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
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.