Average federal wages far outstrip those in the private economy. When benefits are included, federal worker compensation averages $123,000 — more than double the private-sector average of $61,000. Federal employees don’t need collective bargaining to be treated well, and the lack of bargaining rights has not busted federal-employee unions.This is Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe's token conservative.
Uh, Jeff: the very reason that these workers are outstripping the private sector (and more power to them) is because they are organized.
And more power to them.
Do we really want federal and state employees -- i.e. our neighbors, if not our spouses and ourselves -- to take pay and benefit cuts? If so, who do you suppose will be next?
Who has been next, in the great economic mess we've been experiencing since the mid-70s?
Where I grew up -- southwestern Pennsylvania -- most of the people I knew, my father and my grandpap and my uncles and my aunt (who bravely went to college in her 30s, with three kids, to become a teacher and a union activist) -- belonged to unions, mostly as steelworkers or machinists, and they did OK by them. They bought houses and cars and supported their families.
As their unions were busted, as the oil crisis of the '70s ruined the post-war environment, inflation and stagflation and all that, these men lost their jobs and their careers and their health and their aim. Men in their 50s were playing golf at the local course in the mornings, and tending bar in the evenings. Is this really the America we want for anyone?