Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Are government workers overpaid? Maybe they are, at least their pension plans are way outside the bounds of reality. But I still have to wonder, besides pensions, are government workers overcompensated? Or, is it more accurate to say that private workers are undercompensated?

When I was a kid most tradespeople, hell, most skilled blue collar workers, could live a decent middle class lifestyle on one income. My parents did and so did the families of a large number of my friends. But now, after 40 years of inflation, competition with slave labor and lack of regulation from foreign countries and wages that have declined in real terms, a blue collar guy can't do that anymore.

A government worker, on the other hand, just might be able to because his wages have in part kept up with inflation.

So is that government guy overpaid? Or is he being paid a wage more in line with economic reality? One that hasn't been depressed by the greed and manipulation that is part and parcel of our hyper-competitive, winner take all, debt based capitalism?

And if he's not overcompensated then I have to wonder why it is that so many, apart from the pension crap, think he is? Or do they? I wonder how many of my conservative brothers and sisters have thought this one through? Is it possible that capitalism, at least as it's understood in today's economy, really isn't the best way? I'm not saying Marxism is good. It's not. In fact, I'd argue that it's intrinsically evil, something that you can't say about capitalism.

Still, there's something really wrong with our system. Capitalism, left to it's own devices, will always result in the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few. And as wealth accumulates so does power. Over time the majority of the people end up as wage slaves carrying crushing debt, owning no property and left to beg at the feet of the wealthy for jobs, loans to rent houses (mortgages) and little or no real ability to change much of that. The best most of us can hope for is to work all our lives to pay off our mortgage so that we can live at least a couple years on property of our own, which in reality still isn't ours. Just don't pay the real estate tax and see what happens.

Sure, some few break out and make a success of themselves and gain some level of independence but even they, the small business owners, are still chasing dollars to service debt in one form or another. Because unless a person is independently wealthy (free) they will at some point borrow money to grow their business. And generally that debt isn't dependent on the success or failure of the business. It isn't an investment by a third party willing to take a risk. It's a noose around your throat supplied by a friendly banker, all smiles and handshakes. Your business succeeds and you share the profit. It fails and the bank still profits- you take the loss.

Pretty much the same way the banks have worked us over in the public sector, too. They make themselves too big to fail, or at least they sell that lie to the public, so they can privatize their gains and socialize their loses. They always win, we always take the risk.

And now the people with the wealth and the power have been busy selling a new meme, the one that is meant to convince us that it's right and proper to take an ever decreasing wage for the same work while the price of everything we buy goes up. And they're doing it by stirring up jealousy and resentment towards government employees. Really, isn't this the same game the Marxists always play with their eat the rich crap. Looks to me like in the end there's very little difference between the strategy of the left and the right. Which makes me wonder just how different their end goals are, too.

While there are some very legitimate questions to ask about government employee compensation there's no reason for us to get all pitch forky on 'em.

We're being played by the same people that are stripping us of our own freedom and we're too blinded by ideology to see it.