Florida Conservative

A Conservative Take on Florida and U.S. Politics

What Salary Do We Deserve?

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It appears the issue is heating up again, so consider this a preemptive strike:  The free market should determine wages.  While imperfect, free markets still do the best job of rewarding people for their actions.  Even China learned from the dismal failure that was Russia’s command economy and employs something that looks a lot like capitalism. 

In a recent Washington Post article, Ed O’Keefe assesses the pay hike Robert Gibbs expects after leaving the post of White House Press Secretary ($172,000 salary) while trying to stir the “how much is too much” debate.  Mr. Gibbs will earn a seven-figure salary as a pundit while markedly decreasing his daily dose of stress, so I cannot fault the decision to capitalize on a connection to President Obama while he still can.

I loved reading the article because it’s riddled with hilarious comments (perhaps unintentionally) such as:

(1) “‘He’s had a six-year stretch now where basically he’s been going 24/7 with relatively modest pay,’ [President] Obama told the New York Times.”  I agree that Gibbs will earn more in the private sector, but in what universe is $172,000 relatively modest?  If you make more money than 90% of Americans, your pay is not “modest.”  Keep in mind that Warren Buffett’s salary is only slightly higher ($200,000).

(2) “Rank and file federal workers earned an average $67,691 in 2008 — about $7,600 more than private sector employees, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.  When pay and benefits are calculated together, feds earned an average $123,049 in 2009 — topping non-government workers by at least $60,000, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.”  Does anyone else see the problem here?  Health insurance for life and government pensions have to go.  Government employees (who already make more) should suffer through personal insurance and worrying about the viability of Social Security like the rest of us.  I include Congress as government employees, by the way.

(3) “Cato Institute fellow Chris Edwards, a leading critic of government pay scales, said federal workers should stop considering themselves as victims.  ‘High-level staffers like Gibbs will go on to earn very high pay in the private sector as lobbyists, so we shouldn’t shed tears about their supposedly modest pay in government,’ he said.”  Do you know anyone who believes lobbyists are private sector employees?  Let’s break it down:  Lobbyists are paid by firms and other groups attempting to influence public policy.  Why would they do that?  Because changes in public policy determine winners and losers, and these groups want to emerge as winners.  Lobbyists are an intended consequence of Congresses which constantly overstep their moral and Constitutional bounds.

Find the complete article by Ed O’Keefe at http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2011/01/president_obama_robert_gibbs_a.html

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Written by floridaconservative

January 6, 2011 at 1:00 PM

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