Below is the link to a detailed rebuttal of a recent bogus study claiming that public employees are paid less than the private sector. This rebuttal was done by my friend Adam Summers with the Reason Foundation.
Of course, the opposite is true. Today most (not all) public employees are paid MORE than the private sector average, and their benefits are off the chart. And then there’s the job security thingy.
For most casual readers, this analysis is perhaps TOO detailed. A skim of the article is sufficient.
But for policy wonks and others who want to better understand the number one factor in runaway state and local government spending (public employee overcompensation), this is great source of information — with reference URL’s included.
One aspect which I believe is not adequately considered or quantified in the comparison is the UNFUNDED LIABILITY for government employees. These are the obligations the “employers” (i.e. taxpayers) owe for pensions and health are for retired government employees — an obligation seldom found in the private sector.
What we need more of is a comparison of actual occupations that can be found in both the public and private sector. There is one source provided in this rebuttal that to a degree demonstrates this, even though it is a rigged study by the California state bureaucracy.
The state study is biased because (apparently) it considered only private industry employers with over a 1,000 employees. This is typical of pro-government employee comparisons — skewing the averages by including only utilities, cost-plus defense contractors and well-to-do corporations (too often unionized).
But a true comparison should cover the ENTIRE private sector including small employers — the true average private sector salary and benefits is significantly lower.
We need a better survey comparing such occupations — especially within the state of California and the county of San Diego. So far, I haven’t been able to get anyone to put up the bucks to make this study happen (I figure $50K or so). I think people would be startled at the difference in public vs. private salaries (let alone the benefits) of common occupations.
Comparing Private Sector and Government Worker Salaries
Public sector offers ironclad job security and greater pension benefits
etc. . . . . .