I come to this issue as a life-long Democrat. I did seasonal government work in my youth but otherwise have worked in the private sector. My opinions/perceptions:
1. I hate the argument that public sector pay should be comparable to private sector pay. The jobs aren't comparable. Public sector employees don't have to justify their usefullness, expenditure of time or pay against a bottom line and have far more job security. I seriously doubt that the workplace pressure and stress is anywhere near comparable.
2. I am increasingly troubled by the power of public employee unions. They seem to seek more, and more and more, without regard for the public interest, while people on the other side of the bargaining table are just spending someone else's money and don't seem to provide an effective counter balance. I find it ironic that the only place where unions seem to remain strong these days is the public sector, where the traditional justifications for unions don't really seem to exist because the people setting the pay and working conditions are not purely profit motivated.
3. Anecdotal evidence, which is all most of us have to go on, does seem to suggest that public employees are treated way too generously. Everyone seems to know a public employee (a teacher, a wildlife biologist, etc.) who retired at 50 or so with nearly full pay, while those of us in the private sector are still sweating hard and worrying about building a 401k. Some of them then continue to do their old job as "contractors" and collect both their pension and a paycheck. Meanwhile, we can't get the laws enforced because the agencies all say they don't have enough money. It's enough to get even a true-blue Democrat to join Oregon Taxpayers United.
Thanks for the forum to vent.
posted 2 years, 10 months ago
view in context