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mlyonsd
03-01-2011, 10:10 AM
Wisconsin one of 41 states where public workers earn more

Wisconsin (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Places,+Geography/States,+Territories,+Provinces,+Islands/U.S.+States/Wisconsin) is one of 41 states where public employees earn higher average pay and benefits than private workers in the same state, a USA TODAY analysis finds. Still, the compensation of Wisconsin's government workers ranks below the national average for non-federal public employees and has increased only slightly since 2000.

The finding comes as the Midwestern state remains in the center of efforts by several governors to reduce budget shortfalls in part by requiring state and local government workers to pay more for health and retirement benefits.

The standoff reaches a crucial point today when Republican (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Organizations/Political+Bodies/Republican+Party) Gov. Scott Walker (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/People/Athletes/NHL/Scott+Walker) presents a proposed budget for the year beginning July 1. He says layoffs of state workers may begin if the Legislature does not adopt his proposal to curb collective-bargaining rights of public workers and require them to pay a higher share of the cost of benefits.

The analysis of government data found that public employees' compensation has grown faster than the earnings of private workers since 2000. Primary cause: the rising value of benefits.

Wisconsin is typical. State, city and school district workers earned an average of $50,774 in wages and benefits in 2009, about $1,800 more than in the private sector. The state ranked 33rd in public employee compensation among the states and Washington, D.C. It had ranked 20th in 2000.

In contrast, California's public employees enjoyed soaring compensation throughout that state's decade-long budget crisis.

The analysis included full and part-time workers and did not adjust for specific jobs, age, education or experience. In an earlier job-to-job comparison, USA TODAY found that state and local government workers make about the same salary as those in the private sector but get more generous benefits.

Economist Jeffrey Keefe of the liberal Economic Policy Institute (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Organizations/Non-profits,+Activist+Groups/Economic+Policy+Institute) says the analysis is misleading because it doesn't reflect factors such as education that result in higher pay for public employees.

Key state-by-state findings:

• California. Public employee compensation rose 28% above the inflation rate from 2000 to 2009 to an average of $71,385 in 2009.
• Nevada. Government employees earned an average of $17,815 more — or 35% — than private workers, the nation's biggest pay gap. The state's low-paying private jobs in tourism were the cause, says Bob Potts of the Center for Business and Economic Research at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
• Texas. The state ranked last in benefits for public employees. The state hasn't granted cost-of-living increases to most retirees since 2001.

Some states that limit the right of public employees to unionize — such as Texas, Georgia and Virginia — pay less in compensation than the private sector. Massachusetts (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Places,+Geography/States,+Territories,+Provinces,+Islands/U.S.+States/Massachusetts) and New Hampshire generally permit unions but pay less than the private sector in those high-income states.

Compensation gap by state for public, private workers

State and local government workers earn more than private-sector workers in 41 states. Average compensation (including salaries and benefits) in 2009 and difference with private-sector workers:

State by state comparison listing:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-03-01-1Apublicworkers01_ST_N.htm#

Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Bureau+of+Economic+Analysis); USA TODAY analysis

Cave Johnson
03-01-2011, 10:17 AM
Does that study control for education and experience?

FD
03-01-2011, 10:29 AM
Does that study control for education and experience?

No, which is why its wrong.

I agree with Gov. Walker on the general issue, but its misleading to say public workers earn more. When you control for education and experience their overall compensation is lower than comparable private sector workers. This is as it should be, they get a premium for higher job security.

mlyonsd
03-01-2011, 10:30 AM
Does that study control for education and experience?

Dunno, not that it makes a difference.

Cave Johnson
03-01-2011, 10:44 AM
Dunno, not that it makes a difference.

Of course it doesn't. An informed, accurate discussion doesn't matter.

mlyonsd
03-01-2011, 11:50 AM
Of course it doesn't. An informed, accurate discussion doesn't matter.

In this case the numbers are really what the discussion should be about. Trying to justify them is an entirely different one.

googlegoogle
03-01-2011, 04:20 PM
Draining the real middleclass.

chiefzilla1501
03-01-2011, 06:03 PM
No, which is why its wrong.

I agree with Gov. Walker on the general issue, but its misleading to say public workers earn more. When you control for education and experience their overall compensation is lower than comparable private sector workers. This is as it should be, they get a premium for higher job security.

I imagine that if you would also factor in billable hours, the private sector would smoke the public sector, given that a good chunk of private sector workers work on salary and work well beyond a 40-hour work week.

What's also not apples to apples is that in the private sector, typically the top performers are rewarded with sizeable salary increases and promotions, whereas lower performers typically do not. So yeah, are the higher performers paid more than the public sector? Likely yes, and for good reason. I have no problem paying a good, solid government worker.

My guess is that if you compared a lower-performing public sector worker to a lower-performing private sector worker, the public sector is smoking the private sector. Which is why I hate the idea of unions.

banyon
03-01-2011, 06:29 PM
I can't see why this is an undesirable ratio. I'd like to see some comparisons internationally, but my guess is that countries who pay their public workers poorly relative to the private sector are probably third world sh*tholes.

You get what you pay for in most cases. If you want unqualified people charged with important public duties, then I guess you can look to nursing homes if you want to know what kind of workers you get when you pay a pittance.

mlyonsd
03-01-2011, 06:42 PM
I can't see why this is an undesirable ratio. I'd like to see some comparisons internationally, but my guess is that countries who pay their public workers poorly relative to the private sector are probably third world sh*tholes.

You get what you pay for in most cases. If you want unqualified people charged with important public duties, then I guess you can look to nursing homes if you want to know what kind of workers you get when you pay a pittance.

You're making the false assumption that unqualified people will get government jobs that are charged with important public duties.

I don't have a problem with certain government jobs offering comparable benefits with the private sector but once you set the precedent that working for the government is greater than the private sector the end result is government waste.

banyon
03-01-2011, 06:49 PM
You're making the false assumption that unqualified people will get government jobs that are charged with important public duties.

I don't have a problem with certain government jobs offering comparable benefits with the private sector but once you set the precedent that working for the government is greater than the private sector the end result is government waste.

waste? For paying a salary commensurate with experience and education level.

If you want waste look at the corporate world with the out of control bonuses that aren't remotely tied to performance.

I don't see anything on that level in the public sector. Even the pension plans are pretty much just on par with what old corporation money like GM/Boeing, etc used to offer before we wanted to compete with Indonesian slave child labor paying $2/hr.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/255644-testy-tuesday-1-333-or-bust-again

Unfortunately, that’s not a question that concerns the Koch Brothers or President Obama’s Economic Adviser, Jeff Immelt of GE – they are outsourcing their labor and they can’t wait for the day when American schools begin to turn out graduates who will live eight to a room in a factory dormitory and work 12-hour shifts at $2 per hour. It’s called "Putting America Back to Work" and there are armies of lobbyists either lining the pockets or twisting the arms of each and every Congressman you’ll see on TV over the next two days.

mlyonsd
03-01-2011, 07:19 PM
waste? For paying a salary commensurate with experience and education level.
In the public sector we only need bleeding edge servants in certain positions. Not cooks, janitors, etc.

If you want waste look at the corporate world with the out of control bonuses that aren't remotely tied to performance.
Well, yes, in the corporate world it should be tied to performance and for those occasions it is not the private investor should suffer. Before you go all TMC on me I don't agree with government bailouts for failures. Let them fail.

Again,

I don't see anything on that level in the public sector. Even the pension plans are pretty much just on par with what old corporation money like GM/Boeing, etc used to offer before we wanted to compete with Indonesian slave child labor paying $2/hr.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/255644-testy-tuesday-1-333-or-bust-again

What we're seeing is the result of a global economy hitting government workers. They shouldn't be blessed or covered by anything more than the private sector for letting their elected officials sell the country out. If government workers don't pay the same price we're hell bent for total socialism.

banyon
03-01-2011, 08:17 PM
In the public sector we only need bleeding edge servants in certain positions. Not cooks, janitors, etc.

Well, yes, in the corporate world it should be tied to performance and for those occasions it is not the private investor should suffer. Before you go all TMC on me I don't agree with government bailouts for failures. Let them fail.


What we're seeing is the result of a global economy hitting government workers. They shouldn't be blessed or covered by anything more than the private sector for letting their elected officials sell the country out. If government workers don't pay the same price we're hell bent for total socialism.

Well we agree on the cause for sure.

The Mad Crapper
03-02-2011, 05:55 AM
http://www.moonbattery.com/NEA.jpg

chiefzilla1501
03-02-2011, 06:05 PM
waste? For paying a salary commensurate with experience and education level.

If you want waste look at the corporate world with the out of control bonuses that aren't remotely tied to performance.

I don't see anything on that level in the public sector. Even the pension plans are pretty much just on par with what old corporation money like GM/Boeing, etc used to offer before we wanted to compete with Indonesian slave child labor paying $2/hr.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/255644-testy-tuesday-1-333-or-bust-again

Corporations have it wrong on the top end, overpaying executives an obscene amount of cash. But don't tell me that they have it that wrong for all the classes below. They typically offer bonuses based on some form of performance. The good corporations reward the high performers with sizeable bonuses and pay raises and are a lot more likely to fire lower performers. Because you know what? If your company doesn't raise money, then your company goes under and everyone loses their job.

Not so in the public sector. In the public sector, you can fall asleep on the job every single day, your "company" can lose billions of dollars and you still get rewarded with tenure and a huge spike in your benefits package.

The private sector isn't perfect. But you can't look at this from a "they're educated so they deserve more money" perspective. In terms of overpaying underperformers, the public sector is doing that obscenely more than the private sector. In terms of overpaying overperformers, the private sector is doing that obscenely more than the public sector. If I'd deciding between the two, you're goddamn right I'd take the latter.