Tuesday, July 06, 2010

America's New Landed Gentry...?

Government workers in the US earn significantly more in wages and benefits than their contemporaries in the private sector. Additionally, the career risks of government employment are widely viewed as none. Consider the following:


Here is my question: Are government workers the new "landed gentry" of America?

Mr and Mrs Andrews (1748-49) by Thomas Gainsborough

Comments welcome...

4 comments:

John Freeland said...

What is the reasonable response to this information?

I hear people complain about government workers and public school teachers making too much money instead asking why they, in the private sector, don't make more. Aren't corporate profits and upper management salaries up? Hasn't productivity far outpaced wage growth? What's fair?

Dr William J McKibbin said...

Hi John, please consult the chart in this post for the facts about public versus private sector wages and benefits...

Anonymous said...

uH could you please be a little more specific. Compare say engineers to engineers or scientists to scientists. What percentage of those workers are Mcjobs?

DannyB said...

Anonymous, that was my first thought when I looked at the chart.

If you're going to compare all private sector vs. all public sector, this is going to happen. Waiters are going to be in that mix, and in many states do not even get minimum wage, as will low-level retail, and other similar parts of the private sector.

Government jobs typically require higher levels of education, and the workers are compensated for what they bring.

If the chart showed that a certain area of expertise in the public sector made more than the same area in the private sector, then I would be a bit more convinced. The chart used is misleading, for the reasons given above.

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