid off.

If government workers were underpaid, we’d expect high attrition rates, as they pursued better private opportunities. The reality is the opposite. Cato Institute economist Chris Edwards has analyzed Department of Labor statistics and found that private workers are three times more likely to quit their jobs than are government workers.

So if your state is broke, this is a major reason. Eventually, governors, state legislators and city council members are going to have to decide whether protecting America’s privileged class of government workers is a higher priority than funding such core functions of government as public safety. Something has to give. It’s time to close the biggest pay gap in America.

This is an unsustainable arrangement in Ohio. Keep this in mind the next time you hear a local busybody or educrat scream bloody murder about John Kasich’s plan to slowly gut the state income tax… The people are complaining probably also love their generous pay packages.

Related posts:

  1. What Makes Public School Teachers Any Different than Other Public Employees?
  2. AG Rich Cordray Defends Public Sector Tax Scofflaws
  3. Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don L. Robart Wants to Take Public Sector Unions Out Back & Shoot Them
  4. Jennifer Brunner Panders to Kook Bloggers on the “Public Option”
  5. Remember how Ted Strickland Quoted Ronald Reagan During the State of the State?

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