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Graph comparing federal to private sector pay and benefits at various levels of education.
Federal workers whose pay has been frozen for two years should have another nine months of freeze, 218 House Republicans and 43 House Democrats voted Friday morning. The House bill's intent is to block an executive order by President Obama giving federal workers a 0.5 percent cost of living raise. It's unclear whether the Senate will take up the measure, but this marks another move by Republicans to push cuts to working people as the answer to every economic question.

The bill also puts Republican logic on display. They're advertising it as saving $11 billion, but that's $11 billion over 10 years, and we're talking about a nine-month bill. And can you imagine what the competence level of the federal employees left after 10 years of pay freeze would look like, if Republicans did extend it that far?

The argument for the bill, besides of course that workers should always be cut to spare oil companies and hedge fund billionaires from paying a little more, is that federal workers make more than private sector workers. Except that that's not exactly true. Federal workers with a high school diploma earn more and get better benefits than private sector workers with the same education. Federal workers with a bachelors degree earn about the same amount of money as private sector workers with a bachelors degree, but get slightly better benefits. But for workers with a doctorate or professional degree? Federal workers and private sector workers get about the same benefits, but the private sector workers earn more money.

So basically Republicans are saying two things. One is that the federal government should participate in the race to the bottom when it comes to less-educated workers and should pay Walmart-type wages to groundskeepers and custodians. The other is that we should pretend that part of the reason it looks like the federal government pays people more is that it employs so many highly educated, highly experienced engineers and lawyers and statisticians to watch over our public health, our environment, our system of justice, our workplace safety. Republicans would be happy if federal work stopped being a viable, if not highly lucrative, living for many of those experienced, educated guardians of the common good, weakening the government's ability to function and lending legitimacy to Republican arguments that government doesn't work anyway.

Adding nine months to a two-year pay freeze is on the one hand small ball. The savings are small and even the cost to workers of that nine months isn't enormous. But on the other hand it's a big statement about the Republican vision of how the American government and economy should function (or fail).

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 09:36 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Another consequence of Obama's deficit trolling (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice, quill

    He came up with this brilliant idea, and now they're seizing the opportunity. It's hard to blame them when they get everything handed to them on a silver platter.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 10:02:17 AM PST

    •  I agree. The same can be said of the sequester. (5+ / 0-)

      There's much noise made around here about the GOP not owning the sequester, but it cannot be denied that it was Jack Lew's brainchild.  Sure, as he said in his SoT confirmation hearing last week, he did it to avoid the worse boneheaded catastrophe of default, but what he didn't say was that it was a life ring tossed to the GOP who would have had to capitulate totally if the WH had had the gumption and common sense to stare the bastards down.

      Or the integrity to do it.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

      by nailbender on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:11:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That exactly right. It was Obama's idea (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cpresley
      The argument for the bill, besides of course that workers should always be cut to spare oil companies and hedge fund billionaires from paying a little more, is that federal workers make more than private sector workers
      Obama decided workers should sacrifice to preserve subsidies and tax cuts.  Some liberal

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 09:30:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Professional degrees (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk

    Not an apples to apples comparison.  

    I'm a lawyer, and yes, I generally make more than lawyers of my age, and years out of law school, who work for the federal government.  

    But my work life is not nearly the same.  First, my pay is definitely not constant, and is always at risk.  If my firm has a bad year, or a downturn, I could make far less.  Part of my work is bringing in business, a part of the job that almost nobody likes, that takes extra time, and that federal workers don't have to do.  

    Also, I work far more hours than lawyers who work for the federal government.  They mainly have to practice law. I have to practice law, PLUS devote time to running a business, PLUS devote time to bringing in new business.  Most private sector lawyers I know work 50 - 60 hours a week.  Most private sector lawyers do maybe 2100 - 2300 billable hours a year, and a lot more hours on business and practice development issues that are not billable.  

    I've had friends who have left private practice for a government position voluntarily.  And they are aware it's a pay cut.  But they are ALSO  aware that it's fewer hours, less stress (no business development or business issues), and more certainty and stability.  It's a trade-off: less money for those other things.  

    I'm not as directly familiar with other types of federal workers.  But for those with professional degrees, "salary and benefits" alone is not a legitimate comparison.  

    •  My nephew is an assistant DA (10+ / 0-)

      (that's a lawyer) and he's working at least 60 hours per week.
      So I don't buy the "government work means less hours" meme that the right is so fond of reciting.
      As for the job security - there isn't any with cuts in government staff shappening all the time.
      In fact, just recently he was telling how happy his department was because they had won a white collar case and the department was able to keep serious dollars from the case. That meant the lawyers that worked on the case could stay on the job. If they hadn't received the money the lawyers would have been let go due to lack of funds.
      I also know of city and county employees in my part of the country that are being laid off right and left.
      Again, I just don't buy the "government jobs are so laid back and secure" myth that's often propagated by the right. It doesn't match up to reality.
      When I think of a cush job I think of the financial community.
      I think of the lawyers servicing the financial community.
      I think of big pharma and the lawyers employed by big pharma.
      I think of big oil and the lawyers employed by them.
      I myself have worked in both government jobs and private sector jobs and have found there isn't much difference between the two.

      •  These are Federal Jobs Capt Crunch (0+ / 0-)

        When state employees were crying about their own plight, they cited one study that left out Federal Job Pay when it compared state pay and benefits to private pay in the "woe is me" diaries.

        You can't have it both ways. The Federal Govt Jobs are the Gold Standard for Bureaucrats. It is so much higher than everything else that state employees would not average their pay with Federal Employees but had no problem averaging private pay with the 1% who had 121% of the pay increases. Just as this diary did. The reality of it is . The $40/Hour $80,000 a year job Category is a senior level programmer in IT with about as much job security as a data entry clerk if there are any left in the US.

        But as long as you want to cry a river: I haven't seen any state prosecutors go after large banks either.

        •  Nothing here of value (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rhauenstein, Ramoth
          When state employees were crying about their own plight, they cited one study that left out Federal Job Pay when it compared state pay and benefits to private pay in the "woe is me" diaries.
          Huh? In what way is that even pertinent? That's not even the subject of my comment.
          The Federal Govt Jobs are the Gold Standard for Bureaucrats.
          Sez who? Sez Dburn?
          But as long as you want to cry a river: I haven't seen any state prosecutors go after large banks either.
          Where have you been?
          In February 2012, 49 state attorneys general and the federal government announced a historic joint state-federal settlement with the country’s five largest mortgage servicers:
          Please read and understand comments and make an effort stay aware of current events.
        •  your argument is a classic race to the bottom (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Capt Crunch

          perspective. The private sector job protections and wages (and pensions) have been destroyed and we need to do the same to the public/state sector. I have been listening to this crap for years from the Tories over here in Britain. They want to destroy the last bastion of trade unionism and are using these arguments to babble about the cushy jobs in the public sector and here you are stating the same thing. I find it odd that you are posting in a Dkos labor blog unless, of course, you simply want to justify the destruction of public sector unions and the rights of workers. If you want to win support for your argument, might I suggest using something a bit more grounded in reality than the babblings of the Tories?!

          What is the logic in undermining job protections and incomes for public sector workers from any point of view? Privatisation (which is what they are doing here) means that there are no more union jobs, incomes are lower and work conditions more precarious. You seem to be arguing that since workers in the private sector have it so bad that all workers should have it the same way. High levels of unemployment mean vicious competition for jobs and the ability to lower wages and job protections as there are always others that can take your job.

          What we should want is direct government job creation, increased minimum wages (which are desperately in need of increase and primarily affect women as they hold most minimum wage and part-time jobs). We need better paid jobs for everyone, better and safer job protections, not to undermine everyone's income. International wage competition is destroying all workers' wages, protections and conditions of work. Which side are you on?

          "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

          by NY brit expat on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:16:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I assure you that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NY brit expat, aitchdee

          As a nurse I make less working for the VA than I would working for Allina Health care system.

          As a nurse 2 @ 1.0 FTE my base is 72000/year with BIANNUAL raises of 1500 per year.

           An Allina nurse with similar qualifications can work .6 and make the same money.

          Before I entered the nursing profession I worked for the state of MN. Mastered level providers with a degree in psychology would be hired at lane 10. By the time I left the state the same person was being hired at lane 7.

          The point is that many federal jobs have high entry costs. Wages are good on entry into federal service but the ceiling is very low. (This is true in general for the nursing profession.) When we don't receive wages we do experience pay cuts. As a nurse my wages are starting to lag the private sector because of the freeze while private sector nurses are receiving inflation adjustments.

    •  I know plenty of gov't employed lawyers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dburn

      and that is exacdtly what they say. Bennies and tradeoffs

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:39:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can speak as the spouse of a VA doc, (7+ / 0-)

      who for years worked between 10 and 12 hours per day doing the same work as docs in private hospitals, and who consistently made between 25 and 30% less than his counterparts.

      After many years, his hours are better, but the work is different and demanding in ways it wouldn't be in a private setting. We're planning for retirement and a job in a private hospital, and then we can really compare apples to apples directly.

      Either way, he deserves a cost of living increase.  

      Remember. Bring them home. ● And he reminds me that we are playing a long game here … and that change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once -- Michelle Obama.

      by edsbrooklyn on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:44:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know the government lawyer you know (8+ / 0-)

      But I regularly work at least 50 hours a week (10 of which are unpaid), got only $1500 as a bonus last year, and am looking at a 5 day furlough.

      •  50 Hours a week? (0+ / 0-)

        The horror . Especially at a time when many people would love to have 40 hour weeks fully paid. People who own small businesses, the back bone of the country , sometimes go for years without any pay and then never see a pay off.

         Also talk to us about all of the unemployed Lawyers working off hundreds of thousands of dollars of loans at part time jobs.

        You can always quit and go into that high paying job as  partner that's just waiting for you. Just be like Lanny Breuer and put a lid of Govt prosecutions of Bankers.

        •  Rambling nonsense. (4+ / 0-)

          Please read and understand posts.
          This person is not complaining about their hours or pay. This person is refuting the notion that govt. lawyers have it easy compared to private sector lawyers.

          People who own small businesses, the back bone of the country , sometimes go for years without any pay and then never see a pay off.
          What does that have to do with anything?
          You can always quit and go into that high paying job as  partner that's just waiting for you. Just be like Lanny Breuer and put a lid of Govt prosecutions of Bankers.
          In my opinion that's just waaaay out of line.
  •  Ami Bera voted for this? I'm on the phone. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quill

    He was a red to blue candidate and I donated, phone banked for him and met him at a house party. WTF?

  •  this made my wife retire (0+ / 0-)

    My wife just retired last year after 40 years at NASA. Your retirement is calculated on your last 3 years salary and I told her another year of the same salary would lower her retirement income.
    She retired and the irony is retirees get a COLA every year so her annuity went up a little bit this year.  Also another reason they did this i would guess is the majority of federal workers vote democratic.      

    •  Me too -- (0+ / 0-)

      After doing the math, I realized I had to get out at the end of 2011, I couldn't take another year of pay freeze.

      And I was one of the employees without a degree (ran out of money in college and did not want to take on debt). Plain garden variety administrative (i.e. clerical) employee.

      •  Hmmm. That means a hidden cost of this move would (4+ / 0-)

        be that an added burden will fall on the training budgets of all those departments, and since you can't allow untrained workers into the federal workforce, they'll have to take that money from the department budgets.  

        This is Grover Norquist making a down payment on a bigger bathtub.

        "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

        by nailbender on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:18:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What training budget? (5+ / 0-)

          I'm now trying to find a way to pay for a trip to drupalcon, a conference directly related to my work. We've already been told no training this year, and if lucky, we can make it without furloughs. I work in web dev, I could make more in private sector and get dental and free health care like my friends doing what I do for contractors, and the developers lunches and coffee and fully stocked fridges and all the other perks they get, I can bet I know what Christie would say to me!!!

          I always believed in serving my country, making the world a better place through my service, but I didn't sign up to be liked around, treated like dirt and paid like I don't matter. I signed up for this when being in service to the country meant something, today, it does feel like I'm being drowned in a bathtub. Great metaphor Grover, babe, just f-ing great!

          •  I bet that kind of thing doesn't show up on the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cpresley, worldlotus

            chart at the top of this diary.  IOW, your pay should be shown as diminished by the amount of self-funded professional training you have to fork out for.

            That's a talking point, in case any talkers are reading.

            "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

            by nailbender on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 08:44:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Federal worker family here too... (4+ / 0-)

              Don't know about other agencies but the National Park Service has a strict travel ceiling which prevents a lot of training from happening. I know conference attendance, training attendance etc is barely existent.

              This extension of pay freeze takes a psychological toll not just a financial toll. We don't like being portrayed as the fat cat govt employees sacrificed to line some 1%ers pockets with a tax break.

              Federal workers are just that.....Workers, just like any other.  

          •  All that bitching becuase (1+ / 2-)
            Recommended by:
            Christin
            Hidden by:
            Ramoth, Cartoon Messiah

            you can't get all the info you need on Drupal from a website? You have to go to a conference with the paid for Hotels and Food and Transportation?

             You say all your friends have all these benefits and you don't? Why, pray tell me don't you just quit and join them if it's such a slam dunk?

            By the way...It's easy to cite benefits at at a FB or Google, but for the rest of the world a Drupal job is a contract only, Age specific, experience specific, multiple languages required, years of experience at commercial web sites,  no bennies and you have to be mobile just to get a temp job lasting 6-12 months.

             I work in that field too. So lets be straight up. You got it made in the shade and the proof of that is you are still working there. If what you said is true you would have been long gone.

        •  Training?! What's that?!! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chitownliberal7

          In my job, they threw you in the pool, and you'd better damned well be able to swim.

          Yearly, we had at least 2 hours of ethics training. When our agency finally got word processors, I actually had two days of training -- and the company came to our office to do it.

          When the office finally got computers, everyone in the office spent two days off site getting training. A decade or so later, they did the same thing when we upgraded to Windows XP.

          My supervisor taught me how to do payroll. HQ actually sent someone out to train every office when we got a software program for booking travel. When payroll was computerized I got to travel to our Regional Office for that training.*

          Of the agencies I worked for only Social Security actually trained people -- and the folk that were trained were the ones taking applications for the various flavors of Social Security claims. If you were in the typing pool = no training.

          *Baltimore forgot to check that the computers at RO could handshake with the training computer in Baltimore...oops. One full day of training completely shot to hell.

    •  No pension right? No health Benefits? (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Christin
      Hidden by:
      Ramoth

      when your wife retired after 40 years oh...wait a COLA on her pension. I'll assume she is about 62. Have you priced private insurance for a 62 year-old recently?

      You have no complaints. None.

      •  You missed the point - again. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        terrybuck, HM2Viking

        He never said she had no pension - you did.
        He never said she had no benefits - you did.
        And you said that just so you could pronounce judgment on something he never said in the first place.
        And all the time you had no clue as to what they were talking about. Whoa daddy.
        The comment was about what a mistake it was to pull a stupid move, just for show, like the Republicans did when they froze Federal employees pay. Get it?
        It's a stupid move because it has consequences like losing valuable employees that don't need to put up with crap like that.
        Would you care to address what they really said in their comment instead of pronouncing judgement on their personal situation?

        •  You must be the guy (1+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          dfarrah
          Hidden by:
          HM2Viking

          I faced off with at a Govt building who put his lunch break sign up just as I got to the window after an 3 hour wait in line with a bunch of criminals trying to get their cars back because he was too fucking lazy to make two lines. He came back two hours later.

          You don't seem to understand something crunchy.

          It;'s called "Public Service" Not "the Public Serves Us."
          We don't know if she was a valuable employee. We do know the Civil Service protects employees so well that a real honest to gawd incompetency firing is not heard of.

          A Job at NASA that has lasted 40 years that required the person quit to take a fixed pension at the highest possible level of pay where the person clearly has no discomfort at all, while others in the private sector, are forced to take early social security benefits at 62 for an average of $1100 per month is a big benefit for Federal workers that no one here working for the govt seems to understand is even a benefit. You act like it's a right that can't be taken away.

          What, she was planning on working 20 more years and she had to sacrifice? OMG. You mean you don't save any money?

          You see crunchy, one thing that isn't calculated in the joke of this diary or the responses is the fact that people that pay the taxes that allow her to have the choice of quitting with no discomfort,  have to save a lot of their salary now that their 401ks have been decimated, their home values have been decimated and they don't even know if they'll live long enough to collect social security. That means a ton of uncertainty and a whole lot of stress before they even get to what is called a job but used to be a paid internship. No living wages.

          Even the people that did save a lot of money and held on to it to supplement that social security that is getting cut, aren't getting any return. The old days of 5-7% in interest and leaving something for the kids are gone. It's over except for Federal Govt employees and the 1%.  Interest rates can't be raised otherwise your ass would be laid off because the govt would have to pay out everything it takes in to cover the interest bill.

          So why is God's name should people on Social Security be facing possible cuts, age extensions before benefits can be collected and cuts in Medicare while this guy is complaining that she won;'t get the highest three years of her salary if she doesn't quit. Did you understand that if people are working at 62 in the real world  , they don't have the choice of quitting? That they are most likely working at a job that pays less than they earned at high school?

          Those are the same people that paid for that persons benefits  their whole working lives. What I want to know is why Federal Employees pay is not being cut by 20-30%, why their pensions aren't being converted to 401ks  and why they aren't on the same health care plan we are. The one that costs $2000 a month with a $5000 deductible for health care benefits before age 65 that no one in the private sector can get at any price?

          Justify your existence crunchy. We have to do it everyday.  Don't even think about yelling at the people that pay your fucking salary either. You do that in the private sector and you don't exist anymore.

          •  Try the decafe (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ramoth, terrybuck
            So why is God's name should people on Social Security be facing possible cuts, age extensions before benefits can be collected and cuts in Medicare while this guy is complaining that she won;'t get the highest three years of her salary if she doesn't quit.
            The entire point of the diary is that the freeze on Federal workers wages is a political stunt that has negligible impact on the federal budget.
            Do you understand that?
            -------
            Did you understand that if people are working at 62 in the real world  , they don't have the choice of quitting? That they are most likely working at a job that pays less than they earned at high school?
            First - again not the point of the diary or the comments. Second - what's that based on? The bible according to Dborn?
            -----
            Justify your existence crunchy. We have to do it everyday.  Don't even think about yelling at the people that pay your fucking salary either. You do that in the private sector and you don't exist anymore.
            First, at this point in time, I don't work in the government.
            Second - I'm not yelling at anyone. I'm not using profanity either - like you are.
            You might want to reconsider you post.
            •  You must be on FIXED pension then (0+ / 0-)

              N/T

              •  Another comment divorced from reality (0+ / 0-)

                That's a weird form of argument or discussion. To ignore what the other person said, then project some situation or quality onto that person, and then use that fantasy quality or situation to argue against.
                I'm not on fixed pension.
                I'm not a prosecutor as you somehow fantasized on another post up this thread.

                Every one of those crooks should be in jail if you dicks had done your job.
                Whoa daddy!
                •  Try some substance Crunchy (0+ / 0-)

                  Then I'll address it. I understand the diary has been about a pay freeze. A pay freeze that comes after years of COLA to the point where the average Federal worker makes 2x the average private worker even with the top 1% factored in.

                  What is the point about making a diary with crappy statistics over a pay freeze in the most protected class of workers in the USA besides those in the top .01%.

                  Then looking at a diary trying to justify The implied  meme "Workers are getting screwed"  by comparing the pay to private sector stats where the sources have gone missing as to how the figures were arrived at.

                  Then in the comments; whining about pay freezes for workers who average twice the pay as the private sector as a whole and are protected against job loss to a degree not seen in any other worker class in the USA. It's   like Bankers arguing that their tax payer funded  bonuses weren't large enough after federal workers refused to go after them for crimes they committed .

                  •  time for you... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Capt Crunch, terrybuck

                    to step away from the keyboard...

                  •  Your comments are straight out of Freep (0+ / 0-)

                    Federal employees are not overpaid.........Here is the data

                     http://www.opm.gov/...

                    The reality is that there is a 22% pay deficit for federal employees as compared to the private sector...

                    •  RE: Out of Freep (0+ / 0-)

                      Standard Kossack response when there is no plausible argument to be made; "Those are RW talking points".

                      Then Stats

                      Right out of a Govt report to buttress a non-argument.

                      Everywhere else: Federal Employees on average are paid 2x the amount of comparable work in the private sector.

                      Since the 1% have gotten 121% of all the gains since the recession started, that means only one thing. Pay has gone done for the private sector. Pay  has not gone down for the Govt workforce. Federal Employment has expanded from 1.79 Million employees to 2.15 Million employees. Benefits have not been cut for the federal workforce. If anything over-all pay has gone up when factoring in the huge increase in Health Care Costs the private sector employee has to pay out of pocket.

                      The only ones who think Federal Employees are not overpaid relative to the rest of the workers are Federal employees. Why am I not surprised.

                      •  Compare apples to apples (0+ / 0-)

                        If you factor pay according to education require to land the job then professionals are underpaid. Its not 2x the comparable pay in the private sector.

                        Federal employees (by law) cannot be paid more for comparable work than the private sector.  Bedmakers at the VA make about 9$ per hour on entry. A similar level employee at a private sector hospital is paid about the same.  I would argue that the problem isn't excessive compensation for the public sector it is undercompensation for comparable public sector employees. The salary data I posted was an acurate nuanced comparison on an apples to apples basis.

                        My wages are public information.  When I started at the VA as a new grad RN with a BSN I was hired at 58k/year. In Mn that is actually a middle class wage level for a family of four. As a seasoned nurse I am making what a comparable nurse in the private sector makes. (See AFGE 3669 for salary data for a nurse II step 2. Then compare it to the MNA pay scale for a seasoned  nurse. My wages are either at or slightly below. MNA nurses have higher salary differentials as compared to AFGE nurses.  See http://swz.salary.com/...

                        If you say that as an individual I make twice that of the average worker that is technically true only if you really want to totally discount the added value of a professional nursing degree. RN is not a "paper or plastic" career. Nursing has a very wide development path from CNP up to and including doctoral level education.

                        The entry level wage for a new grad family Psychiatric nurse practitioner at Mpls VAHCS is about 77k. Per salary.com the average for a specialty care NP in MPLS is 98k. Effectlively as  a new grad i will be underpaid by at least 10k per year. Admittedly I receive TSP match but that is deferred compensation similar to that offered by other MPLS healthcare employers. MNA nurses also receive tsp match and also have a DB pension.

                        •  Questions (0+ / 0-)

                          1. Why aren't you including your benefits package into your pay?

                          2. Are the benefits the same in the private sector and if they are why haven't you taken a job in the private sector.

                          You are in one of the very very few professions where demand far outweighs supply. As far as degrading your degree. You completely misunderstood. I don't degrade degrees or skills.  It is the private sector that has told millions their degrees are worthless.  From a undergrad to PHD degrees with JDs stuck in the middle  carrying on average $26000 in student loans just for a bachelors degree at a compounded rate of 7.9% in the federal program up from 6.8% in the private program.

                          At the Masters and the PHD level the student debt is mid 5 to 6 figures or more depending on what schools and programs they were in. A lower level Tier one law degree which is virtually worthless today is $60,000 just for tuition. That doesn't count books or living expenses. Since the loans compound, they have negative amortization by the time they graduate. It's the debt from hell that won't go away where people in the private sector find it's a matter of luck and who they know to even have a chance of  getting  a job where they have a chance at repaying it. Yet if you serve in the Govt, your loans are paid for after 10 years I believe.

                          Why not count that in?  

                          What is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program?
                          In 2007, Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on their eligible federal student loans after they have made 120 payments on those loans under certain repayment plans while employed full time by certain public service employers.
                          Finally, the recent comparison only counts people that are working. It doesn't account for the people who are unemployed with degrees. Federal employees act as if there is not a wholesale change going on in the composition and compensation in the workforce. Maybe that's why turn-over is only half of what it is in the private sector even when people are holding on to jobs for dear life itself at any pay in the private sector unless they are in one of the few professions that have a supply demand  equation in their favor.

                          In the private sector, those that enjoy that status now will soon find that status gone as the private sector is eliminating high paying jobs at an astonishing rate to outsourcing to breaking down jobs to smaller parts and paying people less who perform them.

                          Academics are finding out the hard way they are not as immune as they once thought to the realities of an economy that is structurally broken.

                          •  You are reaching pretty deep to support your pt (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Capt Crunch

                            The public service loan forgiveness program only works for employees if they are at the very bottom of the pile. If you are married and both spouses have substantial loan debt there is no effective savings for a married couple. Ostensibly the program calls for a 15% of income payment plan. If both spouses have loans thats 15% EACH. In our case that would translate into a 30k/year payment between our personal eucational loans as well as those we took on for our children.

                            (The public service loan program is available for private sector health care workers and those who work for nonprofits in community service organizations.)

                            My benefits are worth about 30% of salary. That is what the private sector for Fortune 500 companies usually offer their employees.  Benefits for the VA are essentially the same as those offered to MNA nurses 4 miles down the road at HCMC.

                            For a variety of reasons I am not interested in changing jobs. I am a Navy veteran and when I went to nursing school I always wanted to care for veterans and work at a state of the art teaching hospital. It makes no sense to leave the organization that I have always wanted to work for as a professional. (There are more things to work than financial factors.) The vast majority of federal jobs are similar to mine. They are jobs that need to be done for the public interest with comparable pay and benefits to similar jobs in the private sector. After reading your posts I think your real beef is with the Senior Executive Service. (Those are the CEO's of the various departments and agencies.....) In effect you have taken your wrath at probably 2% of the federal workforce out on the 98% who are the worker bees.

                          •  You are incorrect (0+ / 0-)

                            What do they call it the "top two sheets", Instead read further. The program calls for 15% of your disposable income.  Not 15% of your pay. If you are paid well and there are no emergency or chronic expenses in the family, you are expected to make the payments that are authorized over the period of the load for 10 years or 120 payments. If you have financial difficulties it only calls for 15% of your disposable income.  A private citizen would have to do it for 25 years. You only have to do it for 10 years . A person who has disposable income would have to make the agreed payment for 25 years in the private sector. That is around $125,000 on average more than those in the public sector.

                            Am I Reaching?  No.
                            Uncovering more and more layers of BS, yes.

                            You have no reason to complain. You are not worth close to what you are being paid if the benefit packages were costed out to what the equivalent would be in the private sector. You are comparing straight up salaries and if you have been on this site long enough, you would know that Fixed Benefit Pensions, full Health insurance with low if any deductibles  to vacation time . through except for small portion of govt holidays are no longer available to tens of millions of Americans stuck in low paying jobs or are completely jobless regardless of academic qualifications.

                            Since most loans are going to 20-30 years and no one else  gets that kind of relief, that isn't what I would call reaching. That's what I would call complete and utter denial  that you are in a class of workers that are far better off then the ones that pay your wages and benefits. Look what your counterparts are doing over at the VA and then explain to me how Govt employees are superior to private sector employees.

                            Here is where govt employees and their managers should be able to put up an argument that they are special as no one in the private sector has to do what they do...except for the fact they are not only not doing their jobs, they are hurting people that really embraced public service instead of "The public serves Us", and put their lives on the line.  

                            What is seen is a screwed up system where veterans have to sue the VA to get their benefits. Moreover, if the die while waiting years for their benefits, their heirs get nothing. Nadda . Zilch. Not even a life insurance policy paid for by the govt since getting one on their own would be near impossible.  There are no whistleblower. No one comes forward and talks about claim adjudicators who never delve to deep into a case file before rejecting it. It never stops. This is how you are seen on the outside by the people who have to deal with you.

                            From the Bay Citizen:
                            Veterans in metropolitan areas face longer delays for benefits, Bay Citizen analysis reveals
                            by Aaron Glantz — August 29, 2012, 12:00 a.m.
                            So far, change has headed in the wrong direction, despite increased media and political scrutiny. Nationwide, the VA took an average of more than eight months to process a claim in June – about 50 percent longer than the year before. Veterans in New York and North Texas waited the longest, at more than a year on average. Those who appeal a denied claim wait 3½ years for an answer.

                            Why the dramatic differences? A VA spokesman did not respond to numerous email and telephone inquiries seeking an explanation.

                            Delays have increased despite a new $300 million computer system and 3,300 claims processorshired since 2010 – 765 of them for additional positions.
                            The department has pledged to eliminate the claims backlog by 2015, but VA data shows the number of veterans waiting for a decision is growing – to more than 907,000 as of July 30, with 832,000 of them waiting for disability or survivor benefits, while thousands more seek a pension or GI Bill education benefits.

                            Again, comparing your wages against private sector wages without taking into account the intangibles such as total job security, more disposable income and then not adding in a benefits package with a cost level  that you would have a hard time if not impossible time finding anything in the private sector that is comparable even by 50% , except for the C-Suites in corporations.

                            What is probably the most irritating is that there is no scintilla of gratitude for getting far more than private sector employees. Instead statistics generated to fit a a end goal is the only point of consideration. You didn't get you COLA this year. OMG. Time to whine.

                            Do yourself and your ungrateful colleagues a favor and read the CBO , non partisan report , that states unequivocally that Govt workers are now over paid more than private sector equivalents. More over, even the CBO report didn't compare the cost of benefit packages received as a govt employee and what the cost of the same benefits would  be in the private sector if accessible at all.

                            You have no argument. Every last person that has jumped on me sound like ungrateful, put upon whiners that have barricaded themselves in a room that filters out any data that contradicts the data they  want to hear.

                            If it's so bad, go ahead and leave and see what private sector work is like these days . None of you will do it because your too scared you won't be able to get your govt job back.

                            If you weren't, you would have quit for that better private sector job you imply is there for the asking.  Clearly you aren't there for the Higher calling of Public Service.  You are there to get the best possible deal then have the unmitigated audacity to complain about pay freezes when very few Americans, except for those at the very top, have seen pay cut with demands for far higher levels of productivity in order to keep the job.

                            How many civil service employees are fired or laid off permanently every year as a percentage of the growing workforce that has gone up 25% since the depression started?

                            "Contrary to Senator McCain's apparentbelief, federal managers have full authority to take appropriate action against employees who engage in misconduct or fail to satisfy agency-established performance expectations," she wrote in an email.

                            But experts say it is a cumbersome process that needs to be streamlined.

                            "Very few federal employees -- in the hundreds, not the thousands -- are ever fired on the basis of poor performance," said Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University.

                            in the hundreds assuming 999, the professor is talking about 0.5% of the total workforce.

                            But here more promising news. If you count the ones on probationary periods the number shoots up to an ass grabbing 4% and the permenant employees who come in drunk and hit their bosses.

                            He also said that 8,000 to 10,000 federal workers are fired each year when you count people who are fired for poor conduct (coming to work drunk, hitting the boss, etc.) and workers who don't make it past their initial probationary period, he said.

                            Overhauling the way workers are paid might be a better way to improve performance than making it easier fire people, Palguta said. Currently, salaries and raises are based on length of service, not on performance.

                            "Poor performers are more likely to leave an organization that ties their pay to their performance," he said.

                            The federal government checked into the issue of poor performers in 1999, when the U.S. Office of Personnel Management tried to quantify poor performance. The good news for taxpayers was that the study found supervisors labeled poor performers only a tiny percentage of their workers - 3.7 percent.

                            The researchers had a difficult time finding a significant sample of supervisors who had attempted to take action against a poor performer.

                            The 42 supervisors said it was hard to fire workers because of a lack of support from upper management, varying quality in technical guidance for completing the process, and reluctance to devote time and energy to completing the process.

                            The study said many bosses got discouraged and gave up. "Interviewees found the investment of time and energy required over an extremely long period to be daunting," the report said. "This was compounded by the stress resulting from the employee's counter-charges, grievances, accusations, appeals, general hostility and attempts to subvert the supervisor. One described the documentation required as 'horrendous.'"

                            In the private sector there are no such protections. None. Right to work states can fire employees for any reason or none at all.  When was the last time there was a mass lay-off of US govt employees? Answer there never has been one.

                            Job security, total job security even protecting the incompetent is not a benefit?

                          •  Why don't you publish a diary? (0+ / 0-)

                            You've obviously got enough time on your hands to type out a comment that is as long as most diaries.
                            Put it out there if you really think it's an important issue that folks should know about.
                            Instead of just rambling comments really step up and publish the diary.

                          •  You are factually incorrect. (0+ / 0-)

                            The public service loan program has 2 provisions. If you have only personal stafford loans than it is based on disposable income with an adjustment. If you have stafford loans and plus loans you are only eligible for income contingent. Thats 15% of ALL income.

                            As I said in my diary my wages are directly comparable for KSA etc to the private sector.  Please feel free to look at afge 2669 and then compare the wage and benefit packages for equivalent employees at HCMC covered by the Minnesota Nurses Association contracts. My benefits are no better than those available at HCMC.

                            My health insurance is slightly cheaper because of economy of scale not because it isn't fairly priced. I pay 30% of the premium cost for my care. If anything FEHPB is the model for Obamacare. As to pension coverage MNA nurses have a DB pension with a higher annual multiplier. I have never complained about my compensation EVER. I am very appreciative of the opportunity I have to work with my chosen patient population and in my specialty.

                            Your criticisms of the VA Compensation and Pension system have some merit. A big part of what the system is trying to do is speed claims processing. Its   not perfect but no system ever is optimal. (FWIW I advocate for vets and tell them how to apply for C&P almost every week.) Vets who use the service organizations and have a power of attorney usually get their claims expedited.

                            but the overall satisfaction ratings for the VA HEALTH CARE SYSTEM are equal to or better than any private sector health care system. See Longman and Health of Nations at prospect.org.

                            I work with vets every day and the vast majority are very appreciative of their care. (I was on vacation for the past 3 weeks and a vet today asked if I was ok because he was concerned for my wellbeing as one of his caregivers.)

                            Your casting aspersions on my motivations for public service are a personal attack towards me as a professional and a human being. FWIW I am a very high performer with outstanding performance reviews over time. If you believe that you are capable of delivering comparable health care please attend nursing school at a cost of 20K, pass the boards and enter practice. After 3-5 years we can see if you can cut the mustard as a health care professional.

                          •  Minimal Family Budget for middle class in MPLS (0+ / 0-)

                            Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI MSA (MN)

                            Two Parents, Two Children

                            Item

                            Cost

                            Monthly Housing

                            $848

                            Monthly Food

                            $643

                            Monthly Child Care

                            $1566

                            Monthly Transportation

                            $401

                            Monthly Health Care

                            $449

                            Monthly Other Necessities    

                            $358

                            Monthly Taxes

                            $632

                            Monthly Total

                            $4898

                            Annual Total

                            $58774

                            source http://www.epi.org/...

                            Program Support Assistant 33k-43k
                            SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION FOR EXPERIENCE (Transcript Required): Successful completion of (4) years of education above the high school level. This education must have been obtained in an accredited business, secretarial or technical school, junior college, college or university for which high school graduation or the equivalent is the normal prerequisite. One year of full-time undergraduate study is defined as 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent in a college or university or at least 20 hours of classroom instruction per week for approximately 36 weeks in a business, secretarial or technical school.https://www.usajobs.gov/...

                            PSA's are far more represntative of the average job than you apear to recognize......
                            The top end of PSA wages are within the working poor range-commonly accepted as 200% of poverty.

                            There are more than a few criticisms of the CBO report. Among them are overly conservative estimates of ension fund asset returns.

                            CBO cautions, however, that “estimates of the costs of benefits are much more uncertain than its estimates of wages, primarily because the cost of defined-benefit pensions that will be paid in the future is more difficult to quantify and because less-detailed data are available about benefits than about wages.”

                            ...
                            But if you’re going to consider indirect costs like uncertainty, you should also factor in indirect advantages for employers, like reduced turnover.

                            A paper to be released next week by EPI also shows that Biggs and Richwine use highly unorthodox methods in comparing public- and private-sector pay. Among other things, they ignore enormous differences in educational attainment between teachers and private-sector workers.

                            http://www.epi.org/...

                            In any event the wage premium data is NOT double the private sector. Arguably federal benefits provide a competitive pressure to support private sector wages. In addition the wage premium data reflects the union premium figures for organized workers.

                            Frankly I think your efforts would be better spent supporting sick, vacation and right to organize.

                            (Lastly the federal government is often the emplyer of last resort for workers with physical and emotional disabilities. I would rather pay these workers to work for the federal government instead of having them on public assistance.)

                            The public sector has now been losing jobs for four years

                            While overall the labor market has added jobs for the last two-and-a-half years, it’s actually just the private sector that’s adding jobs; the public sector is losing them. In August, the public sector lost 7,000 jobs. Since the peak of public-sector employment four years ago in August 2008, the public sector has shed 680,000 jobs. Through ripple effects, the loss of public-sector jobs also causes job loss in the private sector, amplifying the drain on the recovery.

                            http://www.epi.org/...

                            Facts are stubborn things....

                          •  In addition (0+ / 0-)

                            DB pensions save taxpayers money.  

                            Government employee pensions are in general "contributory."  This means that the employee contributes a set amount which is matched by the employer. The investment earnings of the contributions are used to fund the balance of the annuity at the time of employee retirement.

                            FERS employees contribute about 1% of salary to their pension with an employer match.

                            TSP contributions are a matched on a percentage basis up to 6% of salary.

                            Employees pay 6.5% to SS (just like the private sector.)

                            At the end of the day employees are saving 20% of their salary towards their retirement between SS, FERS and TSP. (If you factor in the employer portion its actually 27%) This far exceeds what the average employee contributes in the private sector.

                            The point is that its a well designed program that forces adequate employee savings rates for retirement. These are all part of the total compensation package.

                            Instead of attacking the DB pensions of others wouldn't your efforts be better spent advocating for an improved retirement savings system for the private sector?

                      •  I also think (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Dburn

                        That ALL employees whether rivate or public sector are UNDERPAID in general when you factor the value of their contributions to the organization as compared to their compensation

      •  the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HM2Viking

        Person hide rating all your comments is out of line...Ramoth.
        Updated...not for pure agreement, but blatant hr abuse.

        We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear. Robert Louis Stevenson

        by Christin on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 03:45:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Joels Wife (0+ / 0-)

        Has no Social Security. (She is covered by the old federal retirement system. )

        I am not sure what your burn is but you are not advancing the discussion. The big picture issue is that the corporatists are attacking wages and benefits for all workers.

    •  What a virtuous circle (0+ / 0-)

      Federal employees vote/contribute to politicians who turn around and pay them more. Who really cares what it costs, its only tax dollars.

  •  Better way to look at total compensation between (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk, dfarrah

    the public sector Vs private sector to decide which is better paid is the rate that employees voluntarily leave their job.   The one with the lower rate is the one that is better compensated in all ways tangible and intangible, benefits, pressures of work, etc..

    There are simply too many subjective variables to consider to base decisions upon an analysis like the diary does.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 11:43:31 AM PST

    •  Yeah, I get so sick (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep

      of listening to government workers whine.

      The easiest, best paid jobs I've ever had have been with government [although my fellow bank examiners would whine about how stressful the job was when it wasn't].  I could just kick myself, sitting here unemployed, for ever leaving my government job in tne mid '90s.  Dumbest thing I ever did.  In the last few years, I've tried and tried to get a government job, but no offers.

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 01:20:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Best wishes in finding a good next job very soon. (0+ / 0-)

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 03:40:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are. . . (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Capt Crunch, stevemb, cpresley

        . . .full of %h&*.  And I won't bother to tell you why I think so.

        Money ain't free speech and it won't buy you love.

        by waztec on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 09:06:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, I'm not. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Christin

          Here's a fact:  if it is/was so horrible to be a government worker and the differences so vast between private and government, people would be leaving government in droves.  And they aren't nor has the government ever lacked for workers.

          And workers have never, since I've been in the workforce [early 80's], left government jobs in droves.

          Further, when government jobs are posted, the entity receives hundreds of applicants, just like the private sector.  Even back in the mid-90's, when I applied for state jobs, the room was filled with people taking whatever test the state was using.

          The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

          by dfarrah on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:14:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You and Scott Walker (10+ / 0-)

        You're both tired of hearing Govt. workers whine.
        Personally, I'm tired of hearing folks rip on govt. workers.
        Every time I hear that I realize folks ripping on Govt. workers don't know what they're talking about because they're bought the right wing propaganda lies.
        And I'm tired of hearing about how the private sector is supposedly more efficient.
        Simply not true. Not close to reality.
        The private sector has screwed up the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink.
        They even managed to screw up the very business of doing business - and then came to the government to bail them out.
        I found the laziest blowhards ever in the private sector - and they're usually the ones that complain the loudest about govt. workers.

        •  Thank you... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cpresley, Capt Crunch, rhauenstein, Ramoth

          This needs to be said.

        •  My experiences have (0+ / 0-)

          nothing to do with right wing propaganda.  

          I worked both at the federal gov and state gov. [ the state was just a 6 month assignment, as it gets behind and then hires people for 6 months to get things caught up].  The pay was good, and the bene's even better.

          And the stupidest thing I ever did was leave the federal job in the mid-90's.  

          So, really, it's the government workers who have bot into their own propaganda about low pay.  Even when I worked at the fed level, they all whined about their pay [the one's making 40,000 to 80,000 at that time].  It was just an accepted concept that government workers made less.  And again, none of them left for those vastly greener pastures in the private sector.  At least one who did leave agreed with me--that the work was easy and that government lifers have no idea what working in the private sector is like.

          So, hey, if you work at a government job or know someone who works at a government job, please please please, leave and get one of those great jobs in the private sector.

          Why keep suffering so much?  Leave.

          The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

          by dfarrah on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:24:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Don't know what govt job you had... (6+ / 0-)

        ...but this in not my experience. Govt workers are asked to do more with less until they are at the breaking point. Congress demands this and that and then demonizes us. The stress of many overworked federal workers is very high.

        The reason you are not getting offers is govt jobs have been cut dramatically while the workload has increased. Those still on the job are often doing the job of three.

        I've seen many private sector workers slacking as well. Any anecdotes of the lazy easy fed worker job are just that. Anecdotes. And maybe if you were a slacker at your govt job that's why your not getting offers.

        I get so sick of people making Federal workers scapegoats and thinking they are all lazy and overpaid.

      •  It's too much for me (0+ / 0-)

        You also have to delineate between Federal employees and State employees.  State employees have a little more to whine about, but Federal employees have nothing to whine about.

      •  keep putting yourself forward... (0+ / 0-)

        With your fiscal management skills I am quite sure that you would be a valuable asset for any agency....

    •  It's only one aspect (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edsbrooklyn, cpresley, worldlotus

      Like all the items mentioned for pay and benefits. Looking at govt workers is like looking at the military. Many of us enter service because we're idealistic, some because its a steady pay check. We all stay for different reasons. I could start my own tech firm, I have the skills, I'm sure I'd have no problem freelancing and make way more than I make now and work less hours, but I'd serve only one god and being polytheistic, that just seems so not right. I have days where I love what I do and others where I have nearly nothing to do which drives me nuts. But when a deployment is taking place and we're lining it all up and I know, that when we go live, a citizen is going to hit that site and get something the need out of because its accessible for their blindness or cognitive disability or because we changed the wording or how content is displayed or, or, or... Whatever it is, I know I've made a difference. I can't put a price tag on it. There even a promotion that's come up and I'm qualified for it and its a lot more money, but I've recruited 3 candidates I think are better suited for it, because it isn't about money to me or any of the folks I've recruited, it's about service.

      I wish there were a way to measure this, but I don't think it's ever really considered when we talk about government work. I serve. It's not just a job to me, and it isn't just a job too most of the other govies I know. It's a mission.

  •  Local and state government employees (6+ / 0-)

    have gone longer than 2 years with a pay freeze in many cases FWIW.  As a teacher, my pay was frozen for 4 years.  We got a small raise this year, but things aren't looking good for next year.  I can live with that but it would certainly help if they weren't constantly adding more to our workload among other things that are negatively affecting school workers (and students).

    “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

    by musiclady on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:14:18 PM PST

    •  and then there are airline pilots (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cpresley, worldlotus

      their pay has actually been cut rather dramatically over the past 2 decades.

      Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

      by Keith930 on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:24:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. Other airline employees as well (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cpresley, worldlotus, Tommye

        I have a friend who's been an American Airlines flight attendant for the last 25 years.  She thinks that she will lose her pension because of the merger.  

        Some private employees are seeing their pay and benefits cut.  There's no doubt about that.  That should not be used as rationale to do the same to public employees.  The fact is--it shouldn't be happening to anyone.  It's become a race to the bottom.

        “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

        by musiclady on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:35:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  yeah - private sector workers aren't doing that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nasheval, dfarrah, HM2Viking

      well too, so complaining about pay freezes isn't going to garner much sympathy.

      and that's the problem.  there's a war on people who work for a living.

      so when non-govt employees aren't getting raises for 3 or 4 years they aren't very sympathetic to your salary troubles.

      and that of course is the whole point.

      divide and conquer.

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 10:33:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hmm... (5+ / 0-)

    I assume next they'll be slashing their own pay, right? After all, House reps are government employees too...

    Right?

    Crickets

    •  Why is it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ssgbryan, worldlotus

      That 40 years ago if you went to collage and got your B.S. you could get most jobs that were out there. Today it seems the want people with at least a masters, but a PHD. would be great now for the same dam job. We weren't any dumber then, in fact we invented the P.C. and the internet.

      •  Even a Ph.D. is no guarantee. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cpresley, worldlotus, Mindful Nature

        When you have it, those same jobs will label you OVERqualified.  They don't want people that get ideas in drone jobs.

        The jobs are just too damn scarce!

      •  Well, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cpresley, worldlotus

        40 years ago, 78 percent of Americans graduated high school, and less than 20 percent finished college.  

        Today, that's 92 percent and 35 percent.  A big jump.  Unfortunately, the number of jobs created by "job creators" hasn't increased with it.

        This is exacerbated by the fact that employers don't want to train anyone at all-- they want someone already able to start the exact job, and they want it now now now (and then they have the gall to say it's the kids these days who impatiently expect everything to fall their way right away).

        Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

        by nominalize on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 08:33:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But the (0+ / 0-)

          majority of jobs at any company aren't held by Phd's. You have maybe 15 V.P's, about 100 or so managers, that do alot of the work that just don't need a master. Then you have thousand of the workers that make sure the company runs and makes money for the owners and the shareholder. They sure don't need to have a master's. Alot
          of the jobs that make the company work don't require even a 2 year degree. Everyone wants to be the boss. Nobody wants to do the work.

  •  And Nancy Pelosi is worried about Congress's (5+ / 0-)

    dignity being undermined by Congressional pay being cut?

    Sickening

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:37:34 PM PST

    •  Yeah, they voted themselves a payraise (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, Laconic Lib, cpresley

      last month, I believe but the media decided not to pick it up. Probably for fear of a backlash. They are lapdogs after all.

    •  As for anyone else's dignity ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina

      "Screw 'em.  We've got ours."

    •  the one consistency... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina

      The one consistent factor in the public and private sector is that the highest paid are the ones who have seen their income rebound and/or increase steadily since the Bush Depression -- and, for that matter, since the Reagan Revolution.  The lower paid are almost always the first to be excused during a downturn, while the higher paid, who often do very little, relatively speaking -- as evidenced by the Republican House, which awards itself vacation every few weeks and works only half-weeks when it does see fit to "work" -- sails on, pulling in ever more (and gerrymandering to keep the cushy jobs the members have).  

      In all my years in the private sector, I recall just once when this was not so.  In the mid-1990s, senior management at my company was not content with my division's output and -- in an odd twist -- six of seven direct reports were "reassigned," which in most cases meant they were given office, staff and the ability to save face for three to six months while they looked for jobs in other companies.  The other 300 of us were retained; a few of us were promoted to take over for the departing direct reports and a few individuals were recruited from outside to replace the other (axed) direct reports.  

      Through the decades, in all the other downsizings, which seemed to happen every three years or so, the low- and mid-level employees were the only ones who consistently paid a price for the company's lack of progress.  In rare instances, one or two managers might be released (generally with much better packages than those given to the others), but those were exceptions to the norm.  

      As for government workers, it is time to penalize the members of Congress and the other higher-ups, who have no concept what "work" and "struggle" mean.  The reason Mr. McConnell, Mr. Boehner and many others are so callous is that they live in a completely different world than the people they "represent."  Thus, they engage in games, obstructing potentially helpful proposals for two years at a stretch, not comprehending the impact of those delays on real, actual people.  Most of us cannot afford to wait two years or more for decisions about health care coverage, minimum wages, etc. to be reached, and many of us cannot survive with the contemplated changes to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  

  •  docbrooklyn is a VA doc, and his salary (7+ / 0-)

    has been frozen forever at this point. No COLAs, no performance pay, no nothing. He decided to serve the public rather than go into private practice. I guess his isn't a real job anyway, so why should he be treated like it is?  After all, these guys deserve the money:

    NYT today: Incomes Flat in Recovery, but Not for the 1%

    WASHINGTON — Incomes rose more than 11 percent for the top 1 percent of earners during the economic recovery, but not at all for everybody else, according to new data.

    The numbers, produced by Emmanuel Saez, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, show overall income growing by just 1.7 percent over the period. But there was a wide gap between the top 1 percent, whose earnings rose by 11.2 percent, and the other 99 percent, whose earnings declined by 0.4 percent.

    Remember. Bring them home. ● And he reminds me that we are playing a long game here … and that change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once -- Michelle Obama.

    by edsbrooklyn on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:39:22 PM PST

    •  Is anybody (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edsbrooklyn, ssgbryan, worldlotus, stevemb

      on this site a Federal employe that is not a doctor or a lawyer? The lowly employes that do alot of the grunt & paperwork aren't getting a raise either.

      •  I imagine so. (5+ / 0-)

        I only know my own experience, though. I was a New York City employee for a long time and worked under both a salary freeze AND a hiring freeze, so we got to do more work for the same pay since no one was being hired and the work still needed to get done.

        That was fun.

        Remember. Bring them home. ● And he reminds me that we are playing a long game here … and that change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once -- Michelle Obama.

        by edsbrooklyn on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 08:14:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  A lot of the low level work was contracted out (6+ / 0-)

        The low level positions are now mostly support contractors save for those who have retired in place hanging on.  The remaining employees are there to oversee the work of the support contractors and to the "inherently governmental" activities that contractors are not permitted to do.

        Actually things are worse for fed employees than the diary indicates as sequestration if enacted will result in unpaid furloughs, for instance the DOD is planning for one day a week unpaid furlough for the rest of the year, a 20 percent pay cut for DOD civilian employees this year!!!!!

      •  Yes. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        akeitz, Ramoth, edsbrooklyn, HM2Viking

        My wife and I both work for the National Park Service. She is the equivalent of a business manager for a large national park. Complex operation, dozens of employees, a park owned airplane, international agreements (its on the border) several million dollar budget she balances within a 100 dollars each fiscal year. Congress calls you drop everything to give them what they want, impossible deadlines, minimal support from up the food chain, lots of stress and overwork.

        No way she earns near what an employee in an equivalent private sector job earns. And she has to put up with being cast as the problem in govt spending?

        I say BS.  

        •  Then the obvious (0+ / 0-)

          solution is for her to leave and find those wonderful green pastures in the private sector.

          The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

          by dfarrah on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:29:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The point of the commenter (0+ / 0-)

            Was that his wife is a high performer who

            1. Believes in her career

            2. Likes serving the public

            3. Is a part of the solution not the problem.

            •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

              Its also true that when you have 25 years with a company and you are personally and emotionally invested in a community you don't just uproot for the cash.

              Actually at one point she did consider leaving for a similar better paying job at a power company, but decided that the mission of who you work for is important part of quality of work life.

              Imagine that; quality of life over profit. Guess she is a demonic fed employee for thinking that way.

      •  I was (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        edsbrooklyn

        My title was administrative clerk, my take-home pay (after taxes and my insurance premiums were deducted) was about $1400 per month.

        I'm actually getting a little more than that in retirement, but that's because I'm tapping into some of my savings. With luck those funds will carry me until I'm age 70 -- I'm planning on filing for Social Security then.

        For those who don't know: Since 1983 Federal employees have been paying Medicare taxes just like any private employee. Since 1987 all Federal employees pay Social Security taxes as well.

        And those wonderful health benefits -- info on the Federal Employees Health Benefits program is on-line. Just go to opm.gov and have a look at what's available. This is what the Federal health insurance exchange will look like.

  •  "But we’ll be more 'globally competitive' if (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cpresley, Laconic Lib, stevemb, Ramoth

    federal spending (i.e. federal workers’ wages) and taxes are cut”, never mind that inadequate consumer-demand has consistently been the root of our economic problems.
    As the so-called “protectionists” have said for decades, there are huge (multinational-corporate) interests that would benefit from (and are pushing a deregulated-trade agenda to achieve) lowered US living standards. That’s where the cutting mentality (as opposed to taxing and regulating the insanely rich to benefit the general population) comes in.
    Needless to say, both parties have been dancing to the same ($$$$$) tune for 3+ decades (i.e. the agenda of lowered living standards for the US working-class).

  •  Fuck this. (8+ / 0-)

    my sister and brother-in-law work for the foreign service.  In an embassy in a country that was evacuated because of the same shit that killed the poor folks in Benghazi.  They still haven't gone back to their post because of thye danger.  You want to freeze their pay?  Fine.  What's going to happen is that you are going to lose the intelligent, educated people who currently work for the foreign service.  And you're going to have to accept crappy workers.  And the level of work will suffer.  And eventually, the Republicans will get exactly what they want.  Fucked up foreign service that they can vote to end.

    Fuckers.  

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:48:11 PM PST

    •  I've never worked for the government, but over (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CJB, mindful play, Ramoth, HM2Viking

      the course of my working years, I worked extensively with a hundred or so higher-level federal employees, almost all with Ph.D.s.  Each and every one performed his or her job to the utmost of his or her abilities, not because of the fear of the Congressional hatchet, but just because that's who they were/are as people.

      What I'd like to point out, however, is that federal employess with many of the jobs that could be identified as lower-level positions, requiring less education, "groundskeepers and custodians," to use the example cited above, actually have higher-than-average levels of responsibility. Consider the custodial staff at the White House or the Capitol Bldg. Consider the groundskeepers on the mall or at Arlington Cementary. We taxpayers expect and get our money's worth. We should not put up with Republican efforts to pit private sector and public sector workers against each other.

    •  Oh please. (0+ / 0-)

      That's the same excuse that the banks use to exorbitantly pay their executives.

      As I said, if it is so horrible, leave.  There will be plenty of qualified applicants lining up for those positions.

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:31:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the people who dream this up need to have (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cpresley, RJDixon74135, niemann, Ramoth

    their pay frozen. Like Boehner, et. al.

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:48:38 PM PST

  •  If, on the other hand, they use the money to avoid (0+ / 0-)

    the proposed cuts in TriCare, I'm OK with this.  

    The argument for the bill, besides of course that workers should always be cut to spare oil companies and hedge fund billionaires from paying a little more

    Many hands make light work, but light hearts make heavy work the lightest of all.

    by SpamNunn on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 07:55:45 PM PST

  •  Here's a question I never hear (7+ / 0-)

    "federal workers make more than private sector workers"

    So what if they did?  The work they do is often more valuable, precisely because there's no profit motive, but it still has to be done.  It's their work in their sectors that even lets the private sector do what it does as well as it does it.  

    If higher federal wages means that you, the private sector employer, have to raise your wages to compete, well, suck it up and content yourself with one yacht.   If you can't compete, maybe you're just not cut out for business.  But it's okay--- this country is full of ambitious and talented people ready to take your place.  

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 08:28:08 PM PST

    •  yeah, I'm not clear on that either (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nominalize

      don't we want competent people in govt ?

      well certainly if you're a republican you don't.

      a competent govt completely undercuts your argument for getting rid of it.

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 10:36:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's an irony of labor/mgmt relations (0+ / 0-)

        Being a democracy, our governments put us in the position of management when it comes to government employees.  If we're cheap assholes who cut corners just to save a buck and pretend we're ahead, we get Republican policies of cut-cut-cut and moan when it fails.  If we're wise and willing to risk investing in the talent requisite to accomplish our goals, we get Democratic policies that actually work.

        The same goes in private companies, and we've all been there.  Companies are worlds apart when it comes to whether the management gives two shits about the employees' well-being, and it shows.  Eventually, it shows in the bottom line, but the cheap assholes are already out of Dodge by then and will not accept responsibility.  

        Unfortunately, the baby boomer generation is full of cheap assholes (NB: as a trend; I don't mean every single one of you; but the progressive boomers are outnumbered)  ... and they are holding most of the reins right now.  So, we've been on a streak of cheap asshole government.  And it shows!  

        Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

        by nominalize on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:05:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You will get nowhere with that (1+ / 3-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah
      Hidden by:
      Ramoth, Cartoon Messiah, kalmoth

      Except in a echo chamber with other Govt workers.

      So what if they did?  The work they do is often more valuable, precisely because there's no profit motive, but it still has to be done.  It's their work in their sectors that even lets the private sector do what it does as well as it does it.  
      Go ahead, take that off this site to the people that pay your fucking salary, your pension and your health Care from a shrinking worker pool and a dying pay base that has none of those benefits. Live in a echo chamber too long and all you hear are echos.

      This is not an echo.  I also own my own business. There is no comparison at all. You have it made in the shade with 10 cents change.  I know this isn't popular at the Poor ol Federal Govt worker Diary. But it needs to be said. You have no idea what it's like out there and to even suggest to the people who have had their standard of living obliterated to where a call for a three month contract job is cause for celebration, then to get their first check and see the federal deductions for your  pay your benefits... that somehow that person  should bow down and be grateful?

      We see Govt workers cooperate with Corporations that are killing our economy.  The real executive types in the Govt can't be bothered to to really do their jobs like reel in the banks and go after companies that are abusing their employees.

      As long as you are in the ranks of 1000s of workers who enable the corruption that we see day to day a statement like the above only deserves one response.

      Fuck  You. I'll bet your ass would be fired in a heart beat if your real name were beside that post too.

      •  This post is waaaay over the line. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nominalize, Ramoth, kalmoth
        Fuck  You. I'll bet your ass would be fired in a heart beat if your real name were beside that post too.
        That kind of comment is simply not justified.
        BTW - I don't see your real name - think about it.
      •  Did I touch a nerve? (5+ / 0-)

        The fact is, as one of the people who pays government workers with my taxes, I'm willing to pay what it takes to ensure that the best talent does the job right.   You might disagree, but if that's how you run your business, I feel bad for your employees.

        Go ahead, take that off this site to the people that pay your fucking salary, your pension and your health Care from a shrinking worker pool and a dying pay base that has none of those benefits
        Ah, the bitter jealousy rears its ugly head.  Let me ask you this:  Why would you focus on bringing your neighbor down instead of building yourself up?  Because it's easy to destroy and hard to build? What's wrong with you?  
        I'll bet your ass would be fired in a heart beat if your real name were beside that post too
        Given that the rest of your post implies that I work for the (a) government, this comment doesn't make any sense at all, since if I do work for a government, I would hardly be fired for saying that government employees deserve to make as much if not more than their private sector counterparts (when there even is a counterpart).  Especially since (non-political) government jobs require actual valid job-related reasons to fire someone.

        If I don't work for the government, your post simply underlines the notion that business owners are petty autocrats who over-react to the merest perceived slight by letting go someone their company had taken a chance on and invested in... all over an opinion they didn't like.  Is that what you meant?  Is that how you run your business?  I'll bet your employees just lovvvve you, right?  LOL  Talk about an echo chamber; I suggest you read up on psychological projection.

        You know, sometimes I think that we've made so much progress in this country at getting autocracy out of our governments, but really, we've only managed to push it into our boardrooms.  The fact that you get all butthurt about my mentioning simple and true facts like this, that pull back the curtain behind the dark side of American business, well, it kinda makes me feel like Elizabeth Warren. So you've made my day.  Thanks!

        Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

        by nominalize on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:58:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you touch a nerve? (0+ / 0-)

          No. They are numb. You may not work for the govt , but you have a rewarding business with the govt.  I can tell in a heartbeat when someone is making the big bucks in the political sector. I've seen that movie too many times. Corruption pays well.

          You didn't lay a glove on me.

        •  My apologies (0+ / 0-)

          You're a linguist who uses the screen name nominalize

          Nominalization: turning a verb or an adjective into a noun



           
            
          move ->movement          difficult ->difficulty
          react ->reaction different ->difference
          fail ->failure applicable ->applicability
          refuse -> refusal intense -> intensity

          Kansas city is not a hotbed for computer software so you must draw a salary from a non-profit which probably gets some funding from the govt . Since you have no idea what I have done or what I did or what it takes to run a business, but were sure ready to make those assumptions,  I'll take the same road you did.

          You are from the "All Small Businessman are Foot Soldiers for Fascism" school.

          If I don't work for the government, your post simply underlines the notion that business owners are petty autocrats who over-react to the merest perceived slight by letting go someone their company had taken a chance on and invested in... all over an opinion they didn't like.  Is that what you meant?  Is that how you run your business?  I'll bet your employees just lovvvve you, right?  LOL  Talk about an echo chamber; I suggest you read up on psychological projection.
          That is typically the attitude we run into from someone who has never worried about payroll, had bottom line responsibility, top line responsibility or much of any responsibility. Boardroom autocrats? For a 50 person company at it's height?

          Truly you have no idea what a small businessperson goes through when times are good. But where you really fall down are when times are bad.  That's where you show your preconceived notions that have no basis in reality.

           When times are tough,we have to do hard things, we have to reduce staff, , we have to live out of savings. There are no govt employees ready with the bail-out bucket. Like that big contract with deliverables far off in time.

           So when we here about overpaid people whining about a pay freeze, we simply well...freeze. It's not within our realm of comprehension. After all, it wasn't the small businessman who brought this on. It was the banks with the help of federal employees just as Senator Warren indicated. So when you say they deserve more money , that means you also are including the captured regulators who had a job, didn't do it and not one got fired. Not  unless they were a whistleblower. The ones that helped this country into a such a deep hole it's doubtful it will ever get back.  You think they should earn more. Therefore you are for Bank regulators earning more money for not doing their job.

          My guess is you have copied your ridiculous post and forwarded to the people that oversee your govt contracts.  Because if you were a govt employee, especially during hard times when America wants to cut govt spending the last thing in govt people would want is someone drawing attention to the lavish pay and benefits they receive along with their contractors.

      •  You have no clue what federal workers do, do you.. (6+ / 0-)
        Go ahead, take that off this site to the people that pay your fucking salary, your pension and your health Care from a shrinking worker pool and a dying pay base that has none of those benefits. Live in a echo chamber too long and all you hear are echos.
        Just remember every Federal Worker is also a taxpayer, contributing their tax money to fund their benefits and salary. You see that in the private sector?Not to mention contributing to the many programs that assist non-federal workers financially.

        AND they provide valuable public services as well that no one in the private sector will ever provide at any cost.

        So, you just pay taxes, is that it? What have you done for your country lately beside whine about hard working, tax paying  workers who are quite often blue collar?

        I'll take it off site, and do. Gladly and proudly.

        •  I have a good idea of what federal workers do (0+ / 0-)

          and don't do...

          1. The assistance rendered to the Banks, to the Multi-Nationals and to The Drug Companies to pay insignificant fines for crimes that in no way deters them. To look the other way when no taxes are paid. To  how gang up, attack and marginalize anyone who speaks out.  

          2.  The Federal Prosecutors and the FBI  who go after whistleblowers to  insignificant copyright violators to rack up scores which end up ruining lives if not ending them.

          3. The vets who go fight in wars and don't get the assistance they need when they get back home and are killing themselves at the rate of 18 a day. Then we have more active duty killed them selves than were killed by their enemies in Afghanistan last year.

          4. The regulators who are owned by the banks and the health care industry , the oil companies, defense contractors, and a variety of others who empty the  treasury and pay no taxes.

          I could go on. But I'll stop here because with just the top four, there was a cast of thousands involved that helped with the transfer of trillions of dollars of taxpayer money.

           Public Corruption has never been as high as it is now since I've been alive. It's through the ranks of Govt employees not only at the Federal level but at the state and local level.  It isn't just for elected officials and appointees anymore. Every one has their hands out.

          Ms. Warren should have also asked when was the last time an elected official or a Federal worker was charged and taken to trial for public corruption. But they all know there is only so far they can go, because once the bureaucracy turns against them, they have no future . The banks didn't operate in a vacuum. It requires much help  to raid a treasury. Who again, are the people charged with protecting it?

          So when I hear complaints about a pay freeze to this large group who aide & abet the 1% , who enable and train the next generation of workers ( This is how things are done here) for the benefit of the 1% ,  I react when I hear  crying about all the hardship of a pay freeze. Not a pay cut, or a job loss mind you. A Pay freeze. Just to make it look like there is shared sacrifice when you know and I know that isn't the case at all.

          I also spent enough time in the govt to understand that those things mean very little to the people who are protected by layers of bureaucracy and how to extract pay raises in other ways.

          There are certainly people who don't participate but they see it. Silence is  complicity. Corruption has been institutionalized to the point where most of you have no clue of whats right or whats wrong.

          But if you are charged with protecting the 99% and they are the ones that are doing all the suffering, then you aren't doing your jobs.

           Not at all.

          In the private sector, that means unemployment.  

          Since I was in the Federal workforce, albeit 35 years ago, I still remember that the standards for job performance were substantially underneath those of the private sector.  I could handle low standards and higher pay. The world isn't a fair place.

          What tells me this country is screwed  is the smell of rank corruption that comes from a percentage of the  millions  who are paid by taxpayers. You all belong to the same workforce.  

          The revolving door workforce.

          •  Your little list of characters (0+ / 0-)

            Represents a fraction of a percent of the federal workforce, the vast majority of which have zero input on policy direction or program implementation. Actually most of your list can be put at the feet of Congress rather than the federal workforce.

            You tell me just what power the doctor at a VA clinic in Fargo ND has on deciding policy on treatment of vets? Zero....
            What power does the GS 5 budget clerk have on banking policy? Zero...

            All these federal workers are taxpayers and following the directions of the very very small percentage at the top, most of whom are political appointees. I am a taxpayer

            Was the janitor and receptionist at enron responsible for the corruption in that company? You really believe that?

            You have a misguided and warped view of the federal workforce. Please rethink your illogical stance.

  •  A "cry for them" diary? (0+ / 0-)

    First off, you give no source for these statistics. You didn't bother to mention what time period other than 2010. Was this a study you put together using 2010 pay figures? Which ones did you use for the private sector.

    What percent of the private sector gets Defined benefit pensions funded in part by taxpayers?

     You didn't mention how many college graduates are unemployed and are stuck with mortgage like debt or forced to take jobs that paid less than what they made working part-time in high school.

    You conviennatly left out so much it's hard to make sense of why you would have put this up unless you are in the same bubble as many of the people here. They don't see the problems, don't feel the problems, ergo, there are no problems.

    Federal Jobs always used to pay far less than any comparable  private sector job. The fact that someone with a  high school education gets a package worth $80,000 a year is so far in the rear view mirror for most Americans with just a high school education much less college that you are actually insulting people that have to watch their tax dollars pay for these jobs while they struggle to fund themselves day by day.

    Yes our social security dollars are funding their paychecks and benefits too. We pay 75% of your health Benefits that we can't get at any price.

    Put a valuation on longevity and good health.

    People in the real world work full time jobs just to pay for health insurance for a family. Shitty , crappy, high deductible, junk insurance that is never used because we can't afford the Doctors visits or the fucking tests and the interpretation of the tests and the secondary tests and the visits every three months. So we die. Not only that we see Federal workers spouting off against Obama care as it slowly falls apart under the weight of price increases, cracks and crevices of people who fall through and delays in implementation. Just to get an affordable shit junk insurance plan.

    See they don't have to deal with that shit. Oh hell no.

    Many of us have no insurance at after finding that there is nothing affordable even with a $30,000 deductible.

      I haven't heard of any large lay-offs of Federal workers. So they have that Job security thing going for them that is a distance memory for, oh, about 99% of the working class. How about putting a valuation on that?

    Those who have retired as young as 38-42 on the 20 Year 50% of Pay plan or at 48-52 on the 30 year 75% of  pay  plan also have health benefits too. Put a fucking price on Federal workers never having to worry about a 401K blowing up or having to save money to have the $250,000 that is estimated that people on Social Security and Medicare have to have. Hell they don't have to save money at all. Where the fuck is that in your "woe are us" statistics.

    Put a price on their worth after they get out when the Govt is 25% of the GDP as anxious private companies snap them up at elevated wages so they can attach a umbilical chord to our tax dollars. It's just not for elected officials anymore. It;'s for everyone working for the Federal Govt , especially those who have advanced degrees.

    I understand you are a FP on Labor, but you absolutely have no idea what you are talking about. Almost every diary of yours has mucked up data in it. It makes one wonder if you look for stories you can link to and just make the rest of this shit up.

    If you were trying to elicit sympathy for the plight of the federal workers , you fucked up. You just laid bare a reminder that they live in a world that is long gone from the rest of America unless they are in DC or Wall Street.

    These are the same federal workers that Sen Warren called to task for never bringing a Wall Street Bank to trial today and we are supposed to feel sympathy for them.  

    Your diaries are getting to be like a shit pie for everyone else to eat here.

    •  I call BS on your bitter resentment towards Feds.. (4+ / 0-)

      I find your assertion that working a federal job is not "real world" work. That somehow only those in the private sector work in "the real world" and thus federal workers are less deserving of consideration.

      Tell that to the Park Rangers that shuttle meth cookers and dealers to jail from campgrounds on federal land. Or to the janitorial staff in office buildings; or to the financial analysts; doctors in VA hospitals; tell that to the wildland fire fighters saving peoples homes and property; tell that to the food safety workers that do their job without a profit motive to muck up the results. Tell that to heavy equipment operators and mechanics and electricians and painters and laborers and carpenters and engineers and biologists and botanists and climatologists none of whom would be paid by any private sector employer to do the work they do in the places they do it.

      These Federal Workers have nothing to do with Wall Street bankers. They are people with mortgages, school debt, health insurance issues (not all federal workers have gold plated cheap health insurance) and, I should add, every one of them is a TAXPAYER. Very few federal workers will be "snatched up by private companies at elevated wages" Heavy equipment operators with 15 years experience in Yellowstone National Park don't carry an "umbilical cord to your tax dollars" if they join the private sector. I also know plenty of federal workers that have had to delay retirement for years because they lost up to 50% of their retirement package in the recession, just like everyone else. Many more are facing furlough, layoffs, mandatory overtime, termination of jobs...all "real world" problems workers face. Job security is not as sure as you think.

      Their taxes pay their benefits and salary AND they perform public services for YOU. I guess you only pay taxes....

      Take your resentment towards federal workers elsewhere. You have no idea what the federal workforce is at all.

      •  OMG--you act like (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dburn

        gov workers are the only ones who do difficult work.  

        What planet do you live on?

        Here's the whole problem with the gov sympathizers from Dburn above:
        If you were trying to elicit sympathy for the plight of the federal workers , you * up. You just laid bare a reminder that they live in a world that is long gone from the rest of America unless they are in DC or Wall Street.

        Maybe the first thing you should do is quit reminding the everyone how good you have it.  

        [oh, poor me, a gov worker, I have to quit now in order to receive higher retirement benefits--the horror!!!]  

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:39:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks Dfarrah (0+ / 0-)

          At least we get to see where the arrogance comes from in the body of these comments.

          Most of them have been in the gentle arms of the Federal Workforce for so long they forgot that the average pay for a Federal workers is twice that of a Private worker.  

           I only heard from one person who was unhappy they had gone into the private sector from the Federal workforce in this thread. I understand his unhappiness. It's real tough out here. You can't get back in either. Look at the Jobs USA and see all the high paying opportunities for people who have prior GOVT experience at one pay grade lower.  In other words "Private Trash" don't bother applying.

          At least you don't hear them saying they can make 2-3x as much in the private sector anymore. I suppose there is that reality.

           That was always limited to the ones who could join the private political sector such as lobbyists, pundits, think tanks, political strategists, consultants etc , all of which have one single prerequisite : Prior service in the Federal Govt.  Then of course there are those overworked lawyers mentioned in the comments who go to work for Wall Street firms and other firms that have business with the govt for 6-7 figure salaries provided they know how to play the game and have proven that they can.

          Those are the elite of the elite. At least I can make that distinction. I understand that the the GS-1s though 12s (maybe) or so don't have that  out. They have to just settle for the myriad of benefits that are heaped on them for simply existing which also include In- Grade salary steps plus location allowances to cover cost of living differences. Why they even have bonuses for doing their jobs now. Cash Bonuses.

          They have TDY tax free per diem for travel in additon to salary. That apparently has been cut back so people can't fly to their favorite "training conferences" and stay in the best hotels for more education on a open source content management system for websites of which there are a myriad of sources online that give training at minimal  cost.

          Yes, private sector people not only have to pay for that themselves, they have to do it constantly just to keep their jobs. There are no taxpayers footing the bill to cover their training for future job security.

          Those poor hard working federal employees moaning about  a pay freeze that is "politically motivated".

          But nothing on there about   pay cuts, lay-offs, benefit cuts, age discrimination, racism, bigotry  and other barriers to a living wage or even a job for that matter in the private sector. You don't see one of the people who did the "woe is me" bit even suggest that they are so overworked they are going to quit and seek their rightful place in the private sector.  WE did see one who said "we deserve more" than those in the private sector. I imagine that's not an isolated sentiment. That person was just dumb enough to voice it.

           Most people in the private sector only have a meeting with a Federal worker to get punished for some infraction. Not only is the application of the rule of Law a two tiered affair, but so is the application of federal civil law , rules and regs .

          For example: If you have the money and connections you don't have to pay a private company's Payroll Tax. The GAO found that the IRS , at one point, had 55 Billion in 90 day past due accounts receivables for payroll taxes. The GAO also found that a significant percentage of the non-payers were federal contractors who had successful companies with wealthy principals. Did I mention that the diversion of Payroll tax money is a felony with a minimum prison term of five years? That's for the "little people".

          The person who mentioned the VA workers forgot to mention all the vets that have been waiting an average of 295 days for disability and benefit packages.

          They don't mention taxpayers who get disabled have to hire an attorney to get SSD. But if they are disabled for any reason in the Federal workforce ( Oy I have a Headache), they get showered with disability benefits. They get paid sick days, holiday pay, paid vacations and like benefits that many in the private sector don't even have a memory of.

          The "top performers" in the federal workforce  work FOR the taxpayer long enough to build up a network inside and outside  and in many cases to get retirement benefits, then join a Lobbyist group to solicit their former colleagues to "do things" that are not in the interest of the populace but in the interests of the 1%. Many in the current federal workforce aids and abets the lobbyists (former colleagues) in order to "make their Bones" so they too can enjoy their Fixed Pensions in the real world with the addition of low to mid 6 figure pay as a Lobbyist. Yes they keep their pensions, draw on them and determine which of the two offers the best health care benefits, then when they retire they double dip and triple dip into multiple plans.

          They also seem to forget that it is Federal workers that are doing the bidding of the 1% when they fill up for Profit prisons, levy fines against working people for small infractions on their IRS returns because it's easier to go after low lying fruit instead of the people who hide their money in offshore accounts. Multi-national corporations have leagues of captured regulators on the federal dole that look the other way as crimes are committed.  

          Thank you Senator Warren.

          The FDA works hand in Hand with ICE to seize Drugs re-imported to protect those in big Pharma, Doctors and Pharmacists and those who employ them.

          "No way taxpayer, you have to buy hugely inflated  federally patent protected drugs, after two visits from a Doctor, from a registered pharmacist even if you can't afford the services of any of the above. You must subsidize big Pharma by buying drugs at the highest price possible so they can make enough profit so they won't have to suffer when they have to export to those Socialist Health Care systems in foreign countries where they hide profits to avoid paying taxes.

          If you can't afford it, tough shit. You have to die. See RX cards are a thing of the past for a large portion of those on private insurance.

          They make certain these big companies don't pay taxes either. That's a bill you have to pay dear taxpayer who lives in a world few in the federal workforce have ever seen unless they are the few, the proud, the bold that spend their days seizing private property, and children in the war on drugs.

          There is no way the 1% would be winning the war on workers if it wasn't  for the federal workforce aiding and abetting them.  

          Maybe people here whining don't do any of the above, but you are part of that big Blob of 1.8 Million workers. They represent you when they are out there when they  bring down the wrath of big govt on it's most defenseless citizens to the delight of the businesses that will administer punishment to  them at a huge profit. .

          Then they wonder why people like me get pissed when the whining starts over a pay freeze. JHC, I have never been this pissed in the 9 years I've been on these boards.
           

          •  Most if not all of your anecdote (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Capt Crunch

            Are related to policy and budgeting decisions of congress and a very small number of politically appointed executive level public sector employees.

            You really want to paint the federal workforce with such a big brush?

            And can you support your assertions?

            Tax free per-diem? No. Tell me, in the private sector nobody has any expense accounts? Are those just a myth? Do private sector employees traveling on company time and for company work really pay all their expenses out of their pocket with no reimbursement from the company? All those big conventions and product showcases in Vegas, Miami etc are full of workers paying out of their own pocket to be there? Seriously?

            FDA seizes reimported drugs because congress made that the law. Do front line employees in the private sector have the freedom to set prices and policies on their own? Seriously?

            You give me one way a WG 5 laborer inYellowstone National Park or a GS 7 hydological technician has the pull and power to "win the war on workers for the 1%". Exactly what do they do to wage battle on workers (remember they are a taxpaying blue collar worker)

            You can't. But they are representative of the vast majority of workers, who happen to have the govt as their employer.

            I could go on.  But your divisive diatribe on the minority is not helping the majority of workers, both public and private sector.

            •  They are part of the workforce you are in (0+ / 0-)

              They are at the top of the payscale. The "we're following orders" bit doesn't work here anymore than it does anywhere else.

              •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Capt Crunch

                No one I mentioned is at the top of their pay scale.

                So the entry level tech at a coal plant is responsible for getting congress to give exceptions to that company from clean air standards and therefor the pollution it produces?

                Are entry level employees in the private sector really personally responsible and empowered to modify and rewrite all policy and procedures of their employer?

                You really believe that? Is that how it works where you work?

                Serious question, I want to know if this is really what you mean.

                •  I did some more reasearch (0+ / 0-)

                  on the pay comparisons today. Like just about everything else I've heard, i knew to  take the chart and the BS links with a grain of salt. For example: One comparison one won't hear about is how much disposable income Federal Workers have vs private sector in the same or similar occupation. They cost out their health benefits based on the pricing they get as part of a 2.15 Million group plan while people in similar occupations pay many multiples for very basic protection if any. They don't discuss out of pocket expenses compared to the private sector.

                  7% of pay for a their fixed pension retirement plan? If one is employed in the private sector  they pay 6% for a paln taht maxes at $24,000 a year.  Self employed like me pay 15%. People on the  FERS Plans pay  1% plus Social Security plus contributions to 401k Plan. The 40 Year top 3 year person gets 80% of her pay plus social security and 401k. That's a government endorsed triple dip.

                  That can't really be measured in, so lets just skip that ..hey! rim shot.

                  The House is asking for a 5% increase by 2017. COLAS? Never heard of them in the private sector for decades,  but freeze them in the Public Sector and bitching starts. No COLAs are one of the many reasons pay has gone down in the private sector to the point where it doesn't cover inflation. That's when two jobs became a necessity for families. Now they are lucky if they can find one that pays them half of what they were earning before the Bank incubated, federal employee assisted  depression that cost  3.8 Trillion and counting that has gone out in stimulus to banks.

                  As Far as the entry level people taking jobs, I don't recall anyone saying they were only comparing that group in terms of the pathetic Federal response and prevention of worker abuse in the private sector all the way to the  corruption  both at the appointee level and at the federal employee level that allowed this economy to turn into a parody of what it once was. Not to mention that suspension of the rule of law all the way to the "in-your-face" violations of constitutional protections.

                  All levels of the federal workforce participate in that one way or the other except for maybe the janitors. But claiming even the Janitors were of a higher caliber than the private sector thus deserving the same pay packages as a senior level programmer or a middle manager in the private sector just goes beyond the pale.  

                  I do see one thing that came out of all the back and forth:  The utter disdain and contempt that federal employees hold for people in the private sector. Not one person said they were there for the rewards of public service. But the attitude that they were there because the Public serves them was clear enough.

                  As far as entry level people accepting paychecks and benefits as the upper management breaks laws with total impunity? I 'll answer you the same way I answered someone who claimed not all Goldman Sachs employees were bad. If Goldman Sachs employees can read, they are aware their paychecks are a by-product of a unprecedented and stunning level of open criminality in their organizations , then they have a very simple choice. They can accept the checks and do the famous "It ain't me babe" excuse or they can leave. If they stay with a scintilla of ambition, then they are aware of what will be expected of them if they do get promoted; then the question arisies what exactly makes them innocent by comparison?

                  At the beginning of this crisis, many cried out about moral hazard. Well it wasn't a just a hazard. It's now away of life. There is such a thing as a moral break down in society that ultimately leads to the loss of trust all the way from the institutions that were tasked to guard against law breakers to people at the lowest level of society. That lack of trust shows up every day. It didn't take long to work it's way down the ladder either.

                  That was the major take-away I got from this and the reason I got white hot angry. I should have understood that the manifestation of a moral break-down is exactly what I heard here. "I got mine - Fuck off".

                •  Please (0+ / 0-)

                  Post responsibly

                  So the entry level tech at a coal plant is responsible for getting congress to give exceptions to that company from clean air standards and therefor the pollution it produces?
          •  Don’tcha love this comment? (0+ / 0-)

            It’s so divorced from reality.

            Here's a gem:

            There is no way the 1% would be winning the war on workers if it wasn't  for the federal workforce aiding and abetting them.
            Yeah - that's it! The grand conspiracy of those park rangers aiding and abetting Wall Streeet.
            And yet another gem:
            The FDA works hand in Hand with ICE to seize Drugs re-imported to protect those in big Pharma, Doctors and Pharmacists and those who employ them.
            Watch out! They’re all around you!

            Don’t forget Senator Warren – she’s in on it too!

            Multi-national corporations have leagues of captured regulators on the federal dole that look the other way as crimes are committed.  
            Thank you Senator Warren.
            And the 90% of the federal workforce sitting at their desks, driving a truck or doing data entry?
            They make certain these big companies don't pay taxes either. That's a bill you have to pay dear taxpayer who lives in a world few in the federal workforce have ever seen unless they are the few, the proud, the bold that spend their days seizing private property, and children in the war on drugs.
            Finally –
            Most people in the private sector only have a meeting with a Federal worker to get punished for some infraction.
            Sounds like somebody has gotten their fingers caught in the cookie jar!

            But the post sure is entertaining - kinda like watching a dog chase it's tail. Lots of action with nothing happening.

            •  Keep in mind Crunchy (0+ / 0-)

              As you point that tear gas can at the people that pay your salary, you work for us. Without us, all you can hope for is that Congress will borrow to pay the bloated overhead of a workforce that demands more and more for less and less.

              As as far as Senator Warren, thank you for misreading that. The looks on the overpaid, bloated fish like federal employee's faces when she questioned them was priceless. "Who us?"

              No, she's a standout Crunchy and she speaks for me. She's your worst nightmare. If allowed to do her work, she will undoubtedly get to the porn filled computers in the SEC and who knows what investigators will find in your freezer.

              •  You're so much fun! (0+ / 1-)
                Recommended by:
                Hidden by:
                Dburn

                Crunchy! I like that! Maybe I'll go by that one. Or how about Capt Crunchy? Or Crunchy Mac Fergus? Or Chrunchato?
                I love your violent imagery and hallucinatory commentary.
                Like when you called me a dick for not prosecuting the banksters. Remember that one - up thread a little?
                Of course, I'm not a prosecutor, or a lawyer, but what's a little hallucination between friends?
                Or when you hallucinated that I was on a fixed pension. Another comment of your on this same diary.
                Do you know your posts read like someone about to lose it?
                And your delusion about Sen. Warren speaking for you. So sweet. She wouldn't want to be in the same room as you.
                Hey - she's a federal employee. Let's cut her loose!
                She could go work for you - a small business schlub without a clue and a BIG grudge against the federal government.
                Yup, a small business owner that can't make a go of it- what a surprise! - with a big time hate of government.
                And an interest in my freezer!

                She's your worst nightmare. If allowed to do her work, she will undoubtedly get to the porn filled computers in the SEC and who knows what investigators will find in your freezer.
                Yeah, I just bet Sen. Warren will be looking into my freezer.
                Just like she's my worst enemy. Maybe that's why I contributed to her campaign. To throw her off the trail!
                She'll never know!
                I'm that sneaky park ranger/data entry clerk/truck driver that's colluding with Wall Street to get YOU!
                Watch out! We're right there!
                BOO!
        •  I never said, nor meant to imply (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Capt Crunch

          That govt workers have it worse than private sector workers. If it came off that way it was due to inelegant wording. I have worked in both. I have owned my own business, been a job creator. I have worked in the federal work force.

          Is there deadwood in the federal workforce? Yes
          Is there corruption, deadwood, nepotism, low performance standards, and inflated salaries in the private sector, of course!

          My point is not to elevate one sector over the other but to put the vast majority of workers, in both public and private sectors on the same level. Demonizing the entire federal workforce for the boneheaded policy of congress and a few at the top is divisive, illogical and not productive in moving our country forward.

      •  I call BS on Your BS (0+ / 0-)
        I find your assertion that working a federal job is not "real world" work.
        Sorry, I can't argue for things I didn't say.

        Making up shit undermines your entire post as I never said the first, I can hardly take credit for slamming the rest.

        What's the matter, Feeling Guilty?

    •  Another over the top comment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ramoth, Cartoon Messiah, HM2Viking
      Your diaries are getting to be like a shit pie for everyone else to eat here.
      I disgree. But your profanity laced comments are waaay over the line.
  •  I am too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfarrah

    sick from this irresponsible behavior from the right for being so mean and crazy, and for the democrats and Obama for letting things like this happen all the time. I thought we won the election. Don't tell me we can't do anything because of the house of unrepresentative's, Reid let the filibuster reform drop because the rethugs, Reid and Obama are allowing sequester, so they can cut social security and send us into a depression.  and hurt older people's chance to survive. They are only working for the top of the 1% and to hell with everyone else. Think about it .That is there master plan. A pox on all there house's.

    "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between" Oscar Wilde

    by angry hopeful liberal on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:22:36 AM PST

  •  And the race to the bottom continues. (0+ / 0-)

    I am very discouraged. I would like to be able to say that the Senate will not take up the measure but I have lost all faith in Harry Reid with this filibuster debacle.

    I realize that the president will veto the measure but it just shows what that house wants to do to this country. If I operated the way the house does I would be out of a job.

  •  Wow (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HM2Viking

    I don't remember accidentally typing in Redstate.com on my search bar.  As a Federal Employee who's program saved the Federal Government almost a million dollars last year, I find some of these comments silly.

    Personally, the actual lack of a raise doesn't bother me because its only a few dollars a check.  What bothers me is the vitriol and the claim that government workers are spoiled.

  •  It is the Pensions (0+ / 0-)

    The "Greatest Generation" and "Baby Boomer" government employees are going to bankrupt us with their pensions.

    My Dad retired at age 55 from the Federal Govt with 30 years service.  That was 35 years ago.  He was a GS-14 lawyer.

    He died at age 75.   My 80 year old Mom is still receiving his benefits to the tune of over $40,000 a year, plus health insurance, so let's say that is an even $50K.  So far, in today's dollars, they have received 35 x 50K, or $1.75 million dollars.  That is right.  $1,750,00 in benefits.  

    Did he generate that much value?  Hardly.  In fact, for the last 7 years of working he did little to nothing because he was mentally ill and they just kept him in a corner office, reviewing briefs and taking naps.  Am I glad I don't have to support my Mom financially?  Yes.  Do I expect to be living with my kids when I'm old?  Highly likely.

    My next-door neighbor has North Carolina Municipal Employee Pension benefits.  He is 60, and retired after 30 years.  He will receive $47,000 a year, plus health insurance, so let's call that $60,000 a year.  If he lives for 20 years, that is $1,200,000.     Oh, and he is double-dipping, working again for the city as a contractor.  He put in 6% of his pay while working.  Wow, how much money would you need in a portfolio now to generate $60K a year for 20 years?  Maybe, what, $2 million if you earn 3% a year?  So, by working for the state govt and contributing 6% of salary he has the equivalent of $2m in the bank, generating income.    

    Younger state and local government workers don't get the defined benefit anymore.  But the people already in the system have no problem bankrupting the rest of us.

    This article on pensions
    provides insight into how badly captured society is by government workers having won for themselves statutory authority to take money from us far in excess of what they put in.  

  •  Oh, let's look at the military! (0+ / 0-)

    My buddy retired at age 42 from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel.  He is making about $3500 a month as a retiree.  Plus healthcare.  So, let's say his $42000, plus healthcare, is worth $50,000.   He is likely to live to 80.  38 years- $1,600,000 in benefits.    To earn $50K a year in retirement- at 3% return a year, that is like having $1,700,000 in the bank at age 42.  

    That makes me want to barf.  Oh, and he is double-dipping, working as a Federal Govt employee.  

    I should have stayed in the military.  I wouldn't be working my ass off with no security.  

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