Shocker! Dems and government unions lobby for higher government employee wages

Recent press reports indicate that state workers are lobbying for higher pay. That’s no surprise because we all want higher pay.

The question that needs to be asked and perhaps studied is: “Is New Mexico government losing high-performing employees to the private sector or jobs in other states?” Surely the government has these data…

After all, we at the Rio Grande Foundation understand that governments don’t operate in anything resembling a competitive free market. Before blindly offering raises to government workers simply because “they deserve it,” policy makers should analyze whether the labor market is indicating that New Mexico government workers are indeed “underpaid.” Our past analysis indicates that government workers in New Mexico are both too plentiful and highly paid. Is that still the case?

We know that New Mexico is not creating many jobs these days.

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3 Replies to “Shocker! Dems and government unions lobby for higher government employee wages”

    1. That would be even better, you are absolutely correct. Unions can make that difficult, but that is one of the problems with unions.

  1. I have debated this “New Mexico has too many public employees” argument for three decades now, and I will look for my paper as a rebuttal. But as far as the “employees being too highly paid”—that is also disputable. What we know now is that state employees are now much lower compensated than municipal and county employee since about 1995. Whereas since the State Personnel Office formed in 1960, and started keeping the stats on salaries since about 1965, state employees made more than their municipal and county counterparts from 1965 to 1995 (with the exception of Los Alamos–federal money— and Lea Counties—oil money). With the disappearance of manufacturing jobs in this country since the 1980’s, and the appearance of Free Trade Acts, average wages have fallen from $18 an hour to $13.50. Yet, if you look at the 1971 minimum wage of a $1.75 and look at the current of $7.25 you might say: “well people are making out better.” But adjusting this 1971 $1.75 wage with a CPI or inflation calculator that you can find on the Internet you see the 2011 rate would be at $13.25. During the Occupy movement protests of 2011, they were talking of a “$20 living wage,” and given all economic calculations that is about right. I know it is a scary thought to employers, especially, small businessmen, but it shows how out-of-whack this economy is. The accumulation of the wealth at the very, very top is the problem; and leaves all us readers fighting amongst ourselves on non-issues like this page.

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