Public Gain, Private Pain

During the 2010 legislative session, New Mexico’s public employees succeeded in preserving their big numbers, high salaries, and fat pensions. Unfortunately, the problem is not limited to New Mexico. As the USA Today recently pointed out “Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time — in pay and hiring — during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector.”

This is because government employees are very organized and politically-powerful. Hopefully average Americans will wake up and realize that their interests are not in line with those of most government workers. Until that fact becomes widely acknowledged, government will continue to grow at the expense of the private sector.

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One Reply to “Public Gain, Private Pain”

  1. As a former US Federal Employee I disagree. The union is very low key and rarely even talked about. It also has very little power since it cannot strike. The federal government is hiring for several reasons: first, most of its workforce is approaching retirement and needs replacing; second, a surge in recruits willing to work for the government especially in hard to fill positions like engineering and the hard sciences and third, filling of positions purposely cut by the past administration.

    The federal government is facing a mass exodus of talent and experience due to an aging workforce and has started programs to hire and train replacements. Fortunately there has been a resurgence in employees who are willing to work for the government thus lots of talent to choose from which should be a plus over the long term. One thing most people don’t realize is the impact of political decisions on federal programs. The Bush administration was very business friendly so it defanged many enforcement programs like the number of labor law investigators needed to enforce child labor and overtime laws. They simply cut the budget thus no new employees were hired to replace exiting employees resulting in a massive backlog of complaints over time. Piggybacking on this was the massive growth of government due to the creation of Homeland Security so tweaking the numbers mean’t cutting employees elsewhere again using budget constraints to slow enforcement and oversight.

    The Obama administration wants existing labor laws enforced thus has been hiring hundreds of new investigators to work off the backlog as well as work new cases. Labor is just one area so multiply that across the federal government and you have massive hiring going on so that existing laws can be enforced/monitored.

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