John Edwards was right about one thing when he ran for president several years ago. There are indeed “two Americas.” The two Americas are not specifically rich and poor , but government workers vs. the rest of us.
Now comes word from the USA Today that federal workers earn DOUBLE their private-sector counterparts. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, “Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation.”
We at the Rio Grande Foundation have found that New Mexico state and local workers are paid 11.5% more than their private sector counterparts, so we are a long way from the federal disparity, but the fact is that government workers are not living in the same economic reality as the rest of us. This needs to change with some serious downsizing in terms of both numbers of government workers and their pay and pension packages.