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Old 10-20-2010, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
4,687 posts, read 5,519,319 times
Reputation: 4966

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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.C View Post
Interesting comment eerily reminiscent of why we "bitterly cling to our guns and our religion", and can't "think clearly because we're scared" as our wondrous leader has so profoundly observed.
If the shoe fits....

Quote:
Originally Posted by C.C View Post
In the 1980s the disparity between public and private retirement benefits was far less significant than today. I have no problem with the government paying competitive salaries if retirement benefits are also comparable to today's private sector. Compensation comparisons of course should also reflect other benefits as well as the private sector worker's far greater risk of job loss in bad economic times.
In the 1980's a new federal retirement system - FERS - was put in place for all federal employees hired after 1983. Their retirement benefits are: a much reduced annuity, Social Security, and the Thrift Savings Plan (the federal equivalent of a 401(k)). For most federal employees under FERS, this has meant that they will retire at a later age. The minimum retirement age has been gradually increased to 57 (versus 55 for those under the Civil Service Retirement System), and because Social Security is a major component of their retirement benefits, most FERS federal employees will retire no earlier than 62.

So, in fact, the disparity between public and private retirement benefits is far less significant today than in the 1980's.

Yes, a private sector worker's risk of job loss is far greater in bad economic times. So? In boom times, with people making big bucks & benefits in private industry, you never hear federal workers whining about "oh, they get too much. Oh, it's not fair. Oh, they should be punished for choosing to work in private industry."

Once again, in bad economic times, federal employees provide an easy target for the venting people seem to need to do to feel better about themselves. And if, after whining, people do feel better, that's great. But if they don't, that's just too damn bad. They should whine about their own choices in life, and not whine about the choices that others have made.
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:51 AM
C.C
 
2,235 posts, read 2,064,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenGene View Post
If the shoe fits....


In the 1980's a new federal retirement system - FERS - was put in place for all federal employees hired after 1983. Their retirement benefits are: a much reduced annuity, Social Security, and the Thrift Savings Plan (the federal equivalent of a 401(k)). For most federal employees under FERS, this has meant that they will retire at a later age. The minimum retirement age has been gradually increased to 57 (versus 55 for those under the Civil Service Retirement System), and because Social Security is a major component of their retirement benefits, most FERS federal employees will retire no earlier than 62.

So, in fact, the disparity between public and private retirement benefits is far less significant today than in the 1980's.

Yes, a private sector worker's risk of job loss is far greater in bad economic times. So? In boom times, with people making big bucks & benefits in private industry, you never hear federal workers whining about "oh, they get too much. Oh, it's not fair. Oh, they should be punished for choosing to work in private industry."

Once again, in bad economic times, federal employees provide an easy target for the venting people seem to need to do to feel better about themselves. And if, after whining, people do feel better, that's great. But if they don't, that's just too damn bad. They should whine about their own choices in life, and not whine about the choices that others have made.
What you don't seem to get is that

1) very few private sector workers get ANY DBP these days, and most of those who still do have had their plans frozen.

2) Most have only SS and a 401K which in many cases have had the company match reduced or eliminated. The relative few who have retiree health benefits have also seen substantial cuts.

3) Although the thread is directed at federal compensation, many states still have plans much more similar to the pre-FERS plan. FERS was a good first step that should be emulated by the states.

FERS narrowed and maybe even eliminated the gap at the time, but since then private benefits have steadily declined.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,759,886 times
Reputation: 11318
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheLookout View Post
The problem with local, state, and federal government needing to go on a hiring binge is that the government doesn't operate the same way a business does. If a business hires people and can no longer afford to pay the contracted salaries, they either let the employee go, or increase the cost of the goods/services they offer. The government on the other hand, if they can no longer afford to pay the salaries promised, in MOST cases they simply exact more funds from the taxpayer. There have been instances where government employees are laid off, but they are few and far between.
And you get your information from??????
There are RIFs (Reduction in Force) occurring; no hires behind retirees and those leaving for other reasons.

So tell me, what do you even know about federal jobs and requirements? Seriously, you seem to think you know something, but your comments don't pan out.

___________

Quote:
Originally Posted by juppiter View Post
I don't agree with a hiring freeze. Simply put, there is work to be done. It'll be done whether it's by federal employees or by sub-contractors... and sub-contractors tend to rip off the government, meaning even more money spent by the federal government.

That said, it is clear that lower-level federal employees are overpaid compared to their private-sector equivalents. I would support a pay cut for them.
Don't know many lower level federal employees, do you?

Last edited by chielgirl; 10-20-2010 at 08:36 AM..
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,759,886 times
Reputation: 11318
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
I don't think there should be a pay cut but I do think some agencies should be eliminated and there should be an investigation into the structure of all federal headquarters operations to see if they are top heavy, that is, to see if the reason for so many high graded employees is to artificially create the need for high graded manager and executive positions to oversee them. They should also investigate managerial spans of control in headquarters versus field offices and why high graded first line managers in headquarters have such lower spans of control with high graded employees compared to field offices where lower graded first line managers oversee so many more employees.

Also, I'm for a hiring freeze and not replacing retired employees as a means to reduce the federal workforce. Also, someone should look into why, when contractors are hired by the federal government, employees aren't let go. Contractors are not replacing feds they are supplementing them. The question should be why aren't feds doing those jobs. I'm not talking rocket science either but why are contractors doing personnel type work, for example?
Contractors DO replace feds; and cost about twice as much.
Bush contracted out inherently government jobs and it's caused a problem.
I say get rid of the contractors, but there have been people in congress pushing for outsourcing for years; the DoD has been forced to use Brown & Root (Haliburton) for at least 2 decades, most likely 3.

If you could get rid of reporting requirements and measurement criteria that makes no sense, I'm sure you could fund another war.

A decade or two ago, govt might have been top heavy; that's not really what I see today.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Midwest
31,007 posts, read 19,495,190 times
Reputation: 7719
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYBob View Post
I keep reading that no one has a plan to actually shrink the federal government. How's this for an idea.

With the exception of people in the armed forces below a yet to be specified rank, all federal workers should be forced to undergo a pay cut.

Those whos annual income is less than $150,000 - 10%
Those whos annual income is greater than $150,000 - 15%

There should be no annual increases or merrit increases for two years.

There should be a hiring freeze for all federal jobs. Make the government learn how to get things done with less people.

This isn't much more than what private industry has been forced to do over the last few years and studies have shown that federal government employees already make more and have better benefits than those in comperable positions in private industry.

I'll sit back and wait for the bombs in my mail box.
Yes lets keep cutting the wages of middle class! Lets cut government which is intended to protect the "we the People!"

Meanwhile, corporations can give it to us in our rear ends while we are fixated on Fox News who is telling us that preservation of the middle class is wealth distribution, i.e..... socialism!

Pretty soon there will be the extremely wealthy 2-3% and the rest of us will be working long hours for slave wages. However, we won't have any part of that wealth distribution. Unless, of course, our wealth is being distributed up to the elite and wealthy because Fox News says that is okay.


Quote:
"For the average worker in this country, there is a sense of despair, there is a sense of hopelessness and growing anger because they're now seeing that corporate profits are hitting record levels again, corporations have extraordinary savings, and that CEO's always manage to pay themselves more," said Stephen Lerner, director of banking and financial reform for the 2.2-million-member Service Employees International Union. "And people are saying something's fundamentally broken here."
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/stran...ry?id=11325933

Last edited by jojajn; 10-20-2010 at 08:45 AM..
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Midwest
31,007 posts, read 19,495,190 times
Reputation: 7719
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYBob View Post
So you want more of the private sector jobs that pay slave wages?

The problem is not increasing public sector wages but plummeting wages in the private sector. You have no idea what you are advocating!


Quote:
For millions of working Americans, the phenomenon economists call "median wage stagnation" has become a way of life. For decades, their annual incomes have remained virtually the same, leaving many just a paycheck or two from the street.

Experts attribute the causes to various factors: the decline of organized labor, the erosion of the minimum wage, the shift from a manufacturing-based to a service-based economy, and the transformation to a more globalized economy. But a common thread is the choking of America's besieged middle class.
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/stran...ry?id=11325933
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Midwest
31,007 posts, read 19,495,190 times
Reputation: 7719
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
kinda my idea on all things run by the government: cut maybe 10% off entitlement programs, salaries, whatever. Boy wouldn't that bring down some of the deficit spending.!!!???

Nita
The biggest entitlement programs, by far, are Social Security and Medicare. Lets do better than cut 10%. Tea Partiers, put your money where you mouth is, lets cut out your SS and Medicare!

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Old 10-20-2010, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 51,230,061 times
Reputation: 24606
We need a lot more government jobs to sustain a decent level of low and middle class consumption. I suggest paying for it with a property tax on all assets over $1,000,000. I believe our FIRE economy requires at least 1/3 of the wage income be provided by government employment. Private sector contractors like the notorious Blackwater mercenaries and the thieves at Halliburton should be immediately fired and their non managerial employees hired at government wages. The managers should be fired and then investigated for fraud.
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:07 AM
 
29,988 posts, read 37,099,452 times
Reputation: 12758
Quote:
Originally Posted by jojajn View Post
The biggest entitlement programs, by far, are Social Security and Medicare. Lets do better than cut 10%. Tea Partiers, put your money where you mouth is, lets cut out your SS and Medicare!
Remove the contribution limits of ROTH IRA's for the self-employed and you can keep my SS & Medicare. It is insane that the governmnet goes to such lengths to punish people who do not work for corporations with 401K matching programs attempting to provide for their own retirement .

SS & Medicare are so far in the hole I'll never see I dime I've paid into it anyway. Take away the impediments for me providing for my own retirement and I'll never take a dime of SS, Medicare or Medicaid.

Now, what measures are the liberal progressives willing to take to wean themselves and their followers off the taxpayers' teat?
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
4,687 posts, read 5,519,319 times
Reputation: 4966
Quote:
Originally Posted by C.C View Post
What you don't seem to get is that

1) very few private sector workers get ANY DBP these days, and most of those who still do have had their plans frozen.

2) Most have only SS and a 401K which in many cases have had the company match reduced or eliminated. The relative few who have retiree health benefits have also seen substantial cuts.

3) Although the thread is directed at federal compensation, many states still have plans much more similar to the pre-FERS plan. FERS was a good first step that should be emulated by the states.

FERS narrowed and maybe even eliminated the gap at the time, but since then private benefits have steadily declined.
I hear you, and I agree with everything you've said above.

What you don't seem to get is that the main objection to federal salaries stems from the fact that the private sector is suffering right now. But rather than address the problems that workers in the private sector are facing - and they are real and significant problems - people are dumping on federal workers. And I get that - federal workers are seen as part of the big bad government, and it's extremely popular these days to be against the government.

But when the private sector was riding high, and workers would doing just fine, and federal salaries were lagging behind, where was the outcry from workers in federal sector about private sector pay? There was none.

Federal employees - at least in my experience - have always been willing to accept less in good times because they know that in bad times, they have a large measure of job security, and that their benefits - although susceptible to change over time - won't be yanked away.

Simply put, it is up to the individual to make the best decision they can about employment and career choices. Many have opted for the security of federal employment; far more have opted for less security but more lucrative employment in the private sector.

When times get tough, and those lucrative jobs in the private sector start to look not-so-good, complain about that, fix that, and don't go after the people who were smart enough or frankly lucky enough to have made a different choice.
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