Tracking the payrollers*

While assisting the Public Revenue Education Council at the National Council of State Legislators convention, I couldn’t help photographing some of the federal employees in “action.” Census was there, BEA was there, but I wouldn’t want to embarrass those guys because they sometimes do some useful things.  We also had

Licensed Professional and Drug Patentholder Protection Administration

Office of Travel Prevention

Department of Making Jobs and Workers Difficult to Find

Forgetting for a moment the impediment to commerce and free association, how much money are we spending on these guys?  Thanks to Gannett’s  Asbury Park Press (h/t Bob Matter), taxpayers can access a database of reasonably current salary information for most Federal employees.   For state and local employees in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Missouri, the Better Government Association has made similar information accessible.

Government employee pensions are also an issue, and Taxpayers United of America is building a database of this information.

Now, I’m not opposed to high salaries and liberal pensions. In fact, I think everyone should get them.  The problem is not that government compensation is too high, but that private compensation is too low. Some clear graphs here (based on data collected by government employees) illustrate the problem. Nongovernmental American workers’ productivity continues to increase, but for forty years little or none of this has been reflected in wages.  The best remedy involves displacing the rentiers.

*Payroller is a Chicago term for folks whose main function is to collect a government paycheck.  It appears that in some places, the word has a different meaning.

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One Response to “Tracking the payrollers*”

  1. liberal says:

    “The problem is not that government compensation is too high…”

    My experience working in the government is that there’s a lot of lower-level employees who do very little work at all, and are difficult to fire.

    And I say this as a left-of-center liberal Democrat!

    I think the right adjustment would be that their pay is increased quite a bit, but they have to work a decent amount. Yes, most of us aren’t 100% productive all the time; but if a secretary who now does 45 min of work a day (no, I’m not joking) were to work 3 hours a day, and we increased her pay 30%, that’s a good deal for the government.

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