Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ezra Klein and Public Employees

Klein argues that public employees haven't had their pay rise much in the past two decades.  That may be true, but public employees saw a big jump in the value of their jobs in the past 3 years. When I started working for the Federal government I knew the rewards for my efforts were reasonable salary, good health insurance, good retirement benefits, and job security, discounting any psychic returns of serving the public (JFK's "ask not...").  I was giving up the possibility of great pay and fast advancement.

My point is there was a trade-off.  You watch these whipper-snappers like Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Ken Lay and now Mr. Zuckerberg come along and make their billions, the whiz-kids and quants on Wall Street making their big bonuses, and you know you traded the chance to make that money in favor of security, etc.  The Great Recession means those go-go careers are a whole lot riskier than they appeared to be in the past, thus my security is more valuable.

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